Self Esteem issues with kids

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Self Esteem issues with kids

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        12-27-2008, 01:37 PM
    Self Esteem issues with kids

    I am really aggrivated. Some little boy (a CHUNKY little boy, btw) called my youngest daughter 'fat' a week or so ago, and now she is asking 'mommy, am I a muffin top?' and 'do I need to diet?' I will admit, I haven't set the best example, I have had self-esteem issues all my life, but they didn't start at 7!

    What can I do? I hope she forgets it and it just blows over. But what if it doesn't?
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        12-27-2008, 01:54 PM
    I'm by no means a child psychologist. I tend to tell my kids the truth, sometimes too much. Its such a fine line...

    I have had this issue with my 2nd daughter. She was never fat but maybe a bit chunky...She's now 12 and proportioned just fine. She wears a size 12 in little girls or a 0-1 in juniors.

    I would most likely just tell your daughter that first of all when people say hurtful things, they are lacking confidence and not strong people in their hearts. That they use words to make other people feel bad because they feel bad too.

    Then I would assure her that she is NOT fat and that everyone should try to pursue health, not a size. Maybe throw in there that mom needs to try harder to be healthy. That's what I did. I will eat a cookie and my girls will opt out for yogurt. I'm proud of them and try to keep healthy snacks in the house so they can choose.

    Try to set a good example and don't dwell on the issue, most likely it will pass.
        12-27-2008, 03:09 PM
    As someone who has had self esteem issues for most of my life due to bullying, and who is now overcoming them, I can only say that if you do as my parents did you will help so, so much.

    I have never once doubted that my parents loved me, valued me, and would be there for me. Home has always been the place I can truly be myself, and be certain of acceptance.

    I think if parents do nothing else, they should make their home and their company be a safe place where their child can be themselves without worries and insecurities. It means that no matter how bad their peers treat them, they will always have someone to turn to and somewhere to go.

    If your daughter has no weight issues, reassure her that she's fine and don't let her forget it. If you feel she could do with losing weight, a better approach might be to assure her that she's not fat, but encourage her to find out more about healthy living. You should probably do the exploration with her, kids can find out the strangest stuff these days and run with half-formed ideas that could hurt her. Teach her about how a healthy lifestyle is important for far more than just managing your weight and perhaps pick something non-weight related that she thinks the family as a whole could improve. That way you will be encouraging healthiness all round without making her feel embarrassed about her weight.
        12-27-2008, 04:07 PM
    Thanx so much for your reponses, that is pretty much what I thought.

    I didn't think you COULD be 'too' honest with kids, they are keen to any deception. You can't fool them, no matter how hard you try. Now, there CAN be too much exposure, but I don't think you could ever be too honest with kids. Adults don't have much taste for it, tho.

    While I am a vegan, and have a very good diet, even tho the rest of the family eats meat we still have a very healthy diet around here. We just don't buy alot of 'junk', a little here and there, but mostly fruits and veggies and healthy meals. We eat out rarely, and eat fast food even rarer. Fortunately, my kids don't crave hamburgers and fries, so that helps. But we cook wholesome, southern food that sticks to your ribs so it helps. And she has a horse, and is VERY active, getting her to sit still is quite a challenge. Me and hubby set a good example too, I have recently taken back up getting into shape and exercising myself.

    I just worry that these are the little things that can start obsessions. I would NEVER put my children down for ANY reason- when my oldest flunked a year of school I FORBADE anyone to mention it or to give it negative connotations, then she came back the next year and was on the honor roll.

    So I am confident we have a very supportive home.

    Thanks again, Dumas and Claire, for your input.
        12-27-2008, 04:13 PM
    Truth Vs. Exposure is a better way to put it. I whole-heartedly agree that kids can totally sniff out any deception!!!

    Sounds like you are on solid ground with this issue and your daughter will fair just fine!!!!
        12-27-2008, 07:01 PM
    Mental note *talk to duma about problems* she has excellent advice
        12-27-2008, 10:40 PM
    Originally Posted by DarkChylde    
    I am really aggrivated. Some little boy (a CHUNKY little boy, btw) called my youngest daughter 'fat' a week or so ago, and now she is asking 'mommy, am I a muffin top?' and 'do I need to diet?' I will admit, I haven't set the best example, I have had self-esteem issues all my life, but they didn't start at 7!

    What can I do? I hope she forgets it and it just blows over. But what if it doesn't?
    My mom had terrible self esteem. She was the second of seven children and her parents were abusive and always talked her down. My mom never spoke well of herself. She thought she was fat. She did gain weight in her 50s but during my childhood she was very, very thin. Too thin.

    When I was somewhere around ten my mom heard me calling myself fat (or ugly, can't remember). Well, I was actually very thin. My mom didn't understand why I would speak that way about myself since she'd never spoken badly of me. It took her a while to realize that I was mirroring her behavior.

