Post # 1
An 8 year old boy to be exact. That was the most recent occasion. It’s not the first time I’ve heard those words out of a child’s mouth and I fear it won’t be the last.
Can someone please tell me WHAT IS GOING ON?!??!
How did it get like this? How do we allow this to happen?
Most importantly.. How do I talk to a boy of 8 about his self-image?? They don’t cover this stuff in school…
Post # 3
@lalalyanne unfortunately or fortunately a lot of emphasis is being placed on children’s health. Some schools are even sending out health reports with kids report cards to tell parents if their children are at risk of obesity. I think the best way to help this little boy is positive reinforcement and maybe ask where this is coming from? It could be more of a case of name calling than anything else.
Post # 4
@lalalyanne: A lot of blame is society telling everyone they must be thin. As the PP a lot of schools are sending notes/report cards home saying your child is overweight or taking lunches away from them.
Post # 5
I went on my first diet when I was 8. I don’t think this is anything new and will only get worse with increasing access to the Internet.
Post # 6
I was a chubby kid growing up, and I distinctly remember asking my parents if they thought I was fat at age 8. I had a lot of insecurities back then. In present day, it’s easier to find information on what is considered attractive/unattractive or what unhealthy behavior is, and I would not be surprised if this has caused such insecurities to increase in kids since I was that age.
I agree with the first PP that you should look for where this is coming from. Are parents pressuring him too much? Is another child bullying him? Maybe a gym teacher said that if he doesn’t play sports then he’ll end up obese? I think if you understand the cause, it’ll be easier to figure out how he can make sense of the situation.
Post # 7
Is he overweight/obese? If not, show him that he’s not by using charts to show that he is in fact in the normal range and ask him why he feels that way. I was an overweight child, and it was hard to deal with. I did know that I was fat and was called fat. It’s not something new. If he is feeling bad about himself, go over with him options he can do to become fit (not skinny, just fit), like sports or a kid’s gym. You can also go over healthy vs. unhealthy choices with him and stop buying them except for a once a week treat and let him pick the treat. Being overweight/obese is both a physical and mental burden on children. A couple pounds over isn’t a huge deal, but more than that is and a healthcare provider can also help with setting up guidelines.
Post # 8
The parent might have a lot to do with it.
My 7 year old neice asked how many calories were in an item of food she was going to eat. Then said, “no… I better not.”
SIL is very hard on herself about her body.
Post # 9
Is the child overweight?
I am not sure if it’s getting worse… I think we just hear about it more these days and kids are exposed to more things faster.
Don’t forget that kids often mimic what they see. If mom calls herself fat, chances are the kid will mimic the behavior even if they don’t actually know what they’re talking about.
I think that the only thing that can really be done (as a parent) is to make sure the kid is taught healthy eating and exercise habits, and to monitor their behavior.
It’s unrealistic to expect that every weightloss ad in a magazine or on TV or on the internet can be blocked. Aside from the internet, all these things were around when I was growing up. My mom tried to feed my sister and I healthy foods and encouraged us to stay active.
Post # 10
One of my 8 year old students said he was going to stop eating because he was too fat. It was one of the saddest things I heard a kid say.
I don’t think it’s a brand new phenomenon by any means, but media certainly does push a skinny ideal to a greater degree than ever, and kids are affected by it.
We told the kid he had to eat. That’s what we need to survive. He doesn’t have to be the fastest runner or the best at sports. We encouraged him to still be active because that’s healthy, but we reminded him what a great artist he is and that that’s one of his best talents – we all have one.
Post # 11
- Wedding: March 2014 - A castle
@lalalyanne: Unfortunately, in 2014 a lot of 8 year olds are truly obese. GMOs, fast food, lazy parents, snacks, marketing, WHATEVER is to blame, kids are fat these days.
Post # 12
I sort of think the problem is not self image, but how did we become a world where there is such a high percentage of childhood obesity. Overweight seems to be the new norm, but just because it’s more common and “normal” does not make it healthy. I think it’s actually a good thing if a child is somewhat aware of health, and hopefully can learn about it in a good way.
Post # 13
@FutureDrAtkins: +1 One thing as well is that kids usually LOVE going grocery shopping…if you show them what healthier snack options are and they get to pick their own it makes a huge difference. They learn how to control what they are eating with parental guidance.
Post # 14
Thanks for your input! I for sure agree that it’s not a new problem, I was just kinda shocked to hear it I guess. I was a bigger kid too and I remember thinkin these things at 8 too. I guess it’s not a new phenomenon. But just the way he said it, it was so .. I don’t even know how to describe it. It made me get that pit in my stomach, it was not cool.
Hes a bit of a bigger boy but it’s not like obese fat. He’s just a kid, he should be playing and eating and not stressing about his pant size. I completely agree that health is important for eceryone but I just felt like he shouldn’t have that kind of angst!
Post # 15
@FutureDrAtkins: while I thoroughy agree with this statement, it doesn’t make me believe that they should be the ones suffering and having negative feelings about it 🙁 they only know what they learn and for a lot of kids, it’s the wrong information about food that they receive 🙁
Post # 16
@pinkshoes: I think kids should be aware of health, absolutely! No denying that. It’s the negative talk that kills me. It’s just so unecesary and I don’t think it’s helpful at all.