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What would you do if this came home in your kids' homework? UPDATE with rest of paper. ANOTHER UPDATE, in red.

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My friend's son brought this home as his homework today:

I am completely shocked!  Her son is 5 and this is the garbage they are teaching.  Disgusting.  I told her, my ds wouldn't do it, and I'd be having a nice little chat with the teacher.  Your thoughts?


For those of you who were wondering about the rest of the paper, I asked my friend and she said the assignment was to match the right picture with the word.  Some of the other words were man, pot, cat, cow, fish, etc.  I still think it should have at least been an animal that was "fat" or something, not a little girl.  It just seems offensive to me, and not how I would want my kids to think of someone.


For everyone who has misunderstood and thinks I'm upset by the actual word "fat", I'll just respond to you all at once here...the word is not the issue.  The big deal is the fact that they labeled a little girl fat.  Factfully she is...but this opens the door for 5 year olds to think it's ok for them to call anyone who isn't skinny "fat" and that is NOT ok.  They should have used a cat, like when my DD (who is almost 8) was in Kinder, they read a book about a fat cat who sat on the mat...not a fat girl!  My DD saw this pic and she told me, "that is mean, Mommy, you are not suppose to call people fat.  Why didn't use the fat cat?"  My 7.5 year old gets it!  Fat is a word and used to describe things, but should not be used to describe a person.  Plain and simple.  Society has turned it into a mean and degrading term, wether it is said innocently by a child, it can still be hurtful to label a person as fat...and for those of you who say it's the parents' job to teach them not to call people fat, unfortunately not all children have the benefit of a parent who takes the time to care.  It's those kids who may look at little Suzie in the class (who is bigger than everyone else) and now associate little Suzie with the fat girl in their homework, and poor little Suzie is now the class fat girl!  And don't try to say it's not a big deal, if your DD happened to be little Suzie and came home upset because the kids in her class compared her to the fat girl on their worksheet, then you'd be singing a different tune.  The word fat, being fat, teaching kids what fat is, is not the issue...labeling a child as fat is. 
 

by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:27 PM
Replies (51-60):
TTC2Long
by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 6:29 PM
1 mom liked this
Fat IS subjective, absolutely! And whether fat is a negative is also subjective. In several cultures in the world, fat is the preference, culture-wide, not just individually. Some cultures see it as a sign of wealth and prosperity. In GENERAL, the American ideal is a slim body and anyone above that could be considered fat. Heck, as a 5' woman, I felt fat at 115lbs, well within a healthy bmi! Even at 102 I had my fat days.

Quoting chinosruca:

Fat and ugly are not the same. Ugly is subjective and fat is actual. If you are fat, you are fat. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and some people value different physical attributes. I personally think Kim Kardashian is ugly as can be.....but she is viewes by millions as beautiful.



Quoting TTC2Long:

I don't think you're being honest about how that would make you feel. But that's fine. Any woman reading that example knows better. Anyone who gets called ugly, especially as a child, doesn't philosophically say, "Yes, it's true, I AM ugly. Ho hum." And the fact is, the sheet showed girls, who are known to be more sensitive about their weight and appearance, and child-aged girls, at that. At 5, a fat kid probably doesn't have the wherewithal to make the changes necessary to address his weight. If they are heavy, it's probably due to the diet his parents feed him and a lack of exercise. I agree - ADULTS who are overweight and unhappy about it can and should absolutely take charge and lose the weight. But the same can't be said for young kids, who don't control their parents shopping and cooking habits.





Quoting chotovec82:

Yea because if I was fat then I was fat. It's like this; I used to be called ugly all the time at first it might have bothered me but you know what? I was ugly. If I was fat than I would be fat. If I felt bad about being fat than I would work on losing weight. Being fat can be something that you fix. I dunno it is what it is. I don't punish my kids for describing someone as long as it wasn't malciously done.





