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Teenage son body issues(12 Posts)
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My 13yr old son is constantly saying he's fat and tubby. He is a good weight for his age/height and is physically active everyday. I have been attending slimming world for the past year and have been explaining to him that it isn't a diet, but a healthy lifestyle choice and he understands that and I try to involve him in picking what meals we have and swap sweets for fruit when we have family movie night. I am struggling with his constant body shaming of himself, thought it was just a faze but it is every single day and has been for several months. Should I be worrying more? Any tips to help or should I be taking him to the GP for reassurance? Thanks
Bumping for you, OP. This sounds really tough for you and for DS.
Best of luck to you both.
I’d encourage him to talk to the school counsellor, and a trip to the gap might be aggro’s idea. Ask him where he got the idea he’s overweight from.
My daughter is a little heavy, but this is a difficult age, they aren't fully grown yet. I refuse to put her on a "diet" because this is setting her up for a lifetime of thinking she needs to change herself.
Just make sure that he has a reasonable amount of healthy food at home.
It is his body image that you need to pay urgent attention to. Can you take him on a shopping trip, just you and him? Can you give him some positive comments in passing I.e oh your hair looks nice today, you look good, morning handsome etc
The thing is to try to get him to accept that his body is changing right now and it isn't done yet. He should eat when he is hungry and stop once full
If he feels to depressed he will stress eat which is ignoring his bodies signals. I have been cuddling my DD more too, and spending more 1 on 1 time.
No change in her weight yet, but she hates herself a lot less
You say he is physically active, what sort of activity?
I only ask as I have been into rugby since about 11 and went on to play semi-professionally. I didn’t have the ideal body type for the position I wanted to play (prop) and so I had to play hooker.
So I wasn’t saying I was fat etc, but too skinny, so I did the opposite and bulked up at the gym once I was old enough to go at 16, that meant I was always hungry, but I was scared I would end up fat. That led to bulimia (which at 31 has only been fully controlled for about a year it started at 17) and diabulimia (not taking insulin properly for type 1 diabetes to prevent weight gain) which has been controlled for about three years.
Poor body imagine and disordered eating is fairly common in sporty people.
With celebs posting their rockhars abs etc on instagram there is a lot of pressure for boys to be very muscly. Is that sort of body type worrying him?
@SimonJT, along with 4 sessions of PE at school he plays football 3 times a week and goes to the gym 2/3 times. Some of his pals have slightly more muscular physics (which is what I think he's brooding on), but they have been focusing on weights only, where as my son does a mix of cardio and weights.
@LouMumsnet thank you! I'm sure growing up was never this hard, the joys of being a teenager in a life without mobiles and social media!!
@Northernparent68 thanks. I spoke with his guidance teacher on Friday and she is arranging for him to see the school nurse.
@chickenyhead thanks! Definitely trying to spend more time with him (once i've managed to surgically remove him from his Xbox lol), getting him out on dog walks so we have more one-to-one time to talk etc.
OP Some great advice here, and I hope it turns out well. My DP didn't take his shirt off in front of his mum between the ages of 12 and last year (35 now) because of poor body image issues and a feeling the family would poke fun. He didn't have a great body compared with tv stars etc, but there isn't anything wrong with it! He's a bit cuddly, or normal I call it, rather than toned.
I'm glad you can talk with your DS about it.
@GinandFizz How is it going now? Mother of two boys who aren't body conscious here, but was wondering if you've had any joy for your DS? Good luck!
@LucyBanasiewicz I'm pleased to say we have made progress! I spoke with school guidance teacher and she arranged for my DS to speak with the school nurse. She reassured him that there were no issues with his weight and discussed how he was feeling. She also have him some advice on how to deal with his anxiety. Seems to have helped hearing it from someone other than mum! I've been making a conscious effort to spend more one to one time with him too, so heading in the right direction 😀 x