Kids often spout off words and phrases without fully internalizing or understanding what they’re saying. As a result, it’s inevitable that, at some point, your child will say something rude or disparaging to you.
When this occurs, your response can either be to simply discipline them — or you can follow the example set by one mom and explain to your kids why their words are hurtful.
Allison says in the caption that the whole thing began when she made her kids get out of the pool, and her daughter became angry with Allison and called her “fat”:
My daughter called me fat today.
She was upset I made them get out of the pool and she told her brother that mama is fat.
I told her to meet me upstairs so we could chat.
Me: “what did you say about me?”
Her: “I said you were fat, mama, im sorry”
Allison then went on to explain to her daughter why calling someone “fat” is incorrect, since we all have fat on our bodies:
Me: “let’s talk about it. The truth is, I am not fat. No one IS fat. It’s not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us energy. Do you have fat?”
Her: “yes! I have some here on my tummy”
Me: “that’s right! So do I and so does your brother!”
Her brother: “I don’t have any fat, I’m the skinniest, I just have muscles”
Me: “actually everyone, every single person in the world has fat. But each of us has different amounts.”
Her brother: “oh right! I have some to protect my big muscles! But you have more than me”
Me: “Yes, that’s true. Some people have a lot, and others don’t have very much. But that doesn’t mean that one person is better than the other, do you both understand?
Both: “yes, mama”
Me: “so can you repeat what I said”
Them: “yes! I shouldn’t say someone is fat because you can’t be just fat, but everyone HAS fat and it’s okay to have different fat”
Me: “exactly right!”
Them: “can we go back to the pool now?”
Me: no 🤣🤣
Allison goes on to remind her followers that this sort of thinking will inevitably be presented to kids — and that it’s up to parents to consistently combat these negative ideas:
Each moment these topics come up i have to choose how I’m going to handle them. Fat is not a bad word in our house. If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical and undesirable. Since we don’t call people fat as an insult in my household, I have to assume she internalized this idea from somewhere or someone else. Our children are fed ideas from every angle, you have to understand that that WILL happen: at a friends house whose parents have different values, watching a tv show or movie, overhearing someone at school- ideas about body image are already filtering through their minds. It is our job to continue to be the loudest, most accepting, positive and CONSISTENT voice they hear. So that it can rise above the rest.
Talking things out with your kids is a much more productive way of handling body image issues, as opposed to getting angry with them or constantly allowing them to internalize the detrimental concepts of body-shaming that are perpetuated in society and media.
Because, let’s be real: kids who love and appreciate all body types are far less likely to hurl insensitive insults at people or troll them on the internet. And society already has enough haters as it is.