How do I handle this?

posted 6 months ago in Family
Post # 32
Member
883 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

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@stateofbeeing:  I agree with you that weight does matter in regard to health, and I know that my country (the United States) has significant problems with obesity and related diseases. But I think what OP would prefer is to instill some healthy behaviors rather than instilling “concerns.” I suppose if you teach a child that she should respect herself, and that means she should put healthy food into her body daily, give it plenty of exercise, and create boundaries surrounding it (e.g. sexual, etc.), then she will grow up both physically and mentally healthy without learning to “concern” herself or “worry” about weight and health. 

Post # 33
Member
10837 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

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@westtexasrev1:  

l was once on a bus where a child said in carrying, piping voice ”  l know what you’ve been doing!” to a very pregnant woman. His mortified mum desperately tried to explain how she had been trying to limit his sugar intake by telling him he would get fat. 

Post # 34
Member
11 posts
Newbee

Good for you for wanting to raise the girls in full love and acceptance. Maybe you need to talk to your mother-in-law and tell her what you think about it.

Post # 35
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4431 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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@anonym1:  thank you for the kind words. I think you’re doing a great job by trying to focus on body positivity and happiness with your girls and to try to stop those negative comments right away. It is great forethought and you seem like a wonderful mom who is looking out for their best interests. I hope I can use your example and be that way for my kid (currently 28w pregnant with my first boy). 

Post # 36
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1919 posts
Buzzing bee

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@anonym1:  Best advice is to teach your girls how to take these comments in stride. You can’t shelter your children from everyone like this, so use your Mother-In-Law as a way to teach your children how to not let comments like this from others affect their self worth. You can discuss the things she says after grandma has left and about how they do not define them, and you can give them ways to call grandma out. You can also use it as a way to teach them about how words hurt, and how to think about what we’re saying before we say things to other people. Teach them to “THINK” about what they’re saying —

  1. THINK is it..?: Thoughtful. Honest. Intelligent. Necessary. Kind.

FWIW, my grandmother also says a lot of hypercritical stuff like this, too. But, she also is quick to give compliments. It’s like she has no filter and just says out loud everything she observes. I will correct her from time to time. I don’t have advice on how to do this because I’m usually pretty blunt when I call her out, but that works for us. Other bees may have better, more tactful suggestions on things you can teach your girls to say when encountered with a hypercritical person. 

Post # 37
Member
2339 posts
Buzzing bee

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@elderberry:  That is so funny!  I bet that kid’s mother still cringes whenever she remembers it.

Post # 38
Member
33 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2021 - London, UK

A.) I don’t think that you can protect your kids from this or should. They may hear it out in the world/school and there is just nothing for it unfortunately. Fellow kids can be particularly cruel, nevermind adults. This would be a great opportunity to help them start developing tools and ways to process what they hear (i.e. these types of comments usually have more to do with the person saying them than the recipient and may be projection etc. You know, Psych 101 stuff…) and deal with it if comments ever become direct. Her comments sound so petty and spiteful.

B.) Have you ever asked her directly why she makes these comments and why her focus is on these minor things? Does she have a history of self-criticism or does she have a low self-esteem? There is so much there about your mother that we just don’t know in order to suggest a way to deal with it.

Either way, it sounds absolutely exhausting to hear. I would have lost my cool with my mother ages ago if she did that! The few times my mother made judgemental comments about others’ looks/choices I ask her if she is a supermodel/has her life completely in check? Because if someone doesn’t have their own house in order they sure as heck shouldn’t be trying to fix other’s! Good luck!

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