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"I hate you! You're FAT!"

(27 Posts)
javotte Mon 01-Oct-12 18:16:59

I'm not sure where to post this. For a few days DS (5.5) has been shouting "you're fat!" everytime he is angry with me (usually when I've just told him off).
I don't know where he has heard that "fat" is an insult (he is homeschooled).
I haven't told him anything so far but I've been crying myself to sleep over it.

Proudnscary Mon 01-Oct-12 18:21:20

My dc often use this as an insult against each other or others if angry (obvs I don't tolerate it and explain why it's wrong). It's really quite common - just like dc calling each other 'freaks' 'idiots' and 'psychos' and all the other terms I have to sit down and talk to them about!

Your dc are home schooled but surely they are around other children in other activities?

Only other obvious thought - does your partner or anyone else close to you call you this?

VivaLeBeaver Mon 01-Oct-12 18:21:59

Dd has said it in the past to me. They don't mean it, either the hating you or been bothered about your weight. They're just lashing out trying to hurt you as they're cross about something. Just tell him it's not a nice thing to say and it hurts your feelings. Ask him how he would feel if someone said it to him.

javotte Mon 01-Oct-12 18:28:59

Well, Viva, he is not fat, so he would laugh it off.
I have a long history of eating disorders and I'm trying very hard not to give my children my unhealthy attitude to food.
Proud no one around me calls me fat.
Thanks for the anwsers. I know I'm overreacting but it hurts so much!

Fairenuff Mon 01-Oct-12 18:34:13

Tell him he is allowed to be angry but he is not allowed to call you names. He needs to learn that he has to respect you and that you won't tolerate anything else. Tell him that if he continues to use 'hurting words' there will be a consequence, and follow through with it.

Don't take it personally, use it as an opportunity to teach appropriate anger management. Give him other words to use to express himself, or get him to do a calming activity such as blowing bubbles. He could draw an angry picture and put it in the fridge to cool off, have some soft balls to squeeze or throw around - that sort of stuff.

Proudnscary Mon 01-Oct-12 18:34:26

Well then it's only natural you will feel disproportionately hurt and despairing.

Do try to tell yourself it's not personal. All kids band these kind of 'insults' around. He doesn't mean it and is not meaning to hurt you.

You will do him more damage and make more a thing out of food/size if you overreact rather than chastising him calmly and succintly as you would with any other dubious behaviour.

CuriousMama Mon 01-Oct-12 18:44:15

Does he see tv? Or mix with dcs who may have said this?

Well done on trying to tackle your eating disorders. thanks

LolaCola1 Mon 01-Oct-12 18:52:24

Is there a reason why you're not bollocking him for being rude?

No need to cry yourself to sleep. That's daft. He is a 5 year old boy who needs a good telling off and an explanation as to why we do not say these things. Then ignore it and him.

CuriousMama Mon 01-Oct-12 18:57:44

Yes it is a bit strong to be crying yourself to sleep over it as he doesn't mean it personally, he's just doing what he can for attention.

MadgeHarvey Mon 01-Oct-12 19:15:57

Exactly what LolaCola said. The first personal insult from my son was dealt with swiftly and he was left completely understanding that it is not ok to hurt people with comments like that. Sorted - he's never, in 20 years, done it again. Don't cry about it - deal with it. Apart from anything else you'll be doing him a massive favour for the future.

javotte Mon 01-Oct-12 19:27:44

But if I tell him it is hurtful (which it is!), won't I reinforce the notion that fat = bad / negative / inferior? Can I just tell him not to say that without explaining why?
I spent my whole childhood hearing various versions of "you're worthless because you're fat" from my parents, hence the massive overreaction smile

JesusInTheCabbageVan Mon 01-Oct-12 19:34:01

Well, no more than you would be reinforcing the notion that black people are inferior if you were telling him off for saying "I hate you - you're black."

You could just explain to him that it's rude and wrong to make comments/judge people based on their appearance?

Somehow children pick up on our sore points no matter how hard we try to hide it.

