Gia and Stacey are busy with field trips, field days, school concerts, band concerts, orchestra concerts, recitals, gymnastics shows, soccer playoffs, baseball games, moving up ceremonies, graduation parties, birthday parties, end of the year parties, meetings, planning teacher gifts, six kids, two dogs, two husbands and a partridge in a pear tree. We will return to blogging shortly. Thank you!
My daughter has the perfect body. She’s a lean mean 11 year old soccer playin’ machine! Her little belly is as tight as a drum. And, I think she even has a six pack. She’s perfectly perfect. But she doesn’t think so. She thinks she’s too straight. She should have curves, she says. The other girls do. She actually asked me if she was fat and that was why she didn’t have curves yet!
FAT. I hate that word. Oh, and DIET that’s another. Since my children arrived, I’ve been ever so careful about using those words. Girls and boys today are so body conscious, at such a young age. When my son was in first grade he asked me what “diet” meant. He’d heard it at school. I told him it was what you ate – that a giraffe’s “diet” consisted mostly of leaves. That was good for a while. A few years later my daughter asked what “calories” were. Her friends were checking them on their snacks at recess, in third grade!
Kids today are surrounded by body image issues. My daughter’s 5th grade class goes to “fitness” class and uses adult sized treadmills and elliptical machines. We didn’t have fitness equipment when we were kids! We played outside. All of the time.
My husband and I try to lead by example. We teach our children that the key to being healthy is to be active, eat well and get the proper amount of rest. Yet, somehow, they worry that they are fat or that they will become fat. Something bigger than us is getting to them. Peer pressure? Advertising? Television?
I don’t know what it is. But here’s what I do know: My children are perfect just the way they are. I will continue to tell them so day after day. And hope that as we approach the teenage years, my words will somehow become louder and stronger than anyone else’s. People come in all shapes and sizes, and what’s inside is really what matters. I will continue to lead by example. I will continue to treat them as children; encouraging outdoor play, serving healthy meals, setting appropriate bedtimes. I will continue to offer them treats, encourage them to lay under a tree and read a book, and allow them to stay up late for special occasions. I will never use the words “fat” and “diet” in front of them. And, however they turn out, they will always be perfect to me.
We had a lot of response to this blog post – as many of you are experiencing the same things with your kids. We came upon an article recently which is very relative to this post and extremely well written and insightful and wanted to share it here: