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Dd been told by her friends shes's too tall and fat!

(62 Posts)
Angie1978 Tue 02-Jul-13 09:12:24

Argh not sure what to do we have spoken to dd and told her to be tall is not a bad thing and she isn't fat but she now tells us she hates herself. She is very tall, the tallest in her class and is a little heavy but not to the point she's obese.

The problem started few weeks ago but she only told us last night what was really going on. I've been a long time lurker so have taken the advise that she should she in a loud confident voice ask the girls concerned, if it happens again "are you being nasty to me "?

I'm going to the school today to have a quiet word with her teacher but dd's confidence seems to shot even to the point that every playtime she now just sits by herself as she doesn't get asked to play and she won't ask to play others games as she feels shes 'fat and ugly' her words not mine.

I'm just a little concerned that at 7 she's losing her confidence and not mixing well.

Does anyone have words of advise I can give regarding being tall, after I can't cut her off at the knees just make the kids at school happy!

AgentProvocateur Tue 02-Jul-13 09:20:28

When you say she is a "little heavy", are you being completely honest? If your daughter says she is "fat and ugly", you need to help her to exercise more or eat more healthily so she's less self conscious.

You're right - you can't do anything about her height, but you can do something about her weight.

rockybalboa Tue 02-Jul-13 09:30:15

Could you take her shopping for some new clothes to boost her confidence a bit? Or a new hairstyle? Or if she's really convinced that she's fat check her BMI and if it is a bit elevated then maybe encourage her into a new sporty hobby to help her lose weight. I know I'm not 7 but if I was miserable about being fat and I was actually fat then the answer would be to address that and become less fat as opposed to trying to convince me that size didn't matter. Hope the teacher has some wise advice though, I suspect they see this a lot with girls that age.

Angie1978 Tue 02-Jul-13 09:35:46

I probably am being a little misty on her weight She's 7 but wears 9-10 clothes which fit comfortably but mostly so she doesn't moon everyone when she bends over!

We did take some decisive action over her weight without telling her ie reducing snacks and more exercise so we could be healthy as a family so the focus wasn't just on her.

Not sure how to make her feel better in the short term though when it her friends who seem to be the ones upsetting her

Bonsoir Tue 02-Jul-13 09:45:15

Fattism is rampant in society. We can discuss the rights and wrongs of this until the cows come home, but the reality is that children who are overweight have a hard time at school and are discriminated against. It is easier to fight a few kilos than discrimination and your DD will be happier more quickly with that solution.

everlong Tue 02-Jul-13 09:51:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

willowisp Tue 02-Jul-13 09:53:21

I agree with Bonsoir, why would you let your dd be fat ?

Makes me feel very sad that parents are allowing their kids to eat crap & be chubby/cuddly/heavy. There is no good way to discuss it - what is your weight like ?

Don't go to the school - take control of the situation yourself & start eating healthy food & smaller portions.

AgentProvocateur Tue 02-Jul-13 09:55:32

If you're tackling her weight, I guess all you can do is keep telling her how smart/funny/clever/pretty she is - boost her self confidence. Could you invite her friends round to play, and encourage the friendships that way? I always think (hope?) that children would find it hard to be meaner to someone if they've had a nice time at their house.

I hope it all works out for your DD.

fruitpastille Tue 02-Jul-13 09:59:19

No matter what her weight, it is not ok for others to be mean about it! Sensible eeight loss could take a while so I would mention it to the teacher in the short term.

Angie1978 Tue 02-Jul-13 10:01:50

As I said we are/have taken the issue about being fat (although I wouldn't say she is!) in hand and appreciate that this won't change over night but we are dealing with this as a family so the focus is not directly on her.

Her confidence is shot because she is not average height for her age group and stands at least a head taller than her friends.

I was really looking for words of encouragement that I can give her so she doesn't feel negative towards her height afterall that I really can't do anything about.

Yonihadtoask Tue 02-Jul-13 10:03:22

Is she overweight or just taller and bigger in general?

