My skinny little girl

stir_fryiDecember 12, 2007

My DD is 5 1/2 and has always been thin. She is average to above average height but could stand to gain 2-3lbs. I have given up trying to "fatten her up." She will eat what she eats. I do keep her on full fat milk though. Anyhow, her peds don't have a problem with her growth.

The problem is people making comments about her being skinny. It gets on my nerves and now I think it is starting to affect her too. My DH and I try never to comment to her on her body shape. This morning she tried on a pair of pants and I slipped and said "you look so skinny in those!" She then refused to wear them because of what I said.

Funny how people would never say "you are so fat!" to a little kid but think nothing of making comments about her needing to eat more, fatten up, etc...

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imamommy

I'd love to have your DD's problem.lol My SD struggles with her weight, and yes... the kids at school are cruel and tease them for being fat. There is no way to avoid raising a child with the world around us so focused on body image. She needs to build her self esteem and her self image so she won't be so impacted by the comments. Some people are just plain rude or ignorant to how it makes others feel. They may not imagine that the one comment may stick in her brain, replaying over and over for years.

I would tell her she's healthy and lucky because there are many children in the world that are not. Size or body shape is not as important as her health and education. She will go through growth spurts and as long as she eats healthy and you don't think she's got an eating disorder or medical problem that keeps her from gaining weight, then I would leave it alone.

You might come up with responses to rude comments but make sure they are ones that focus on her self image and not just a rude comeback. Something like, "I'm sorry you feel that way, I like myself just the way I am."

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 3:52PM
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christy2828

I dealt with same thing growing up. Many people have weight issues, but not that many had underweight issues, so it was hard for other people to relate. My sister was also very skinny, I had someone else to talk to about it. The biggest thing is self-esteem. I finally decided that people were really just jealous, and that their comments were really about themselves. Good luck to you, and good luck finding jeans that fit!!!! Christy :)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 5:36PM
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popi_gw

Well I think it is just rude to make ANY sort of comment about how people look. People seem to think that they are paying you a complement when they say, "you are so skinny". As people have said to me...well I don't take that as a compliment.

I really think that because there is such a lot of people that are overweight, our eyes are getting used to seeing people who are like this. This highlights the people who are not overweight, and the thin people look thinner.

If your child is eating normally, then I would not even consider that she has a problem. Never talk about how thin she is, don't make any comments about that, when she is a bit older this could lead to poor self esteem, and all those horrible eating disorders.

Good luck with it all.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 2:02AM
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stir_fryi

Last night at a school function my DD was running in the gym and a nice mother I was talking to watched her and said, "oh, to be that skinny again." It is not so much those comments I hate but:

"Don't you feed that girl!"

and my mother telling her she won't get big and strong if she doesn't start eating more.

My little girl is 42lbs at age 5. She is not short (not super tall either), just lanky.

I do have to add that America's kids must be getting fat because trying to find pants for my two girls is impossible. My other DD is 7 and is 75% for height and weight. Most pants at most stores the waist is way too big on her.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 8:07AM
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sylviatexas1

won't work in summer, but corduroy & bulky sweaters are wonderful for slim girls this time of year.

I always liked Dear Abby's (or was it Miss Manners's?) suggestion to intrusive comments or questions:

Icy stare,
pause,
"Why would you ask (make) such a personal question (comment)?"

I used to date a guy, a runner, who had not one ounce of fat on him.
He was the cutest boyfriend I ever had, & he reminded me of a greyhound.

Slim girls never will be cocker spaniels, but they make great greyhounds, elegant, graceful, & beautiful.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 9:57AM
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stephanie_in_ga

My DD is 8 and probably one of the thinnest girls in her class at school. It's hard to shop for her. Even with the pants with the adjustable waistband, we cinch those up tight as they go.

At the same time, she has a big appetite. So while people tell me how thin she is, if they've seen her eat they never ask "Don't you feed her?" LOL.

She is a gymnast. So when people see her in short sleeves and shorts, summer clothes, what they notice is how muscular she is. Her practices include conditioning and her coaches talk to the girls about making healthy food choices. So while DD eats several times a day, she eats bananas, yogurt, etc. DD is average height. Some of the girls on her gym team are also shorter than average, so overall very petit. But when they do more sit ups than anyone else in PE as school, no one tells them they are "too skinny" or makes any assumptions about their size! The girls surely know they are small. But they know first that they are strong.

