How do you teach your children this when you yourself struggle with it? My oldest son is 10 and gained a good amount of weight a year ago after always having been pretty thin. My daughter is 9 and she is super skinny. (She’s a poor eater and is very active) Matthew on the other hand LOVES TV and hates physical activity which is what changed a year ago causing him to gain the weight. Sara will at times pick on him for it. So, my goal is to teach my son to develop tough skin while making sure my daughter understands that teasing someone for the way they look is NOT OK!
Matthew has a good innocent soul and is very much a little boy. He’s never told me that kids at school tease him, only his sister. My oldest nephew also picks on him, making him do sit ups and run around the yard when he sees him. Very annoying for me to hear and see him do this to Matt. He’s 17 and plays football with a very lean physic so I guess he feels entitled to say something. Eh, wrong!
I need to set the example of being more active, getting up and moving more so that he could do the same. I tell my kids that the most important thing is being healthy by eating healthy and being active. A thin person is not necessarily healthy and a heavier person isn’t necessarily unhealthy. There is always underlining factors. That is what I want my children to understand. With anything, people are different and we all have our own underlying factors that make us who we are. So even though we appear a certain way, or we have a certain ‘attitude’ at times, that doesn’t define who we are 100% and 100% of the time.
Matthew may be a little over weight currently but that doesn’t mean he’s fat or will always be heavier. I would love to teach him to love himself regardless of what his outside appearance is because the most important is his inner soul, his personality, his way of thinking, and his heart. At the same time, understanding that he shouldn’t allow others to affect the way he feels, including his sister.
Another thing, his sister needs to understand that she can’t lash out at people with rude comments about their appearance. She doesn’t have that right because she happens to be thin. This I’m working on with her too. She needs to understand that it could be hurtful and that she’s also teaching her younger siblings to act the same way which is a MAJOR HELL NO!
The struggle of raising other humans is real. We could really screw them up and it’s a legitimate ongoing fear.