    I am not exactly tall. I thought very, very badly of myself for many years. Well into my 20s actually. I was "fat" when I got pregnant with my first child. I weighed 105 lbs. I am very glad that my mom realized that I modeled her behavior. She warned me about this. I NEVER speak badly of myself to my children because I don't want them to model this destructive behavior.

    So, what I would tell my daughter is this: Sometimes we all do mean things. Was this little boy being nice? Would you say mean things to your friends? When someone is being mean, honey, it often means they are hurting inside. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Then let's ignore him, OK?

    Then I'd be very careful about modeling positive behavior in front of my children.

    BTW, I figured out something that really helped improve my self esteem. I had thought of myself as fat and ugly even though I was neither. I made myself say out loud into a mirror, "I am beautiful." OK, I never actually believed that. But I have become quite comfortable in my own skin.
        12-28-2008, 10:59 AM
    Thanx, Joshie, that is very true. I knew right off the bat she was modleing my behavior, but since her sister never really did it, I guess I didn't think I was having that effect. And I don't talk bad about myself, ALL the time, but it has slipped out, and I have a hard time takin compliments, I always think "yeah, your are just being nice." So I don't say many nice things about myself. My hubby got me a shirt that says 'Somebody has to make this shirt look good,' it was kinda a joke. He is always tryin to boost me up, and the girls, I am really lucky there. I think the father figure has a BIG effect on a girls self esteem, and my hubby has watched me struggle with BDD all my life, and been frustrated as to why I dress so dumpy, so he is very aware how even an innocent remark can go wrong. My father had made a 'joke' about my complexion when I was a teenager, and I cried and cried over it, and developed an obsession with washing my face, till it was dry and cracked all the time. So she has that in her favor. But I really have to completely eliminate ALL my personal put downs to myself, even the ones no one hears. I know that, but it is like a voice in the back of my head I can't get rid of, or tune out. But I am more comfortable in my skin than I was, I don't feel I am beautiful, don't I don't really feel I am ugly, I just try not to concern myself with it at all. I don't even think I could say I am beautiful, would be too absurd, but not a bad idea.
    I also put on ALOT of weight with my second pregnancy, I was HUGE, I had gestational diabeties, I put on 80 lbs with my second child. I lost alot of it, but I have the skin thing, and I have never been back to my second-prepregnancy weight.

    I loved what you said about the boy, and how people do things outta pain. I beleive that too. That is why I don't take things as personally as I did.
        12-28-2008, 11:41 AM
    My daughter looks different than her peers. She has a service dog, has had a g-tube (feeding tube), is very small, uses oxygen periodically, and uses a wheel chair at times. People stare and point. Man, that hurts. Heck, I've seen parents elbow their children to get them to look up at us. We've had to work hard at good coping skills in our household.

    I'm convinced that most of the self talk we say to ourselves has little to no basis in reality. I know that it feels silly and stupid to say these things out loud but I would really, really recommend that you say out loud something like, "I have very beautiful skin." You don't have to believe it. But saying it aloud helps change your attitude. I never believed it. But saying that aloud made me realize how stupid it was to say I'm ugly. It helped me realize that my looks are just fine. I gained quite a bit of weight with my first child. I lost most of it but gradually gained weight over then next ten years. You know, I didn't hate my body even when I was heavy. About two years ago, I lost about 40 lbs. I'm not skinny but I know I look good. It's funny, because at one time I thought my current weight would be downright fat. I wear about a size 4. Sounds small, but I'm very small boned and short.

    If someone says, "Wow, you really look nice today," you should practice saying, "Thanks." Remember, do you want your kids to say the things to themselves that you say to yourself? If not, then you can work on changing yourself so that they see the positive behavior you want them to display.

    I, too, have never been back to pre-pregnancy weight. But I now realize I would never want to weigh 100 lbs. I'm fine boned and only 5'3." I now realize that I ain't half bad to look at, don't have a huge rear end, and am not really flat chested. The improved self-talk did help!

        12-28-2008, 02:11 PM
    Bless your heart, that must be difficult with people being the way they can be. I saw this special where this really pretty chic dressed up in a 'fat' suit, and I was appauled at how she was treated!! I can't believe how people are sometimes, and what they allow themselves to be.

    You are absolutely right. I know, really, that it is my perspective, I think deep down I know I am being hard on myself. It seems to get worse if I get stressed for some reason, honestly most of the time I don't even consider it. But I am learning to just give up on tryin hold myself to some stupid ideal that someone else came up with, sure, there are chics on tv that look better than me in panties and wings, but I bet they can't train a horse like me, or have two beautiful daughters who are a constant source of joy, or even have the great relationship I have. When I consider all that, it isn't that important anyway.

    This has really brought me some insight, thank you, all of you.

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