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Old 08-03-2013, 07:23 AM   #1
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Blog post about talking weight with your daughters

I have seen this floating around FB & would love to hear opinions from JBs. I have lots of thoughts on this but wanted to throw it out to you all first. We're not supposed to link stuff, so I just cut/pasted. hopefully that's alright over here.

"How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: donít talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.

Donít say anything if sheís lost weight. Donít say anything if sheís gained weight.

If you think your daughterís body looks amazing, donít say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

ďYou look so healthy!Ē is a great one.

Or how about, ďyouíre looking so strong.Ē

ďI can see how happy you are Ė youíre glowing.Ē

Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

Donít comment on other womenís bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.

Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.

Donít you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, donít go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But donít say ďIím not eating carbs right now.Ē Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.

Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and thatís a good thing sometimes.

Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, youíll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isnít absolutely in love with.

Prove to your daughter that women donít need men to move their furniture.

Teach your daughter how to cook kale.

Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.

Pass on your own momís recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.

Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. Itís easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Donít. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.

Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul."
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:32 AM   #2
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It sounds beautiful. I think all these recommendations are ideal. I know that we have so much history before we even have daughters that would make it next to impossible to never have shown any body issues to our children. If someone can manage that, it would be perfect. I wonder at the shame and feelings of inadequacy people might get when they realize they couldn't/didn't do these things for their children, though.

ETA: I am glad sometimes that I don't have children.

Last edited by Librarygirl; 08-03-2013 at 07:34 AM..
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:53 AM   #3
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Being a single dad, and having my daughter with me half the time, every other week, I think I can chime in. I'm not sure I agree with the don'ts in this, I agree with every encouragement possible. Making sure she can do anything she sets her mind to and that she is not limited in any way, because she is a girl, or young, or any other thing she might think of that would prevent her from trying or doing something, is so important.

But not talking about what you are doing diet wise to improve your health and get fit because it will somehow affect her negatively seems a bit narrow minded. We should be leading by example and if you have a goal and a method to get there that is healthy and not dangerous then you should talk about it with your children. They don't have to do it, but making them aware of why you think you gained weight, and how you plan to get it off, and talking about the results, positive and negative, will give them some of the knowledge you have struggled to learn and will provide them the tools to not get into similar situations.

Personally, I have been working on getting fit for 2 years and discussed every aspect of my diet and exercise with my daughter. During that time she ate what I ate when she was with me and ate completely differently when at her mothers. And during that time she gained probably 10 pounds and while I didn't tell her she seemed to be gaining, she knew she was because she had to get larger sizes and did express some desire to lose some weight. So I encouraged her to go to the gym with me and do some exercise and walk with me at home. She did this some but never really committed to it and gained a little more and she never changed what she ate at her mom's. On her own after seeing my final progress this year she decided to cut out gluten at her mom's and limit processed foods and most grains and to exercise a bit more on her own and with me. She basically picked up my diet, because she knew what I ate and did not eat and why, and withing 2 months dropped 20 pounds to a very healthy weight for her height. And she was proud of herself and I was too and I told her I was. Her confidence in herself skyrocketed and she did better in school and is really focused on her future like she has never been before, including eating for health and fitness so she can do all the things she wants to do.

Knowledge is power. This seem like more of the same annoying things that are going on with everyone trying to protect children from life. No running at school because someone might get hurt, no dodgeball because it promotes violence, over reacting to everything that happens to the point where our children are not equipped to deal with real life situations when they leave the home because they never dealt with there equivalents when they were children.

Just my observations and opinions. Hopefully I don't offend anyone, but if I did, I'm sure you grew up in an environment that will allow you to get over it quickly.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:01 AM   #4
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:05 AM   #5
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Mike. You've obviously done a great job with your daughter, and kudos to her for using your example to get fitter, and all the good things that came with that.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:31 AM   #6
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I struggle with this with Keira. She's gained a bit of weight this year and is a little pudgy, though she often gains before a growth spurt. I do my best to balance the praise with recommendations for healthier living (sports, good food choices, etc.). DH was always overweight, and much of my family is, so we have a predisposition without even considering diet and exercise. Add thyroid disease, on both sides of the family, and there's a reason to be cautious. I try my best not to criticize.