I was always the tall one at school - although I settled at a tall, but normal ish 5ft 9". Kids will always find something to use to pick on others.

mercibucket Tue 02-Jul-13 10:05:29

sounds like bullying, so i would expect the school to step in here.

to boost her confidence, does she do sport? if she is tall there are lots of sports where that would be an advantage.

everlong Tue 02-Jul-13 10:09:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wheresthebeach Tue 02-Jul-13 10:17:52

Agree you should speak to the school - it's nasty and kids need to be taught not to make these sorts of comments. Unpleasant comments about people's appearances are never justifiable (but sadly common). Point out that it's easy to be mean about people - none of us are perfect. Praise her for not responding in the same way - tell her to be proud of being tall - plenty of people dislike being short.

In terms of your DD - suggest you make sure you say positive things to her, about her strengths each day. Praise healthy choices with food and cut down on high sugar snacks etc. If she needs to lose a bit of weight then change the whole families eating patterns rather than single her out.

DeWe Tue 02-Jul-13 10:18:06

The height issue could be connected to her weight. Children that overeat sometimes grow early too. It doesn't effect their natural height, but they grow early, so they can be tall as well before the others catch up.

Talk to school, but at the same time do try and deal with her weight gently. It is bullying, and they should be stepping in here. She may or may not be overweight-my dd came home in reception saying someone had called her "fat"-she's the definition of a line, all length, no width. You may be able to talk to the school nurse as well if that helps.

But if you say you are "misty eyed" that to me implies that she probably is quite a bit too large, because ime most parents don't even see it in a misty eyed sort of way until it's quite obvious. (apologises if that isn't the case)

Watch what you eat. Not in a counting the calories type way, but things like making sure the portion sizes aren't too big, snacks are not often and healthy, puddings are not too fatty, that sort of thing. And try a sport, swimming is a good family one, but if you can get her doing different things during the week, 20 minutes a day (do you walk to school?) is better than one big burst at the weekend.

Laura0806 Tue 02-Jul-13 10:20:23

I feel for you OP. Its so difficult for children if they stand out in any way. It sounds like a sensible plan re weight loss as long as your daughter isn't aware of whats going on. And yes lots of sports; becomming good at a sport boosts self esteem as well as the associated health benefits. Can you invite chidlren over for play dates? get her back involved with her friends. My middle daughter is a least a head above everyone else as was my sister and she suffered from bullying about her height ( she was quite slight in build). I must say i fear greatly for my own daughter ( only 5 at present). However, there are a few very tall girls in my oldest daughters year who actually seem very popular so I think work on your daughters self esteem by the above.

2468Motorway Tue 02-Jul-13 10:33:55

You should speak to the school and get them to deal with unkindness. Whilst being overweight is not ideal if they were telling her she was ugly would you tell the op to get her to get plastic surgery? Of course not!

Buy her some lovely things to wear, new hairslides. Tell her she is lovely. Start a fun new activity, dancing, cycling or gym or something.

Periwinkle007 Tue 02-Jul-13 10:36:53

poor girl.

I think there are a few things in this

one - she is tall, that is the way it is and can't be changed (my eldest is the average height of a child 3 years older) and you are right to tell her she should be proud to be tall.

two - is she overweight or not, as you say you have started to reduce/change her snacks a bit. taking up a sport as has been suggested and upping her exercise will be good, let her choose a sport which is a new challenge for her, it will boost her confidence as she learns something new (especially if it is something a little bit unusual)

three - her self esteem. this is the hardest bit. I think you need to be honest with her, there is no use her saying 'I am fat and ugly" and you just saying "no you aren't". We need to change how we speak to our children (I am trying really hard to do this and I don't find it easy). So if she says something like that then you need to say 'What makes you feel like that? Mummy doesn't think that, I think you are beautiful, you have a gorgeous smile, sparkly eyes and silky hair" or something like that. 'what would make you feel happier about yourself?' If she is bordering on overweight then you need to be honest and say that doing a little bit more walking or changing her snacks slightly can help with that. If you just deny what she is saying she won't listen to you.

four - the other kids are bullying her and you need to speak to the school, the kids need to be reminded about respecting each other and being kind to people. This doesn't have to draw attention to her, it can be for the whole school or a couple of year groups being reminded in assembly or through a mini topic about respect or whatever the school want to do but it does need to be addressed.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 02-Jul-13 11:00:23

All I can add is that it's normal for children to grow wider then taller, as they grow. I did and was a bit chubby at times but am a slim adult. Being fat as a child is, or can easily be, a temporary stage, it is not part of the definition of self, in the same way as it is for an adult.

I appreciate being told it's fine because she'll soon grow taller isn't the best line for your dd but, everyone grows at different rates and goes through phases is true.