Some people have expressed concern about young girls being in gymnastics, that they will feel pressure to by skinny, not eat well. But clearly, we've had exactly the opposite experience! The coaches want the girls to feel strong and healthy and to love their bodies enough to care for them.

I would completely ignore the comments of others. Put her in a sport that suits her, that will develop a healthy body image that is about strength and fitness. She is my only DD (my others are boys). At her age, her body image is developing and how that takes shape now will last a lifetime. I cannot say enough about the positive impact I think being involved in a sport she loves is having on her self-esteem and body image.

On the occassion that DD is told she's skinny, she will show them her muscles! LOL!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 10:19AM
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stir_fryi

Just got off the phone with my sister. I told her I was taking DD for a haircut after school. DS just got our Christmas card with the kids pic on it. She agreed DD needed a haircut because "her face is so tiny -- it would be better if her hair was shorter."

Maybe I am overly sensitive.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 10:33AM
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christy2828

Try Levi's. I had luck with those growing up. I was also very lanky, tall, and thin. I found that the longer jeans got the bigger the waist got. But they had a 'tall and skinny' jean, you just need to find a place that has a wide variety of Levi's. I couldn't find anything else that would fit. I think they numbered them, so you can just look for the number once you get a right fit.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 10:49AM
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shaun

I think when people make the comment, "Oh gosh you are SO skinny!" They probably think they are giving a compliment. But as a skinny child myself, it hurts feelings. I know.

I would never dream of saying "Oh my gosh you are SO fat!" to an overweight person.

I wish people would keep their comments to themselves when it comes to someone weight issues; whether it be unable to gain weight or unable to lose it.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 10:09AM
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oh_my

You really need to focus on the fact that what your body looks like does not define who you are as a person. My daughter is 9 and weighs maybe 50 pounds, if that. My stepdaughter is also 9, 4 months older than my daughter, is a whole head taller than my daughter and weights 80 pounds, at least. All people are different. That's what makes us special.
All we can do is politely tell people that heavy people already know they're heavy and skinny people already know they're skinny, so there's really no reason to point it out to anyone. If you praise your daughter for her accomplishments and who she is becoming as a person, in time she too will become more focused on who she is, not what she looks like.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 12:35PM
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sylviatexas1

We're *all* sensitive to our body images, & younger people (girls) are intensely aware of their bodies, of how they compare to others, etc.

I know it's excellent to praise character & heart, but girls *will* notice if their bodies don't get a fair share of praise, too, & it'll hurt.

Think how many years, how many generations, it took for young African-American girls to "get it" that they have their own beauty, because their beauty isn't the same as Northern European beauty.

so I think that each girl should hear how beautiful she is & should hear her beauty put into words.

(I cringe at the very concept of that tv show "Ugly Betty", never have watched it, never will.)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 5:32PM
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oh_my

Just to clarify, I'm certainly not suggesting that you should never tell a little girl that she's pretty because of course they need to hear that. I'm simply stating that it should not be the only basis for the compliments you give them.

My stepdaughter's mother is very body-conscious; and therefore, my stepdaughter bases almost her entire self-worth on her appearance, as well as how she feels about others on their appearances. It's really very sad. The compliments she gets from me and her father on her talents and accomplishments unfortunately don't seem to sink in enough. She feels that as long as she looks better than everyone else that she is better than everyone else...but yes, we still tell her that she's pretty because she is and I agree that she does need to hear that.

It's okay to be beautiful, but beauty is more than skin deep, and we need to make sure our children know that and aren't basing their self-worth on things that can't be changed.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 6:18PM
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finedreams

I hate when people make any comments about weight of anybody, espcially a child!

I had that problem growing up. I was way too skinny and I also have small frame and am petite. I was embarassed to undress. I remember when i was a teenager somebody called me a "bicycle". Supposedly my limps looked like bicycle frames. I also remember my mom's girlfriend told me that it does not look nice for a girl to be that skinny, so she gave me a receipe for fatenning up. I don't understand why people always talked about my weight.

I also remember in my early 30s I was very sick and it caused me to lose a lot of weight. I did look very very skinny. anorexic. Then people started saying how lucky I am that i do not gain weight and how lucky i am to be so skinny. I was sick for G_d's sake, that's why I was skinny! I absolutelly hate when people comment on anything about weight, not their business.

It is also media's fault that people are so concious about looks.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 6:43PM
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