9 year old worried about weight

@cmelton (160)
United States
April 20, 2008 1:07am CST
I have 9 year old daughter and this actually started several years ago. She sat down and had shorts on and someone told her that her legs were fat. She is only 60 lbs and has never been close to be overweight, but this really affected her. The rest of the summer she would only wear capris. This is not a daily issue but at times makes comments, this makes me look fat, I need to lose weight, etc. I am not obssesed at all with weight and have never made her feel bad about herself.This one comment really hurt her feelings. She eats and has not started doing anything to make me worry, YET. I am afraid that when she gets a little older that it will become a problem and that scares me. Has anyone else had this problem?
6 people like this
17 responses
@Esoteric1 (866)
• Canada
20 Apr 08
I thought that I was fat as a child, sort of the same situation I was wearing shorts I sat down and looked at my legs. No one has ever told me I was fat tho and have never been anywhere near fat in my life. I do think kids say things to be mean and I also think too many kids are getting these ideas from television and what they hear and see as normal. I grew out of it hopefully she will to. I would seek advice if she persists in this behavior as like you said it may grow into a bigger problem. Best of luck and happy posting.
2 people like this
@cmelton (160)
• United States
20 Apr 08
I think you are right, kids do say things to be mean and television can play a big part in where they get so many ideas. Thanks
@Shaun72 (15968)
• Palatka, Florida
20 Apr 08
I had weight problems myself as a child. I got picked on quite a few times. So i worried a lot about my weight also. She sounds like she is about the right weight for her age to me. I understand how it feels to be put down becuase of being over weight.
1 person likes this
@cmelton (160)
• United States
21 Apr 08
Kids can be so mean. She is the right weight, actually she could out on a few pounds. But 1 comment ruined her self esteem. Thanks so much for sharing.
@Shaun72 (15968)
• Palatka, Florida
21 Apr 08
That is sad. Some kids just don't realize the pain they cause by their rudeness
1 person likes this
• Philippines
20 Apr 08
so you dont comment about her weight, but did you ever comment about your own weight? they say parents' insecurities somehow are mirrored by the children. Another thing is, have you sat down and talked to her about that certain instance? Maybe you do make her feel that how she looks is okay but maybe she needs that instance to be dealt with...
1 person likes this
@cmelton (160)
• United States
20 Apr 08
I have thought about that and I try to watch what I say. I know in the past I have said things like I wish I could lose a few pounds, but I watch what I say now. because you are exactly right our insercurities, as well as positive things. are mirrored by the children. So I am really careful about what I say now. Thanks
• Philippines
22 Apr 08
you should also surround her with people who will see and appreciate the positives in her. Thats how I grew up, my mom never made me feel insecure about how I look and she always made me feel that I'm beautiful just as I am and that its okay to be different. :) good luck!
@shizuoka (352)
• United States
20 Apr 08
I would suggest that you sit down with your daughter and discuss what constitutes a normal, healthy figure. Then you could discuss a way that she could attain the healthy figure she wants throught exercise. When I was in Jr. High School, I was very worried about my thighs (someone had told me they were fat), so I got up every morning and went jogging with my father. I also played seasonally on a soccer team and a softball team. Allowing her to discuss her feelings with you and to help come up with a healthy solution to what she deems a problem, will empower her and hopefully keep her from veering off in scary directions. If she is not interested in jogging or sports, you could find a book for her. When I was younger I had a book called, "Slim and Trim Your Hips and Thighs." I think it was from the supermarket and it really worked - lots of very simple but effective exercises.
@cmelton (160)
• United States
20 Apr 08
Thanks for the great advice!! She is very interested in sports (I've gota tomboy). But I never thought about looking for a book. She loves to read and that could be very helpful. Thanks!
@shizuoka (352)
• United States
20 Apr 08
I think it will please her if you validate her feelings and the exercise won't hurt her in any case.