DD could call me fat and I wouldnt bat an eyelid because I am actually fat. (I would ofcourse tell her its wrong but there would be no emotion.)

Instead, DD says she wants to live with her dad/ go back to his/ misses him. That hurts because I know what a twat he is and the only reason he even resembles a decent father is because I nagged that much. And I keep all that from her. But somehow she knows.

Please dont take it personally. He only says these things because he knows you love him and hes secure with you.

kiwigirl42 Mon 01-Oct-12 19:34:36

DS tried the 'fat' line once he started school and heard other kids. I calmly replied that there is nothing wrong with being fat but there is a lot wrong with being mean.

I reinforced to him over the next few days, without him realising, that being fat does not make people less beautiful or a worse person and it died a death

Kids like to try out words and see what reaction they get. They like to think they are 'acting big'.

pollyblue Mon 01-Oct-12 19:36:51

Just tell him that making personal remarks in a spiteful way is hurtful - whether he is calling someone fat/speccy four eyes/concord nose/psycho.......whatever - he's picky on a physical attribute and making it insulting. Not good, whoever is on the receiving end.

Don't cry about it Op, just be very firm that it will not be tolerated.

javotte Mon 01-Oct-12 19:41:22

Thank you all. You are great! thanks

bumperella Mon 01-Oct-12 19:42:25

He's a clever wee boy who's discovered a great way to get a rise out of you, even if you do your best to pretend to ignore it.

BitOutOfPractice Mon 01-Oct-12 19:44:03

TBH I'd be a bit concerned about how often he's angry enough with you to shout insults at you!

I will be accused of being smug now but neither of my kids has ever insulted me in a temper like that. I would be really upset if they did

Why is he so cross?

He's clearly realised he's hit a nerve with you (which I really understand btw) and I'm sorry you are feeling so upset sad

MolotovBomb Mon 01-Oct-12 20:00:17

I think he's doing it because he can see the look of hurt that must be in your eyes when he says it. That's the rise he wants from you.

Like you, I have had an eating disorder and can totally imagine how this would make you feel.

You need to tell him that what he is saying is very nasty; get down so tat you're the same height ad him. Look him in the eyes and tell him that it hurts Mummy's feelings and that if he says it again, then 'x' will happen. If he says it again, follow through with whatever 'x' is.

Your little bit needs to know that he's overstepped the line.

MolotovBomb Mon 01-Oct-12 20:02:19

Jesus, not 'bit' but 'boy'! chucks iPhone up the wall

JesusInTheCabbageVan Mon 01-Oct-12 20:48:49

I quite like 'little bit' actually grin

MolotovBomb Mon 01-Oct-12 21:03:09

grin @ Jesus

Sariah Mon 01-Oct-12 21:07:51

One time my ds was opening a bar of terrys chocolate orange and I ran in and took it off him. I said its not terrys its mine and I stuffed a few segments into my mouth. He turned around to me and said - its no wonder you're so fat!!!! I think I deserved it though smile

LolaCola1 Mon 01-Oct-12 23:24:07

Javotte - no need to discuss with him why it is hurtful per se. I have a 5 year old boy so I understand that they can be terrors sometimes. Mine has said stupid things to me like ' pooey idiot' and 'you're a horrible mummy ' when upset and in a temper and I deal with it by saying ' don't you dare talk to me like that... what a silly boy you are being. I would expect a baby to say something like that, not a big boy etc etc ' and I stick him in his room until he apologises.

This stuff is par for the course sometimes but you MUST deal with it effectively. So, a cool exterior , a firm bollocking and time out in his room. Don't ever show him that you are upset as he will pick up on this.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 02-Oct-12 06:35:14

"I have a long history of eating disorders and I'm trying very hard not to give my children my unhealthy attitude to food."

I'm sorry but no matter how hard you try, if you have food phobias and body-image issues, you will have given your DS the message that being fat or putting on weight is a bad thing. It's especially true, ironically, if you've gone out of your way to give them a healthy attitude to food. Doesn't excuse him shouting nasty things at you, of course. As with all other bad behaviour, never let the child see that they've upset you but deal with it quickly and decisively.

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