So this is one conversation I didn’t think I’d need to have with my 5 year old. I know Cali is quite forward and will probably develop quickly because I did but I still wasn’t expecting to be talking about weight and body issues until she was around 7/8ish.
A couple weeks ago I was drying Cali after her shower and she looked at her stomach and sucked it in I was like what are you doing (thinking she was just being silly) she was like if I do lots of exercising will my belly look like this? she then sucked her belly in again. She then went off on one about how she needed to do a lot of exercising before she went to bed. I explained to her that we exercise to be fit and healthy and said exercising helps to give her energy to play at school and walk up the stairs without getting tired.
Now she’s always seen me doing exercising and both Cali and RD enjoy joining in and I thought she was doing exercise to bond with me because I was doing it, I didn’t realize she was doing it as she thought it would help her get a small belly and I’ve obviously never told her I’m exercising to lose weight. But what’s the most shocking isthat this girl is tiny she’s tall and marga like her dad, she has no problems and no health related weight issues, so it’s not like she has a condition where she puts on weight fast and has now started to notice her big belly etc.
I was like Look you are fine and if anyone tells you you’re not you come and tell mummy.
Anywayz the next couple days she did get a bit obsessive with the exercising.
Like most of her phases that soon stopped, so I thought she’d forgot about the weight issue until this week... Once again I’m drying her after her shower and she was like mummy I don’t wanna be fat, OMG I almost choked on my own saliva. She then sucked in her belly again and said she wants her belly to be like that so she shouldn't eat too much. I was like no if you’re exercising you have to eat lots of healthy food and eat up all your fruit and vegetables then that helps you to stay fit and healthy, then she was like but then I’ll have too much food in my body so I’d need to do a lot of poo and wee to get it all back out my body so it’s not in there making my belly big.
When she said that I was thinking clearly she’s heard that somewhere. I was thinking a bet someones older sibling was talking about it (vomiting up food to lose weight) and they caught the tail end. So they knew you have to get rid of the food and just assumed you poo it out as opposed to vomiting it. I’m guessing they didn’t understand the whole vomiting thing and poo seemed a lot more realistic to them. So I was like who do you talk to about this and she said her and her girlfriends talk about it at school, I was like so do you and your friends think your fat or skinny? And she said they all thought they were skinny but they didn’t want to get fat. So once again I had to reiterate that she is fine and not to listen to anyone who says something is wrong with her. I was like you make sure you tell your friends that they’re fine too and you don’t need to change anything.
I then had a word with her teacher, who was unaware that they were having these kinda conversations so she could help nip it in the bud.
I know kids are growing up quicker nowadays and are more aware of stuff and obviously the image that skinny is beautiful is everywhere but I never in a million years thought I’d have to be breaking this down for a 5 year old.