@wisedragon (2330)
• Philippines
21 Apr 08
Kids make fun of each other. Reassure your daughter that she doesn't need to believe other people's opinion, and that those people are only trying to satisfy their own insecurities.
1 person likes this
@cmelton (160)
• United States
21 Apr 08
Thats exactly what I have tried to tell her. Thanks so much for the comment!!
• United States
21 Apr 08
I'm not exactly sure what the solution is for your daughter, I just would have to say, as a person suffering from an eating disorder, please address this now, before she starts dieting or purging. Don't wait. For me, before I ever actually counted what I had consumed that day, I had already thought through how to starve, I knew what the "warning signs" were according to text books and I had already worked out how to disguise every action. By the time you know she is skipping meals or whatever actions she might take, she may have already planned it out like I did. I'd say try very hard to keep her away from sources that call waifs beautiful, because once she believes it is true, her imagination may create worlds like mine did, and stories about young women who looked like my ideals. You can't stop other kids from saying what they are going to say, but you can casually comment on the beauty of healthy girls and women, not the overweight ones, she'll figure that out for sure, the ones who are at a healthy weight, that's what she needs to see as your ideal, and her fathers ideal. You might also mention to him you concerns. Some of my fathers comments were very instrumental in causing my current issues. Things like, "your weight is something you can control", "you won't wear that size forever" said to an 18 year old who has been around the same size for 3 and a half years. As insignificant as it sounds, from that source, it stuck and did some damage. I wish my father had never mentioned weight at all. I wish you and your daughter both the best.
@cmelton (160)
• United States
21 Apr 08
Thanks so much for sharing your story. I guess my biggest fear is that she will develop a eating disorder. Thanks again.
@wickedangel (1637)
• Dominican Republic
20 Apr 08
Oh dear, one silly comment and it can start a life of misery. I was lucky I was a skinny stick when I was a kid and then I hit 11-12 and boy did that puppy fat grow on me. My mother always told me not to worry that she did exactly the same thing and that around age 18 it literally fell off, which is exactly what happened to me, thank goodness! However, I did have a friend who was prone to putting on a lot of weight and her mother was constantly at her trying to get it down and making sure she was eating only certain things. She is stil slightly over weight (and so am I now!!!!) but she is happy. I think that is the most important thing. Sit down with your daughter and explain things to her. Each individual has their own time and way for development and that we shouldn't mess about with it. Yes, you may see skinny people but that may not be you now. Anyway, most boyfriends (obviously when she is older!!) prefer someone to hug rather than a bag of bones. In my case I think my BF would like to know that there are some bones under all this fat!! Ho hum, be happy is the main thing and make sure she is happy in herself. Good luck and happy posting.
1 person likes this
@cmelton (160)
• United States
21 Apr 08
Thats the things that scares me. She has no extra weight at all, she has muscle but no fat. You know how when you sit your leg spreads a little, thats what started it. You are right 1 silly comment can start a life of misery, Kids take to heart what other kids say to them.
• Canada
20 Apr 08
Weight is such a major issue in this society and that makes it so hard to deal with.On the one side we have eating disorders and low-self esteem to guard against and on the other, let's face it we don't WANT our children to be obese and more and more of them are! Obesity carries many heath risks not to mention trouble with kids and again, self esteem. I'm not surprised at all that your nine year old is thinking about this - my 4 yr old is already aware of the weight issue on a very simplistic level! I'm trying to teach her that life is about balance and making healthy choices. We have a motto in our home - healthy body happy heart. We mean that when you eat good food, you feel happy, and that too many treats or junk food make us feel grumpy or down - which is totally true! I can also steer her to healthy food when she's bored or down, reminding her that healthy food is the answer. I believe that if we teach our children to run and play and the benefits and fun of exercise (be a role model here!) along with healthy food and treat in moderation, that we create a platform to teach our children that their bodies are OK - because we're doing everything right and making all the right choices. Keep telling her that she's great and applauding her good heath habits and she'll know that she's on the right track even if other people call her down.
