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Stall Tactics and Obesity

Toulouse-Lautrec: The Bedphoto © 2007 freeparking | more info (via: Wylio)


Bedtime is chat-mommy-up time. Now that my kids are getting older, the issues they bring up as I’m tucking them into bed have moved beyond the latest toy they must have and whether I’m going to work the next day.

My daughter tells me about the boy who pokes her at school and the kid on the bus who says people with brown skin aren’t allowed in his house. (My sweet girl said, “But mom, that means my teacher and my best friend couldn’t go there. I don’t think that’s very good.” We had a good conversation about judging people by the way they look. I love her.)

My son asks me why girls pick on boys and what to do. (I promised him girls like boys who are sweet like him, but they don’t know how to show it other than to pester, and that I did it when I was his age). We’ve talked about choosing good friends and how to respond to bullies.

But this Friday he said, “Mom, I have a question. Do you think I’m fat?

I wanted to cry.

This shouldn’t even be on his radar.

My eight-year-old boy is worried about his weight. He has absolutely nothing to worry about. He likes a wide variety of foods (including salsa, much to my pride and joy), he is active and fit, and he is exactly the weight he should be.

I told him no, he was not fat, and that if his doctor was ever concerned about his weight, we would talk about it. It seemed to put his mind at ease… however, this particular child of mine keeps a lot to himself.

Everything in me wants to pound out a tirade against the media or against processed foods. But the truth is that we don’t watch much TV, read magazines, or listen to the radio, and I cook homemade meals and don’t use a lot of processed foods.

So it’s coming from somewhere else.

I wonder if my children’s school mates are getting messages about their weight and passing along the angst to mine? Or is it the rampant poor parenting that results in bullying and appearance-insults in younger and younger grades? Am I sending messages about weight without realizing it?

What do you think?


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  1. Some of the best telling conversations happen at the oddest moments. For us, it is in the car. My stepdaughter almost 8 was riding in the car when she thought the reason for ditch the car seat was her butt was too big. Now, she is tall for her age and maybe as 1% body fat. When I asked her about why she thought her butt was too big, she responded that her biological mom talked about being too fat, always dieting. I think how we talk about ourselves sets a precedent for our children talk about themselves. When I started going to the gym, I told my stepdaughter it was so I could make healthy choices, not that I needed to lose weight. With all of the various influences our kids have, I think we need to be especially vocal when it comes to sending the right message about body image.

    • Sarah, I’m so glad you brought that up! Because I do this without being aware of who I’m effecting. I talk about myself being fat too often. Oh I must be soo very careful with my words! Thank you, thank you.

      I’m not really fat-really. I’ve just carried & birthed five babies. That’s life.

  2. Oh that is tough!

    It sounds very much like the children at school may be planting ideas? So much has changed since we were children. It wasn’t great then, but it’s even worse now.
    Many people/parents believe that bullying and dealing with “mean kids” is normal and just a part of life. It’s not. The fact that it happens so often, my guess, would be because nobody is taking the time to address it.

    I have a friend with a toddler who literally has spoken to my husband and I (bragged) about encouraging his daughter to be a bully! He thinks the idea is humorous and I can’t for the life of me figure out why.

    In addition, many parents are very “hands off” with their children. They don’t discuss issues. They don’t talk about how school was. They don’t engage their children. Sometimes, if an issue IS brought to their attention, they can be in denial because they don’t believe their child to be capable — but it’s because they don’t know their child! They don’t talk about life and good moral. 🙁

    Keeping fighting the good fight and pray hard. Pray for your children before they leave for school in the morning. For His strength and peace. For His protection over them mentally and emotionally. Pray for the other children in school, too! There is always a reason behind such behavior.

    If the conversation comes up again, encourage your children to pray for those at school, as well. *Hugs*

  3. I hate little kids thinking they are fat. 🙁 It is so sad!!!
    My kids always chat it up & bedtime & it drives me crazy. Thanks for making the point that the convo can be very important at that time. I don’t want to just shut down important questions, just because it is bed time.

  4. With my twins near 7, that comment makes me shudder. At 8? Sigh. Heavy sigh.

    You handled it well, though. I’ll be sure to have my kids call you at bedtime when they ask tough questions. 😉

  5. So young to be pondering something so hard. There is so much we can’t control, things that enter our children’s hearts and minds. We can only teach them love- ours, God’s- and pray for it to multiply and be enough to protect them. I’m with you on this!

  6. Your posts about public school are encouraging for me, I think your open communication with your kids is priceless.