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kids say the darndest things...

so yesterday at work my boss' daughter, who is 3, told me i looked fat. i kind of shrugged it off, but it did hurt my feelings (because i am fat). what is the appropriate way to respond to such a remark? i do not have my own children nor am i around children much. thanks!

Tue. Sep 19, 12:01pm

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Kids are so honest and say what they think. Can't really blame them or repremand them especially if they are not your own. Maybe just turn it around and say "thanks, your cute!"

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 12:15 PM

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Oh do they ever!

I made the biggest mistake of telling my daughter not to eat a lot of McDonalds. She kept asking for it and I told her no, you can teat mcdonalds, she said why not, I told her because you will get fat and wont be able to walk. Sure enough a few days later we were at the store and a real heavy set woman walked past us and my daughter blurts at the top of her lungs "mommie, look! she's fat! She had too much mcdonalds!" I could not find the nearest exit soon enough and was mortified. I dont know if this lady heard or not but regardless I felt awful!

Another incident, I was lying in bed sideways, my dauther lifts up my shirt and said "your getting fat, puuuuuuuuuuuuushhhhhhhhhhh" she starts pusshing on my belly to go inside :o\ Need I say more?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 12:44 PM

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isn't there something appropriate that we can say to children when they say things like that to give them a different way of expressing their opinion? or a way to let them know that some things are offensive?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 12:48 PM

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Did the parent hear?

Personally, I would treat it the same way as if they said somebody was stupid or ugly, etc... I would tell the child that it's not a very nice thing to say. I've also talked to kids parents before...certainly not to get them in trouble but to ask for the parents help in teaching the child right and wrong things to say.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 1:26 PM

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I'm sorry you had your feelings hurt.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 1:26 PM

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Often young children notice and point out differences in other people, but not always in a negative way. My young children are fascinated by people in wheel chairs and on crutches and, yes, people who are larger, since they are not used to seeing these types of people all the time.

Also, young children do not always have the negative associations with being 'fat' that older children or adults might have. They may notice someone who looks fat and say something but it is not like they are teasing or insulting. Fat is just another adjective like tall or short or black or white.

Despite all of that, It is definitely important to being teaching children about social etiquette when they are very young. When my children are staring at someone who they notice is different, I try to take the opportunity to explain to them that everyone is different, and sometimes if you point out those differences it can make another person feel bad or uncomfortable. So it is best for them not to say anything at all. Fortunately, my children have never yet blurted out something like that in front of someone else. But hopefully I can handle it gracefully when they do.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 2:02 PM

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Here's my tidbit: I was driving my 5 year old daughter and her friend to their gymnastics class and had my arm over the seat next to me, so I could talk over my shoulder more easily. The friend ran her hand over the top of my arm and said:"Why is your arm so smooth here," (I preened slightly, as I've been weight lifting consistently and am proud of the definition I've gotten in my arms) "and so floppy down here?" as she proceeded to whack the woggly part of the underarm, which isn't going anywhere short of surgery after over 100 pounds of weight lost. Needless to say, I was a bit chagrined.

You HAVE to just laugh at stuff like that, then explain that sometimes people don't appreciate when you make observations about their bodies, even positive ones at times.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 2:30 PM

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i love the comment at the end of the 3:30 post! that sounds so diplomatic and appropriate without being preachy. i will use that in the future.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 3:44 PM

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did they take the 3:30 comment off?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 4:26 PM

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ooops! i meant 230 post....duh! sorry for that confusion.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 4:33 PM

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It's not just kids (although I have had youngters make comments to me about my weight) adults can say the most tactless things as well. A few years ago I was attending the funeral of my mother in law, and I was siting beside my brother in law's wife. After the funeral one of my MIL's friends phoned me to say that she hadn't realised how much thinner the other girl was than me until she'd seen us sitting together.

I mean, why do that? As if I wasn't having a hard enough day, she phones me to tell me I'm fat?

And I hate when you meet someone in the street that you haven't seen for a while and they just can't seem to stop themselves from saying 'you've fairly put the beef on'. I wouldn't ever dream of saying something like that to someone. Would you go up to someone and say 'wow, you're bald!'? Or 'geez, you got ugly!'?

So why do people feel that they can do it with weight?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006, 1:04 PM

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You just have to laugh at it...

As hard as it is, that's all you can do. They (usually) don't mean anything.

For example, one night my 5 year old son and I were watching the news, when they said that women with large butts will live longer. He looked at me and said, mom, you're going to live forever!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006, 5:17 PM

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these are good approached to adults who make such comments, too.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 11:59 AM

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Considering the increasing number of children with weight issues, wouldn't it be better all around to tell them that too much of certain things will make them unhealthy instead of fat?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 1:02 PM

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while i agree that the terminology we teach children ought to reflect the more serious problems of health issues, not just appearance, if they make poor food choices, i would be more upset if i was told i looked unhealthy than if i was called fat. i know it's silly, but it's true for me.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006, 11:37 AM

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