Saturday, April 23, 2011

How do we teach our daughter's better?

I went shopping with the Diva today for the prom dress. She is going with a boy as a friend only, which I appreciate because she is still going to have a good time without all the boyfriend pressure.

What I really want to talk about though is the pressure that the Diva feels to be thin and pretty. To give you an idea, she is 5'3" and about 118 pounds. She fluctuates about 5 or 10 pounds, depending on when track season starts. Last year when looking for the perfect 8th grade dance dress she wore a size 4. This year for homecoming she still wore a size 4. Today we had to go up to a size 6. I seriously thought she was going to cry.

We don't focus on looks in our house. I'm a big girl, but I've always been a big girl so this is all I know. I remember the pressure my mom and Mawmaw put on me to diet while I was growing up, and I hated every minute of it. We try to make sure (as best we are able) that the Diva eats 3 healthy meals a day and that she doesn't skip. If I don't watch her she will occasionally skip breakfast, and of course I don't know that she actually eats the lunch she takes to school. I believe her when she tells me she does.

So my question is this, other than encouraging positive body image in our house, how do we keep her from worrying about her weight? Y'all should see her, she is so pretty. She is this tiny, petite little thing with an outstanding personality, but I hate for her to worry so about it.

I know I think "what's the big deal between a 4 and a 6, at least it's not a twenty." The dress was by a different designer, but she is still fretting about it. I want her to grow up with a healthy body image, but short of locking her in her bedroom and taking away her tv and computer I don't know how to keep her from worrying. Then I worry, what a vicious cycle.


  1. I go through this with my daughters. Especially now that 14 is a cheerleader. I preach, and I mean preach, that it's all about portion control, not what we can/can't eat. I still battle daily the "omg my I wear a size 3 now!" or the constant I want some ice cream but I don't want to get fat.

    I went extreme. We sat together and searched anorexia and photos and we searched morbidly obese and photos. I wanted to show them the extremes and how we all fall between. I also constantly remind them that we continue to grow until we're about 20ish so nothing today will be the same in a year or three. good luck!

  2. You don't want to hear my answer to this one:

    You can't fix it while they're small. There's too much peer pressure and there's too much going on in their lives.

    BUT--you can model the correct behavior. It sinks in, slowly. And then they make better decisions as they get older.

    Two of mine were pudgy teens. No amount of whining, cajoling, complaining or simply pointing out how unhealthy they were got anywhere.

    Both have now (22 and 19) joined gyms and look fabulous. I don't think it was the cajoling and whining. I think it was the fact that dad and I eat well, exercise regularly, and make a big deal out of both.