Also, lately, she's been showing signs of early development. We just had to get her deoderant, she's been shaving her legs and now has underarm hair coming in. She has a little bit of growth happening with her chest, though it's hard to tell if that's breast development or pudge. She's complained of being over-emotional and says she thinks it's her hormones. She's EIGHT!

My mom developed early, got breasts at 8 or 9, started her period at 10 (I may have those ages switched), so I'm really a bit freaked out. Melinda, this is definitely a timely post for me, and a great reminder to try to balance the information well for her so she can make healthy, informed decisions. We always try to be open and honest with her, and that includes how and why we diet, and why we'd like her to never have to deal with the negative body issues that we've had to deal with. She's a beautiful child and I want to do everything I can to encourage her to be the best person she can be, in every way, without putting her under any pressure to be perfect.

It's definitely a challenge.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:33 AM   #7
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Thank you, Mike. That was exactly the issue I had with the blog post yet notice my mental health friends think not talking about body issues is the way to go. I strongly disagree!!! F course, I am completely honest with my kids about all kinds of issues to begin with. I am not going to pretend weight and good health have not been a struggle for me when my kids have eyeballs. we often talk here about how powerful this JUDDD thing is and how beneficial it could have been had we known about it at a young age. Why would I not share a powerful tool to stay healthy and live long with my children? I gladly share with friends, after all.

I do admire the theory, though, and do try to reign myself in from focusing on physical attributes with my kids. They are, after all, just amazing human beings I love with all my heart.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:39 AM   #8
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Dawn, amen and ditto x 100000000!!!! I am right there with you with my Jenna, and of course, she has big brothers dating and there is so much to talk about around that as well. As in all areas of my kids lives, I just want them to be informed about as much as possible so they have the tools to make the best choices they possibly can! This certainly includes diet and exercise, healthy weights and ways to achieve/maintain that. The blog makes me feel like I am wrong and should pretend weight and self esteem issues around it should be ignored. Even if I never mentioned my personal struggles here, my kids will encounter these things at school and with peers, etc. I just can't not talk about such huge issues and leave them alone to struggle!

ETA, it would be lovely, of course, if they never had to worry about it, but I don't find that realistic. Even my naturally thin husband has had to start working on this in the last few years. AND! I would still want them knowledgeable so they could be empathic and encouraging with friends, family and later, their own kids!

Last edited by Flutter; 08-03-2013 at 08:43 AM..
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:10 AM   #9
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I wish I had had something like this to ponder when I had teenagers. I did it all wrong that is for sure.

I can't say I agree with everything there though.

Truth is, we do our best and it is seldom good enough..

Philip Lakein was an English Poet who wrote

This Be The Verse
They **** you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were ****ed up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

Always makes me laugh... the missing words rhyme with luck
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flutter View Post
Thank you, Mike. That was exactly the issue I had with the blog post yet notice my mental health friends think not talking about body issues is the way to go. I strongly disagree!!!
I'm a mental health professional and I don't think that not talking about something is ever the answer. I encourage people to be honest and open with their children in an age appropriate way. You would speak to an 8 year old about health and wellness differently than you would to a 16 year old, but not discussing it doesn't make it go away. Kids will listen to those who talk to them so better it come from parents who hopefully are more informed than from other kids/ teens or the internet which often has mis- information or information that really needs to be combed through to find the important and accurate parts.

I commend all the parents here because it is a hard job and children don't come with an instruction manual.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:12 AM   #11
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as always Carly.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeirasMom View Post
Keira...lately, she's been showing signs of early development. ... She's EIGHT!

My mom developed early, got breasts at 8 or 9, started her period at 10 (I may have those ages switched), so I'm really a bit freaked out. ...

This is completely anecdotal, and may not relate at all due to your family situation, but...

I noticed my oldest daughter was beginning to develop when she was about 8. Since I started breasts/period around the 12-13 age range, I was concerned. I switched our milk from regular to organic/no hormones in the cows-type. Although it may have had no effect/the results could have been coincidence, I consider it well worth it because my daughter's breast buds stopped developing, and didn't start up again until the more normal(for me) age of 11/12.

