Urgent advice needed before tomorrow's swim lesson!(12 Posts)
My 11 year old DD has gone to bed tonight in floods of tears, worrying about her school swimming lesson tomorrow. She is considerably heavier than all the other very skinny girls and she is conscious of them and the boys looking at her as they have to all wait on the pool side for their group's turn.
My DD is showing signs of puberty as well, unlike most of her class so she is aware of bust developing etc. I have promised her that we can go on a healthy eating mission between now and September when she moves to secondary school. She is desperate not to have these worries there too. But she is heartbroken about what tomorrow will bring in terms of her own body anxieties and the knowledge that she and others notice this difference.
I've promised her that I will try to find a solution to at least tomorrow's swimming lesson by the morning (as she cries herself of to sleep, it's heartbreaking to hear). Does anyone have any thoughts, suggestions etc.
How many lessons does she have to have before summer? Poor love, nothing is ever as bad as you imagine it will be and I'm sure the others will have their own worries
I really feel for her. It's such an awkward time for all them, but it doesn't make the individual less stressed.
Does she have a decent swimsuit? Liking what you are wearing can make some difference.
Does she definitely need to participate?
Maybe some one liners incase she gets any grief?
Speak to the teacher and ensure she knows she is feeling insecure?
Sick note? Pretend she's got her period?
Not a long term solution, obviously, but might buy some time while you try to work with her to build her confidence.
Makes me furious that our society makes girls so young feel conscious about what their body looks like in swim-wear! Your poor dd.
She has a lovely swimsuit but she is certainly bigger than all the rest of her class including the boys. She also knows that there will be quite a long time spent just waiting around in her costume and feeling like all eyes are on her (even though I've already said they probably won't be as people are often too worried about themselves). But she is distraught, it's not helped that all of the other girls are really very skinny and one or two have started making comments about my DD being "big and strong" which she really took heart.
Teachers are as good as useless in past experience and all the girls seem to be going through a real bitchy, image conscious phase. We made an excuse for last week so she avoided the lesson, but can't do this until end of term. Her self-esteem is really low and its so upsetting to see. In my desperation to comfort her, I've promised I will have a solution at least to tomorrow's swimming! But now I'm starting to panic that I may not have an answer!
Is she a good swimmer? When my dc did school swimming lessons the kids seemed generally to be judged on how well they could swim and not by how they looked at all.
Can you bolster her confidence that way?
Is she any good at swimming so at least she can look good once she is in the pool? I think the only thing you can do is as suggested earlier, give her a few retorts so she is prepared if the comments come. Long term the healthy eating and getting her active will give her confidence and make her feel better generally. It is awful how self conscious they are at that age - I remember feeling huge (when I wasnt) and being very unsporty and I hated it - we wonder why women don't continue sports into early adult life!
Tell her to walk tall (being slouched trying to cover herself up will just emphasise if she has a bit of a tummy) also give her something to talk about with friends who aren't so horrible - if she goes out there with a "you never guess what my mum told me..."at that age they will all be interested in what she is saying and she might be distracted, I think it is the standing there feeling self conscious and everyone looking/ not talking that is the worst bit
The other children will already know she's bigger. I don't think it's going to cause as big of a stir as your dd thinks it may.
My dd is 11 too and one of her friends is overweight and she definitely started developing earlier. At about nine I would say. I remember she wore board shorts over her costume a few years back. Is this an option?
Some brilliant ideas. Thank you everyone. It's nice to know that there are kind, caring people out there who understand.
For tomorrow - forget her kit and make an appointment to see her teacher. Take no excuses, follow up with another face to face next week before the next swimming lesson to ask what has been done and what will be done poolside to combat these things.
Could they do the groups in a different order to minimise poolside time for your DD.
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