Aug. 8, 2022

Ask Margaret: My Daughter Says She Thinks She Looks Fat

it is important for parents to model body acceptance and intuitive eating for our kids, which can mean changing our own scripts as well.

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Margaret answers this week's listener question:

"My daughter (5 years old next month) has started saying “I look fat in this sweater”. My daughter is a healthy weight and she is VERY active. I am unsure of how to manage/navigate these comments. I really don’t want her to have body image issues or to be dealing with this at such a young age. I have been very conscious since her birth not to comment on her appearance, and instead to reinforce the things her body does. I rarely say “you look so pretty"; instead I say “that’s a great outfit you picked”. I didn’t think I would have to deal with this so soon. Help!"

Almost all of us have struggled with eating and body issues at some point in our lives, and it is important for us as parents to reframe the way we talk about food and our bodies and to model body acceptance (put on that swimsuit and get in the picture!)

It's also important to honestly answer the questions that are asked. Don't shy away from responding to kids who ask if they look fat. Talk honestly about how bodies come in all different shapes and sizes, and why and how our bodies change.

In this episode, Margaret references this article from A Mighty Girl: When Your Daughter Says 'I'm Fat'

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