Also find some tall, admirable girls and women to talk about. Do you expect her to be a tall adult, based on family and growth charts? Lots of Olympic athletes, actresses and woman who just happen to be tall to talk about. I'd be careful not to focus too much on people with very controlled body images and diets.

Farewelltoarms Tue 02-Jul-13 11:09:31

Why don't you try this calculator
www.blubberbuster.com/height_weight.html
Then you'll have a proper idea as to whether or not she has a weight issue.
I think what you do next really depends on that question.
Either way, I'm sorry your dd is being made to feel bad about herself.
Lots of gorgeous tall women - Michelle Obama etc.
Please do be careful about the weight tho - the tallness might be connected to over eating and there's the risk it will contribute to an early adolescence (wh will stop the height in its tracks but brings a whole other set of issues).

Angie1978 Tue 02-Jul-13 11:13:15

Thanks for all the replies. I'll have aquiet word with the teacher today.

It's her birthday next week and she getting a bike so that should add to our list of activities that she does. She does never seem to sit down but adding that to less snacking will help her.

I do try the considered answer approach by answering her negative thoughts and giving her a list of things she is good at.

I like the idea of finding tall role models that aren't super models, she does like Miranda but maybe I'll try and find someone who doesn't land on there face so often!

Devora Tue 02-Jul-13 11:21:34

Farewelltoarms, are you saying that overeating causes tallness? Really?

Angie, my sympathies. My 7yo dd is also in 9-10 clothes and is easily the tallest in her year (and taller than many in the year above). She is not overweight - in fact, when they did the reception weight check I got the call to say they thought she might be underweight. She's not - she's just got legs that go on for ever - and she doesn't look underweight either, just in proportion with her height. But I see her surrounded by little girls who look like little fairies and she's definitely more solid - just bigger and stronger looking - and I know she's beginning to be self conscious about this.

I disagree with some posters on this thread - and others I find borderline offensive - in suggesting that the only thing you can do is get her weight down. If she is overweight, obviously you need to address that. But school can and should be involved. This is exactly the age when body confidence becomes an issue for girls. Girls who feel ashamed of their bodies are more likely to opt out of sporting and other activities - and to become more overweight. Girls who feel confident are in a much better position to keep sporty and active and think they are worth taking care of.

You might find this resource for parents useful: www.mediasmart.org.uk/resources/bodyimage

Best of luck.

Pyrrah Tue 02-Jul-13 11:29:27

Height can be a real issue - I come from a very tall family and my sisters had a hard time. At 3, my youngest sister was in age 6-7 clothes and my mother was being told off for her child throwing tantrums on the floor 'at her age' - she's now 6ft 2.

My own DD, who should be easily the tallest in the class genetically, has some growth hormone issues and is by far the smallest - which comes with it's own set of problems.

Being average is a lucky place to be!

Totally agree with farewell to arms about watching the weight for endocrine reasons. Girls need a certain amount of fat and body weight for puberty to kick in. Once puberty is over then you don't grow much more. So while she's tall now, unless your family are very tall, she may well be only average height eventually and a premature puberty could lose her some height.

I would have a word with the school - perhaps they could do some classes on bullying or differences or something that could help your daughter now.

tobiasfunke Tue 02-Jul-13 11:32:02

I agree with Devora. This is isn't about whether the poor girl is overweight or not. This is how to deal with bullying and personal criticism.
She is 7 and now her confidence is shot. By trying to put her on any sort of a diet you will be implying it is her fault. When actually it is the fault of the horrible little madams who made her feel crap in the first place.
As for your daughter you just have to einforce the fact she looks lovely. I would be tempted if it carries on to have a quiet word with either her friends or their parents and tell them how upset she is. Their parents will probably be horrified.

Farewelltoarms Tue 02-Jul-13 11:35:28

No overeating doesn't make you talk in the long run (tho obv under eating drastically can stunt growth). But it can make children grow faster and younger, wh can contribute to triggering early puberty, wh in turn will halt that growth. A child's height is pretty much preordained within certain margins, but when they get to that height is variable.
My sil is convinced my niece is going to 6 feet tall as she's v tall now. Given the height of her parents, this is v likely. What is more likely is she'll be tallest girl in y6 but others will catch up and overtake. She started puberty aged 8.

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