It is worth considering and doing your own reading about.

Hope this is helpful and not annoying.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:20 AM   #13
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My boss's daughter started her period at age 9. I was age 12 and still not really developing breasts (although I never really did lol). I do think the early growth in young girls now might have something to do with hormones in food, and maybe some of the baby formula...?
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:30 AM   #14
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This is completely anecdotal, and may not relate at all due to your family situation, but...

I noticed my oldest daughter was beginning to develop when she was about 8. Since I started breasts/period around the 12-13 age range, I was concerned. I switched our milk from regular to organic/no hormones in the cows-type. Although it may have had no effect/the results could have been coincidence, I consider it well worth it because my daughter's breast buds stopped developing, and didn't start up again until the more normal(for me) age of 11/12.

It is worth considering and doing your own reading about.

Hope this is helpful and not annoying.
Not at all annoying. I've considered it myself, but with the family history, and my mom developing in the 50's before much of the milk supply had hormones added, I don't think that's it, though it's certainly a possibility. We don't drink milk at home, (we use almond or coconut milk mostly), but we do eat out a lot, and she gets meals at school and snacks at day care, so I'm sure all that's genetically modified and chock full of hormones. Ugh!
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:05 AM   #15
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It's funny they still think of weight as a "female" thing.
My son often thinks he needs to lose a few pounds. He's at his ideal weight but can get a little bit of tummy if he just sloths around for weeks while he's home.
But he's a young adult, so my usual question to him, if he brings it up, it: What are you prepared to do?
For him it's simply dropping sugary sodas for a week.
But weight isn't a sex specific issue. Males have the same insecurities and body issues as females do.
And it starts young with them, too.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:59 PM   #16
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I appreciate Mike's post, and agree with him. My main problem was not to diet in front of your daughter (or son). So, if you're morbidly obese, or even just overweight, it's better to stay that way than address it? How on earth do you make major changes to your eating w/o talking about it, at least just a little bit?

Dawn, I developed early too, and hated it. Chest and hips rounding at about 9 and period at 10. I felt very alone and the attention I was getting was unwelcome and uncomfortable. It also made me feel FAT because I was getting rounder and softer. In all reality, it was in the right places, and I was NOT fat. But compared to all the other little girls who still had little boy figures, it seemed fat not only to me, but to my classmates as well.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:56 PM   #17
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I'm 39, and got my period at age 9. Apparently, I took after my father's side of the family, because we all developed early (yes, I needed a bra around that time as well), all the way back to my grandmother, who was born in 1902 and raised in Barbados, certainly not exposed to most of what we are nowadays. My mother didn't get her period, or breasts, until she was 14!

Do I think some of it is chemically based? Sure, but how much, I have no idea.

That said, I think talking about diet for health, and diet to look good are two very different things. Of course we need to share with our children how to make healthy food choices, but that doesn't mean we have to make it about appearance.
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoCarbGal View Post
I appreciate Mike's post, and agree with him. My main problem was not to diet in front of your daughter (or son). So, if you're morbidly obese, or even just overweight, it's better to stay that way than address it? How on earth do you make major changes to your eating w/o talking about it, at least just a little bit?

Dawn, I developed early too, and hated it. Chest and hips rounding at about 9 and period at 10. I felt very alone and the attention I was getting was unwelcome and uncomfortable. It also made me feel FAT because I was getting rounder and softer. In all reality, it was in the right places, and I was NOT fat. But compared to all the other little girls who still had little boy figures, it seemed fat not only to me, but to my classmates as well.
It makes me wonder if this blog is for and also written by "soccer moms" who are perpetually driven for perfection and constantly dieting for that same reason. Clearly, if a person needs to lose a significant amount of weight, it's not something that anyone *hasn't* noticed, including her family.

ETA: That sounds like a mean stereotype. Oops!

Last edited by Librarygirl; 08-03-2013 at 07:51 PM..
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:12 AM   #19
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Mum - you didn't make me eat and not exercise!!!
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:57 AM   #20
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Thank you darling. But I did do it wrong, I know that. Love you to bits.
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