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How do I help a 10 y.o. girl with her negative body image?

Suddenly, my 10 y.o. SD is mentioning 2-3 times a day how fat she is, which she is not. At our house we are very active and make healthy food choices. At her mom's house there is lots of TV and take-out. I know she does not want to grow up(her words) and sometimes mistakes curves for fat. My sister was bulemic and I have had anorexic friends. Her dad is not worried, but he has not seen the ravages of eating disorders affect his family and friends. Am I over reacting? What can I do to make her not care, or at least want to take control and make good decisions so she can feel better about herself

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:33 PM on Apr. 19, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (10)
  • buying new clothes or , doing her make up or just her hair have a girls night type of stuff, my sisters always talk about how fat they are when theyre just fishing for compliments waiting for someone to say o no your skinny or beautiful , maybe she just needs some compliments to make her feel good about herself, self esteem is a tuff thing to try and fix for someone else i think its a personal struggle but you can try and help,

    Answer by Mommy_Chula17 at 4:42 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • A lot of kids just do this even though they know they're not fat... they just say it anyway. Now, if she's jumping up and down and screaming and crying about how horribly fat she is... find psychologist. If every once in a while she whines, "gosh, im fa-att," don't worry. Just keep encouraging all the healthy food and excersize.

    Answer by A.W.96 at 4:42 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • tell her you don't think shes fat, show her the charts for her age (as long as she falls in the "normal range" if she is even slightly over that may freak her out a bit) but tell her if she feels that she is fat, than you can teach her how to make sure she doesn't gain weight and get fat. by keep pushing the activities and the healthy food choices. show her the difference in an apple for a snack and a bunch of cookies. and give her compliments like the first poster said

    Answer by vabchmommy at 4:48 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • well, since she's only ten, make it look like you guys are working out together or something. take morning or night walks or jogs, or even swimming or biking or something like that, something that is NORMAL for a ten year old to do. its not bad if shes staying active, just try not to let her diet. thats not good at her age, and i would just suggest "working out" with you so she feels like shes working off her calories, but really just having fun or whatever =]

    Answer by mommykayti at 4:56 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • Point out that several famous people have nice curves, like Jennifer Lopez, and the Kardashian sisters. There are books about this kind of thing, I just can't think of what they are called. They have them for boys, too. You get them at Barnes & Noble. They may help. Don't make a big deal about it, but talk with her about it. Make sure you aren't talking at her, but with her.

    Answer by Buffie95 at 5:13 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • Thanks, Ladies! Her dad actually lost 30 pounds about 2 years ago( ...I am so proud of him!...)by doing things like riding bikes, taking walks, jogging a mile, and eating a salad or an apple or a bowl of granola or oatmeal. And now he is off blood pressure meds, which were wrecking his liver, blah blah blah. She says "I think you should gain some weight back" but we explain how much healthier he is now. She may be fishing for compliments and I like the idea of the two of us doing girly stuff...walking until we break a sweat and then going home for a facial to enhance our natural glow...and then me pointing out how good that natural glow looks on us! Thanks Again...and feel free to keep the ideas coming!

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:54 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • Oh, I wanted to add that I just requested a copy of "Real Women Have Curves" from the library for us to watch together as a family...It's a great movie about coming into your body, your culture, your family and your self. I highly recommend it for all of us because it is one great film...It may be a chick flick but Daddy is gonna love watching it with us because he's such a great sport! That is yet another reason we love him so much!

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:01 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • U can tell her that it dosen't matter what she look like, what she smell like, what she walk like, what she talk like,or what her hair look like but it is what she feel like on the inside of her becauseGOD made her the way he want her to be so don't worry about what anybody say about her, and tell her to tell them that GOD made her the way he want her to be so they can talk all they want to because they are talking about their self and last tell her to tell them while they aer talking about her they don't look no better.

    Answer by HOTSEXYGIRL at 12:19 PM on Apr. 20, 2009

  • I just went through this with my 11 year old daughter. She was obsessed with her stomach. She took pictures of her stomach and does hip hop abs and yoga booty ballet. She even bought herself a slim in lift from ebay. I told her she was not fat and asked her if someone at school was making fun of her. She said no. My daughter is 5 ft. 1" and weighs 110 lbs. she wears a 3 in jrs. She drinks sugar free drinks and spring water. Loves to eat oatmeal and high fiber bread. The only thing is she still like her sweets. The BMI chart from school really isn't a help either, that just convinces her she is over weight. Her friend weighs 84lbs and they said she was over weight due to her height. This is why children and teens today have eating disorders. My only suggestion is talk to her doctor let her doctor explain she is not fat and proportioned the right way. I did and Ashton gave up the slim and lift.

    Answer by CasualCandles at 9:46 AM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • my 9 year old step daughter is over weight for her age but i'm trying into getting her into doing more activites but her dad is always hounding her about eatting right and stuff and i told him that wasnt the way to go because her little brother says shes fat and stuff like that and i told them to cut it out she is 9 years old and she already is worried bout what she eats that is no way for a 9 year old child to think.... But i'm new at all of this

    Answer by kandist at 3:37 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

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