6 year old thinks she looks fat

Mama - posted on 12/06/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My 6 year old has been a bit obsessed with her size for a while now and it is very concerning to me. She is very thin but insists on wearing a belt around her waist to look skinny. This morning she was complaining that she looked terrible and wasnt pretty.



I looked around on the web and see tons of the same but no advice.



Has anyone else dealt with this, were you able to help? It seems no amount of talking or showing her pictures of amazing women who may be not so skinny or not so attractive ever helps.



I worry that it will lead to eating disorders or worse.



Thanks

Mel in Nashville

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Barbara - posted on 12/13/2012

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I am stunned to read about a 6 year who has body image problems. The kids are growing up to fast and not enjoying being a kid. I would seek medical help with this one. Or maybe too much TV watching.

Cupids Arrow - posted on 12/08/2012

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Dear Mel,

I know where you are coming from. My 7 year old was doing the same. Unfortunately we live in a society where unrealistic visions of women are every where we go. There appears to be nothing out there for kids under the age of 12 on this topic. As If society is trying to tell us that this problem doesn't exists,when in fact it does.

With my little girl I knew she wasn't getting an unhealthy dialogue from home and was eating healthy food. I had detected this negativity was coming from some mean neighbourhood kids.

So I came up with a story that explained how we are all different shapes and sizes by using the animal as my character. eg -;The giraffe has very long legs and neck to enable them to eat from the top of trees, that's how they were created. Just like there family members. Where the hippo has large nostrils and eyes with short legs and round body so they can easily wade through the water so to be comfortable in their environment, & so forth. Just to point out the obvious difference we all have in body shape. From there, how humans from different parts of the world also come in different shapes and sizes, & so forth. But most importantly injecting positive self esteem and lots and lots of love. Also remember you are her most important roll model :)

Jennifer - posted on 12/06/2012

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I'm not an expert on this .. however it seems to me that she is already worried about self body image. The more involved you get with her... the better. I know it seems to early for this type of behavior but if you start now with proper grooming, exercising and proper nutrition, self talks, always being positive, always telling her how beautiful and smart she is ALL THE TIME.... and overall giving her so much attention to make her head spin... That will help with her self esteem.I think the more time you spend with her telling her how much you admire the women you do, and sharing your secrets, to fashion, beauty, and just being healthy maybe telling her some LIFE experiences in general maybe playing dress-up with her... just being a little girl yourself. It should be okay...

I think with all the drama queens on the TV shows and all the magazines with that have skinny girls on the covers.The movies that focus on skinny I think our little girls are going to be influenced allot. So the best we can do is be there for them no matter what!!

I hope i helped.... j. :)

Dove - posted on 12/06/2012

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What is she being exposed to that is giving her this idea? Do you ever talk about needing to lose weight? Or maybe an aunt or family friend? Maybe some of the girls at school have been exposed to this type of negative body talk and she's picked it up from them? At 6... it has to come from somewhere.



Unfortunately, I haven't had to deal w/ this, so I don't really know how to handle it. Perhaps a trip to her doctor to show that she is right on the growth curve where she should be would help... and him/her talking to your child about eating the right foods for her growth.



Yesterday a little boy in my son's preschool class came up to me and asked 'does this jacket make me look fat?' I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry... cuz he had to hear that from somewhere in order to pick it up and say it himself. His mom isn't huge, but on the heavier side... the kid is a stick.

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