@cmelton (160)
• United States
21 Apr 08
Thanks for your comment. You are right we don't want eating disorders but not obese either. You have some great points!
@gabrielle47 (1221)
• Philippines
20 Apr 08
I have no similar problem like your daughter but my cousin who is only 13 and 10 are also saying outwardly having problems about how they look and it bothers me also. They are thin or just have a small structure but they are so consious of their body that we can hear them from their mom that they are dieting. I could not believe it also but I guess its how the world influences kids today. I guess the bast way to deal with your daughter about her looks is to assure her that its not true and as a mother, talk to her often about it. Let her be confident about her looks and maybe you could talk to her friends and make a girls talk about it that nothing is wrong with her legs. It takes some time and trust and her confidence to be back and family and friends can be a great driving force to kids these days. « Gab »
1 person likes this
@cmelton (160)
• United States
21 Apr 08
She has some friends that talk about being on a diet. I can't believe that. I never thought about that when I was that age. I guess that is why it shocks me so much.
@Hatley (164672)
• Garden Grove, California
20 Apr 08
I have not had this problem but am wondering if all those thin as a rail models and movie celebs that the kids admire are sending some wrong messages to our little girls .so they think that if they are just normal weight that they are now too fat. Some of those movie stars look almost anorexic. Keep assuring her that she is not fat but just right and since you are not obessing over your weight I am sure she will listen to you.
@cmelton (160)
• United States
20 Apr 08
She has never said anything, but these models and celebs have to have an impact on kids. And I agree with you some look anorexic and I think some kids think this is the right way to look.
• United States
21 Apr 08
My 15 year old sister constantly says she's fat. It really hurts and upsets me because I had my son a year a go and am having a really hard time losing the baby weight, and I gained a lot! I am used to being 120 lbs so this has really depressed me :(. My sister doesn't even weigh 120 lbs yet she's "fat". Nothing anyone will say to her can changer her mind either :(.
1 person likes this
• Canada
21 Apr 08
its sad how people make our kids feel its people like that who make our children don,t want to eat and go on diets we have to keep praising our kids and teach them its whats inside not outside and its not just adults kids can be crule you got to talk to you kids and let them know weather they are fat or skinny they are great its hard but we got to show them lots of love and show them love youself and if they don,t like you for who you are to bad this is me like it or leave it
1 person likes this
21 Apr 08
hi make ur daughter get involved in some creative works,let her forget this all. tell her that it is the not only the body which matters but the intellect which does really matter. be like a friend with her. everything will b fine,don't worry. god bless u!!
@Sir_bobby88 (8245)
• Singapore
20 Apr 08
Well prehaps you should actually improve on your cooking and make her can't resist eating your food forgeting about her weight yea .
@Elixiress (3893)
20 Apr 08
Maybe try and get her to exercise, it is healthy and could be fun, while she will be doing something active and the weight issues might stop bothering her. You's could always do it together as a form of bonding.
@lishiwei (1553)
• China
20 Apr 08
Yes,it's really too young for her to do that.It's very bad for ter health.You should teach her some knoledge on it so that she can stop to do it by herself.You must be quickly because it's really very bad for her grow up.
@alexigne (903)
• Philippines
20 Apr 08
Be conscious about weight is not a big problem because as time passes, when she grow and learn to think right, she will see what she really looks like or her goal. Be more conservatives because this issue may turn to be serious if it was accompanied by psychological problems. I had a neighbor who is 5 years old only and we just say that she is just young but very conscious not to gain weight like her sister. Way back to psychological problems, what i am talking about that may affect her health as she grow is bulimia and anorexia nervosa. I was also anorexic before. I didn't know this world exist, i was really affected because i feel to fat to the level that sometimes i don't eat, mere the fact that i am not. I was able to cope this with the help of my mom by telling me the truth and guiding me for good. Just be there and guide her, you need to wake her in reality so this won't affect her.