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Great self esteem = Great self body image
Hansa Bhargava, MD, FAAP posted:
Promoting good self esteem in kids should result in a good self body image. Complimenting and praising your kids talents goes a long way.
The other day my 5 year old daughter said 'my tummy is too big' . Of course I was really surprised but took the opportunity to ask her more about it. Then we talked about how strong and healthy she is. We also discussed how well she's doing in gymnastics.
Has anyone else had this kind of experience with a young child? What did you do?
Haylen_WebMD_Staff responded:
This is a very important issue for me! My 6 year old has just started comparing her body to other little girls (swimsuit season arrived last week in California).

Like you, I go out of my way not to use words like "skinny" or "fat" and to talk about health as opposed to looks.

My mom always talked about her weight and dieting and parts of her body she didn't like. I don't think that was healthy. I go out of my way to NEVER be critical of my own body (out loud)

nursingbug responded:
I couple months ago, I posted about my daughter who is 3.
Her doctor says her BMI is in the overweight catagory. I FREAKED out. I have been overweight my whole life, and one of my main goals as a parent was to keep her from that issue. Come to find out, my mother in law was giving her and excessive amount of juice, and after we stopped that she dropped some weight, but now I think she may have regained some. She is still eating healthy food, and not drinking juice, so I am not sure what it is coming from. I monitor her diet so carefully, and then I hear about parents with normal weight kids who let them have treats every day! It is so not fair!
I am afraid to think about it anymore, right after the doctor's appointment I looked at her and felt sad. Kind of a reverse self esteem issue, and I am afraid to reflect it back on her.
Anybody have any advice? Am I overthinking this? Should I just feed her the best I can, and get her to move more, and let the scale just say what it says? She doesn't look overweight.
Hansa Bhargava, MD, FAAP replied to nursingbug's response:
It sounds like you're doing a great job by paying attention to her eating/drinking habits when she's young. Kudos to you for being a good parent!
As far as her weight is concerned, if you stick to healthy eating habits and having her move (exercise) on a daily basis, she should 'grow' into her weight because she is getting taller. Also, you will instill great habits that will keep her healthy for a lifetime which is REALLY important. And remember, kids learn what they see, so make sure you are eating healthy and exercising too!
And don't worry about those parents who let their kids have treats everyday--your child will be ahead for her life if she learns healthy habits now...does that make sense?
nursingbug replied to Hansa Bhargava, MD, FAAP's response:
It does, but I guess I want her to look good as far as her numbers. I want someone to tell me she is fine. I have a follow up scheduled for her at the end of the summer, and I am afraid there won't be good progress at that point. It is hard because I feel that I am being prejudged, because even though I have lost 80 lbs, I still am still overweight, and now my child is showing up to be overweight. This was not an issue until her 3 yr appointment, before she was always on the 90% for height and weight, but nothing was ever brought up that she was too big. I eat healthy, athough not perfect. I exercise 5 days a week. When I have her, she eats fruit, whole grains, veggies, low fat dairy. When she is at my mother in laws while I am at work, she eats fairly well, but I know there are more snacks like those gummy fruit snacks and honey grahams. I find it hard to believe though that she is overweight based on these snacks, per my mil they are once a day or so. I don't want to be that parent who never lets their children have treats. That is how I was raised and it backfired on me.
Is it possible that she has not hit that growth spurt that makes the kids thin out just yet?
thank you

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