A few weeks back I came across this intriguing piece in the Daily Mail about a 6-year-old girl who was already worried about being fat. My initial instinct was to feel sorry for the little girl and her mother. Girls go through enough with body image as teenagers, but to be worried about this at 6? Why can’t kids just be kids?
As I thought about the issue more, though, I realized the fine line we have to walk as parents when explaining to our children what’s healthy. I firmly believe no child should be called fat, but on the same hand I think it’s important to teach kids healthy eating and exercise habits and the adverse effects of being overweight. As much as it hurts me to know there are little girls out there already worried about being fat at 6-years-old, I also know children’s eating habits are established when they’re young. Classifying a child as fat so early in life is probably a bad idea, but teaching them healthy habits? I think it’s never too early to start.
In the Daily Mail article, the girl references a little boy who once called her “fat girl” at a birthday party. But I’ve heard stories of pediatricians and even family members referring to children as fat. So I’m wondering, what would you do if someone called your child fat? Would you correct them in front of your child? Would you be worried the damage was already done? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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