Kids Called My Daughter Fat | Pika Chakula

Kids Called My Daughter Fat

By : | 7 Comments | On : February 8, 2013 | Category : Articles


Q: My daughter was called fat by another student at school. She is a healthy, normal weight 7-year-old. I’m worried she will feel badly about her body because there is so much pressure for girls to be thin. How do I respond to her telling me this?

A: Unfortunately, weight-based teasing is quite common among school-age children regardless of their actual weight. As parents we often feel hurt and angry on our child’s behalf. It’s tough deciding how best to respond. Although some parents may be tempted to write off teasing as “kids just being kids,” you are wise not to ignore it.

Weight-based teasing is associated with lower self-esteem, depression and body dissatisfaction, a risk factor for eating disorders and obesity. These effects are worsened if children are also teased by family members. Girls who feel badly about their bodies, regardless of their weight, may begin unhealthy dieting that can lead to eating disorders, bingeing and obesity. This may sound surprising for a 7-year-old, but weight concerns can start early – according to The Eating Disorders Alliance, 42 percent of first- through third-grade girls want to be thinner, and 80 percent of all children have been on a diet by fourth grade. Although one mean comment should not cause you to overreact, it is an opportunity to help your daughter build self-esteem, coping skills and body appreciation. When your child tells you she has been teased, take a deep breath and consider the following:

Listen and be curious.
We trust and listen to those who we believe understand our situation. Ask her who is doing the teasing, how often it is happening, how she is responding and what the result is. Try to listen calmly and attentively. This will help you understand how big the problem is to her and what, if any, coping strategies she has already tried.

Offer emotional support and body acceptance.
Ask how teasing makes her feel and acknowledge her feelings. Compliment her on being willing to seek help. This gives her a boost and affirms you are supporting her. Make it a habit to model positive body talk such as pointing out the amazing things a body can do and show acceptance of her (and your own) body regardless of size and shape. Body appreciation promotes self-esteem, proactive coping and optimism.

Help her respond with confidence.
Explain that the real problem is the teasing, not her. It’s a power play and she need not be powerless. Strategies might include ignoring the teaser and walking away. Make sure she knows this may cause it to get worse at first but the teaser will eventually give up. Humor is a great way to cope and can disarm the teaser. Brainstorm short, silly responses that allow her to stand up for herself without further engaging the teaser. She also might try calling out the teaser (i.e. “Wow, that’s harsh!”). This shifts the attention to the teaser, letting his or her bad behavior hang in the air. Finally, help her use self-talk to cope (i.e. she can say to herself, “My body is just the way it is supposed to be,” or “This is a dumb game I don’t need to play.”).

Weight-based teasing is a serious issue. Empower your child by discussing ways she can help lessen teasing at school. Engaging parents, friends and teachers, and initiating programs to reduce teasing can help show her she can move from victim to problem-solver. This is a lesson that can last a lifetime.

Do use the comment box below for any tips or queries.


Source: PiedMontParent

  1. posted by ericmreitz on Feb 10, 2013

    I love to run… I used to take my kids out running with me in the double jogger all the time, but my oldest is too big for it now – he is 5 1/2 years old. My daughter will be 4 in November.

    I see lots of parents (mostly dads) around my area running with their kids along side them. The kids usually look around 6-10 years old… but they are keeping up very well, so I assume they have been at it a while.

    I have always wanted to be able to run with my kids… so that I am not just telling them to stay active, but I am doing it with them. They love to run, too… I have already entered them both into the Junior Carlsbad where they ran a 1/4 mile, and they absolutely loved it and talk about it all the time.

    When is it okay to start really running with them… getting them to run at a slower pace and run longer distances, etc. Can I start now? How long should I expect them to run? Should I follow the same training principals I follow when I am training? What is the max mileage?

  2. posted by veemodz on Feb 12, 2013



    Please give a comment for each name!
    @Chewed: So people who don’t use names like John or Joan are uneducated because they want their kid to be different. I could care less about tradition. I hate common names there’s nothing pecial about them once there’s ten Sofias in one class. Your whole theory is false.

  3. posted by ademuth93 on Feb 12, 2013

    I eat meat too, but we don’t eat pork. Sometimes beef, and we eat lots of chicken. Also, my kids (ha, a teen and a 20-something) are no stranger to middle eastern food. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  4. posted by JackReynolds on Mar 17, 2013

    My son is starting to grow out of some of his smaller clothes.

    I do plan on having more children in 3 or 4 years. I’m debating on whether to keep his clothes as he out grows them, or sell/give them away.

    Is it worth it to save them? I just worry about running out of closet space. We live in a small apartment. Plus there’s always the chance that my future kids will be girls, and everything that I have is very boyish.

  5. posted by Matthew David on Mar 19, 2013

    Personally I believe parenthood is the most important job in the world and it would be great if more people had that opportunity.

  6. posted by Nathan B on Mar 23, 2013

    I used to watch it when I was like 14, but then stopped for years. I kinda want to go back to watching it, is now a good time? Can anyone fill me in on important plot details please? I know the show is sometimes a complete misery, but meh, it’s got it’s good moments.

    Many thanks =)

  7. posted by Spider Pc on Mar 25, 2013

    A friend of the family (also the mother of my brother’s infant child) doesn’t give her 8 year-old daughter baths often as she should. Kids at school tease her, saying she stink and call her fat. My brother is furious, but he’s not saying anything because he doesn’t want to punish a child that he is not the father to.

    I know this is none of my business but I’m worried. Health wise, what could happen to the girl if she doesn’t take baths?

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