Quoting TTC2Long:

And if the mom had replied, "Yes, she's fat. That's right," with no judgement or ridicule, just stating a fact, you'd be fine? That's exactly what I'm saying. There are better, more polite words to use if someone is, indeed, fat. Having it on worksheets like this conveys the message that it's perfectly fine to call a person fat as a descriptor. They could just as easily had a fat crayon, chicken, caterpillar, dog, whatever. I'm sure this one example on one worksheet in kindergarten isn't going to scar a child for life, but it does reinforce a message that is already too prevalent in society.











Quoting chotovec82:

Depends... If the kid said that and the mom laughed or something then I might be a bit annoyed. However if the mom said that it wasn't polite to call someone fat than no. That is our job as parents to correct it if it could be hurtful. However if I was fat than that is most likely the only descriptive word that could be used anyways. What if they said, "heavy?"








Quoting TTC2Long:

So you would be fine if, say, a kid pointed to you in a store and said, "Hey mom, look at that fat lady!"??






















Quoting chotovec82:

I don't really see the issue. There are fat people and there are skinny people. If fat people take offense to the word, "fat" than they should consider losing the weight. It's like using black or brown to describe another peron; what's wrong with it? If the person is black or brown and the kid is not making fun of skin color the person. Fat, black (in terms of people), white, big, small, tall, short, etc... are all descriptive words. People need to get over it. Seriously we have become a society of whiney people.



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chinosruca
by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 6:33 PM
1 mom liked this
Fat is still fat. Just because it is accepted culturally does not mean it is subjective. A lot of the Polynesian cultures embrace fat women. Men like them that way and women enjoy being that way. They are still fat whether it is accepted or not. There is also a sich thing as skinny fat. A person can be thin and have too much fat on them. People may not see that they are fat, but they are.

Quoting TTC2Long:

Fat IS subjective, absolutely! And whether fat is a negative is also subjective. In several cultures in the world, fat is the preference, culture-wide, not just individually. Some cultures see it as a sign of wealth and prosperity. In GENERAL, the American ideal is a slim body and anyone above that could be considered fat. Heck, as a 5' woman, I felt fat at 115lbs, well within a healthy bmi! Even at 102 I had my fat days.



Quoting chinosruca:

Fat and ugly are not the same. Ugly is subjective and fat is actual. If you are fat, you are fat. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and some people value different physical attributes. I personally think Kim Kardashian is ugly as can be.....but she is viewes by millions as beautiful.





Quoting TTC2Long:

I don't think you're being honest about how that would make you feel. But that's fine. Any woman reading that example knows better. Anyone who gets called ugly, especially as a child, doesn't philosophically say, "Yes, it's true, I AM ugly. Ho hum." And the fact is, the sheet showed girls, who are known to be more sensitive about their weight and appearance, and child-aged girls, at that. At 5, a fat kid probably doesn't have the wherewithal to make the changes necessary to address his weight. If they are heavy, it's probably due to the diet his parents feed him and a lack of exercise. I agree - ADULTS who are overweight and unhappy about it can and should absolutely take charge and lose the weight. But the same can't be said for young kids, who don't control their parents shopping and cooking habits.







Quoting chotovec82:

Yea because if I was fat then I was fat. It's like this; I used to be called ugly all the time at first it might have bothered me but you know what? I was ugly. If I was fat than I would be fat. If I felt bad about being fat than I would work on losing weight. Being fat can be something that you fix. I dunno it is what it is. I don't punish my kids for describing someone as long as it wasn't malciously done.






Quoting TTC2Long:

And if the mom had replied, "Yes, she's fat. That's right," with no judgement or ridicule, just stating a fact, you'd be fine? That's exactly what I'm saying. There are better, more polite words to use if someone is, indeed, fat. Having it on worksheets like this conveys the message that it's perfectly fine to call a person fat as a descriptor. They could just as easily had a fat crayon, chicken, caterpillar, dog, whatever. I'm sure this one example on one worksheet in kindergarten isn't going to scar a child for life, but it does reinforce a message that is already too prevalent in society.













