My daughter was playing at a friend’s house and came home crying. She is 9 years old and this is a friend she goes to school with. We have recently moved to a new neighborhood and found that this child lives just down the block. It is the first time my daughter has had a friend close by where she could walk to her house. So she has been very excited about becoming better friends with this girl. They are not in the same classroom at school but they are in the same grade level.
My daughter came home crying because the other girl was trying to leave her out of the games the neighborhood kids were playing together. She told my child to stay back so she could share a secret with another. There were a couple instances where my child was left out and then the girl called my daughter fat. Then my daughter left. She was crying when she got home.
I did a quick model in my head. I tried to tell my daughter (E) that what the other girl (H) said was just an opinion. And she did not need to believe that opinion. I told her that H couldn’t create her feelings and that only E creates E’s feelings. She did not need to believe H’s opinion.
Now, E is believing that she is fat. And she feels she needs to change it. I suggested that if she would like to be healthier that we could do some healthy things together.
I was a chubby child. I remember being teased about it at school. So I put habits in place so that I am no longer chubby. I made the decision early on in my parenting to never make a comment about my child’s weight. I don’t believe she is fat either, but she is not “skinny”. I am happy to help her make healthier choices. I’m just not sure how to start sharing the model with her and help her create her own self esteem.