Sept. 14, 2020

Ask Margaret -My Daughter Says She Thinks She Looks Fat

Margaret answers a question from a listener who is concerned about her daughter's self-image.

Margaret answers this week's listener question:

"My daughter (5 years old next month) has started saying “I look fat in this sweater” and “I don’t want to look funny” when getting dressed. 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, saying things like “your legs are so strong to bike up the hill” or “your body needs to rest now because it worked so hard today." 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 mama!)

It's also important to answer questions 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 this article from A Mighty Girl.

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