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How do I address this without making him feel worse?

Ok, so my 12 year old is a big kid but no where near fat. His longtime taller and thinner friend spent the night this weekend and said "oh here comes fat boy" when my son woke up and walked into the kitchen. If he said this in fron tof us I can only imagine what goes on at school. I know my son is already sensitive about his size since we talk about it. He is a tall kid and thick not fat. We walk together daily and dicuss being healthy but I know he really got his feelings hurt about this. Any pointers?

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:39 PM on Jan. 12, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (10)
  • Oh....Been there done that with my 2 sons. It may not help now but by 8th or 9th grade he'll slim down. Puberty does a number on some boys at this age..they grow out instead of up. At least that's what both of my sons did. They hit that stage at different times but with each of them I took them shopping and bought them more flattering clothes instead of the form hiding clothes they were wanting to wear. They didn't like it but thanked me in the end. My oldest son, a Senior, is 6ft tall and weighs 210. My youngest, a Sophomore, is 6ft 2 and weighs 235. It will get better and I know that it hurts us just as much as them when anyone comments on their weight. Smother him with love and tell him to keep his head up...because it'll get better : )

    Answer by happy2bme7 at 1:54 PM on Jan. 12, 2009

  • I once had the father of one of my son's best friends call me because my son had made comments about his son being fat at school. When I asked my son about it, he didn't deny saying the things. What he did tell me is that he liked that his friend was a big kid because he was a great wrestler! Chances are he wasn't aware of your son's feelings about his weight. You might encourage your son to let his friend know that he doesn't like it, if it should happen again.

    Answer by AngieG. at 2:01 PM on Jan. 12, 2009

  • get him into football. Help him realize that his size is an asset somewhere... some kind of sport where being a big, burly guy is a good thing. He could be an MVP... then who cares how big he is? His team NEEDS him!! They'll appreciate his size!!

    Answer by livn4hevn at 5:52 PM on Jan. 12, 2009

  • My grandson had that problem and I kept swearing to him that in our family we have big men (not fat) and that their bodies have to be stout while young so they can grow into the real man they are meant to be. I promised him that before he could drive and date he'd be tall and slimmer and all the babes would adore him. LOL.. By the time he was 14 my words rang true. He's now 18 and over six foot tall and way too slim for my taste. I keep wanting to fatten him up but he's not having any of that. Remind your son kids are always mean about things like weight or glasses or other kids being smart, etc. If he lets on that it hurts him they will continue doing it. A good "whatever" like he doesn't care might cut it out. Remind him of who he is as a person. that's what is important and his body will change but that he needs only to be himself.

    Answer by admckenzie at 8:15 PM on Jan. 12, 2009

  • When my daughter's friend says something I don't like I say something to them, especially if it's in my own house. I caught one of her friends shop lifting, she really heard it from me then and she got punished. She is no longer allowed to walk away from me in the store. She liked the fact that someone cares enough to treat her like one of the family. She is only 12 and her mother leaves for weeks at a time. Some other friends haven't taken it so well, they get a quick ride home. If they dare have the nerve to talk back to me...they never make that mistake again. I would definately talk to the kid, if you don't get anywhere I'd speak with the parents.

    Answer by LoriW at 11:48 PM on Jan. 12, 2009

  • I was the heavy girl in that situation growing up. What I didn't realize when my thin friend was calling me fat was all the other assets I had. It took me a while realize that everyone has issues and things that they don't like about themselves (even the thin kids). There was much more to me than my thick skin. Talk about body issues-I don't think this has to only be a female issue. Point out all the other great things about him. Make his see that NO ONE is perfect no matter what kind of show they put on at school.

    Answer by ConnorsMommy521 at 12:20 AM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • Kids are mean...they get picked on for niece who is very slim gets teased horribly at school for being TOO skinny, another gets teased for being chubby....yet another friend's child gets teased for his hair....they pick on EVERYTHING!

    My son is a big boy but he is in dance (girls love him) football (coaches love him) and he also is joining me at they gym to get healthy... he told me when I heard a kid teasing him and ask him about it...not to worry that everyone gets picked on and he just ignores it...maybe your son does too...

    Answer by tiggerrrt at 7:54 AM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • The only advice I can offer you (because I don't have any experience, I admit) is to keep doing what you're doing and reassure him that his body is still changing. Honestly, he probably still has baby fat. My husband is (now) 6'7" and was always tall as a child, but a little cubby/thick. He didn't completely outgrow it until about 3 years ago when he turned 18, but after he hit puberty it slowly started to fade until then.

    Answer by Mrs.BAT at 8:34 AM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • I don't think I'd talk to the other kid at this point. Since he said it in front of you he was probably being playful. But next time as soon as he says it, comment that it can be a hurtful thing to say.

    Answer by Bmat at 8:39 AM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • I have an 8 year old (3rd grade) who is 5'5 and weighs 120 pounds. He is not fat, he is solid. He has a little tummy. My son is very active, eats healthy, but still feels "fat" He is a fantastic football player and "shines" on the team. This sport has finally made him feel like he fits somewhere. I also tell him that we are going to beating the girls off with a stick when he is older because he is so handsome and sweet. Whatever difference there is in a child, another child will notice. I am sure the friend didn't mean to hurt him. That has happened to my son as well. I always tell my son that his friends look up to him and love being around such a "big" guy. They feel protected. this conversatin of his self-esteem comes up atleast twice a month. I just always reassure him that he is just the way God wanted him to be and God has a special plan for him. That makes him feel better.

    Answer by pattigioeli at 1:15 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

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