Quoting chotovec82:

Depends... If the kid said that and the mom laughed or something then I might be a bit annoyed. However if the mom said that it wasn't polite to call someone fat than no. That is our job as parents to correct it if it could be hurtful. However if I was fat than that is most likely the only descriptive word that could be used anyways. What if they said, "heavy?"









Quoting TTC2Long:

So you would be fine if, say, a kid pointed to you in a store and said, "Hey mom, look at that fat lady!"??


























Quoting chotovec82:

I don't really see the issue. There are fat people and there are skinny people. If fat people take offense to the word, "fat" than they should consider losing the weight. It's like using black or brown to describe another peron; what's wrong with it? If the person is black or brown and the kid is not making fun of skin color the person. Fat, black (in terms of people), white, big, small, tall, short, etc... are all descriptive words. People need to get over it. Seriously we have become a society of whiney people.



Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Paperfishies
by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 6:35 PM
2 moms liked this
I'm fat and I would have a good laugh and make him do his homework.

Fat isn't a bad word. Fat isn't offensive to say. People need to stop being so reactive.
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MommaTasha1003
by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Im fat. It would not bother me. They are learning words & fat is a word. A very common CVC word.

If I seen a "tall/short".. Should I find it offensive that they showed my kid a short person?

littleangie
by Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Why is fat bad?  I think fat people are beautiful and I think that we need to approach it that way.

chotovec82
by Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Uhm I did say it hurt me when I was younger but I was ugly and I accepted it. I still ended up with boyfriends and stuff so it wasn't that big of a deal. If I was fat then I would ask my mom to put me on a diet if it hurt me that people called me fat. It is what it is. I was ugly and I am still not very attractive but it is what it is and I am married and my husband thinks I'm beautiful.

Quoting TTC2Long:

I don't think you're being honest about how that would make you feel. But that's fine. Any woman reading that example knows better. Anyone who gets called ugly, especially as a child, doesn't philosophically say, "Yes, it's true, I AM ugly. Ho hum." And the fact is, the sheet showed girls, who are known to be more sensitive about their weight and appearance, and child-aged girls, at that. At 5, a fat kid probably doesn't have the wherewithal to make the changes necessary to address his weight. If they are heavy, it's probably due to the diet his parents feed him and a lack of exercise. I agree - ADULTS who are overweight and unhappy about it can and should absolutely take charge and lose the weight. But the same can't be said for young kids, who don't control their parents shopping and cooking habits. 
theresaphilly
by Bronze Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Nothing

Mommy0505
by Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Looks like they were learning spelling patterns.

Unless you plan to pay for, or research a supplemental language arts program then lay off.

The teacher is doing the best with what she has to work with and whoever said fat was a bad word??

Some of the books in schools/public libraries still have dads & grandpas smoking pipes after dinner.  Or Jane playing with Dick. 

Thin and fat are adjectives.  Very commonly used to describe human bodies in, gasp, objective terms.

nickellmomof2
by Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Fat isn't bad.  I see nothing wrong with fat people at all.  But in our society a lot of people (kids in general) use "fat" to be mean and degrade others.  It's a big bullying issue.  I teach my kids not to call people fat, because some may find it offensive/ hurtful.  Not everyone is confident in themselves.  This just shows that's it's ok to call someone "fat" even though it could offend someone.  

Quoting littleangie:

Why is fat bad?  I think fat people are beautiful and I think that we need to approach it that way.


copgirl112
by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 9:05 PM


Quoting steelcrazy:

You do realize that deeming the word "fat" a "bad" word isn't going to do anything to help the obesity problem.  Not to mention that if "fat" is a "bad" word, then shouldn't "thin" be a "bad" word too?  I would really hate for my kids to offend a woman and make her feel anorexic because they called her "thin".

Really, think about it.

Most people with body images get offened by both. I have tons of thin friends who hate being called thin, they want to gain weight but they can't.

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