6 year old distinctions between fat and thin — The Bump
School-Aged Children

6 year old distinctions between fat and thin

Hi, I'm concerned because my 6 yo daughter has been talking a lot about people being plump (I have said the word fat can be hurtful to people) and thin. What is bothering me more is she is clear about liking thin more. For example she said before bed tonight that she likes her pet because she is thin. She said that doesn't mean she doesn't like me (I'm plump ;-), but that she just likes bluey because she's thin. Soooo I had a talk with her explaining that thin is not better than plump and vice versa nor is short better than tall or brown hair better than blonde etc it is about the kind of person you are. My question is: is this typical or should I be concerned that this could lead to body image issues. I do not see her thinking in terms of herself at this point and I don't want to over react. Just wondering if anyone has had experience with this type of talk. Tia

Re: 6 year old distinctions between fat and thin

  • ppantsppants
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    Idk if it's typical to be so focused on liking thin things, but you can also focus or what bodies can do ie running, jump, sing, dance, play. Is there another influence like a friend or family member possibly driving this focus?
    Wendy Twins 1/27/06. DS and DD
  • Like ppants said above, I'd probably casually do some digging to find out if there's someone/something behind this focus on being thin.

    Then, I'd say that what's really important is not whether you're fat or thin, but whether a person is healthy.  I'd explain that some people have a natural tendency to be thinner while others have a natural tendency to be plumper.  If a thin person never exercises and eats lots of junk food, they may be thin, but still not healthy.  And a person who is naturally bigger may work out and eat a great diet.  Even if they are a little plump, that person can play more and has more energy than the thin but unhealthy person.  Bluey is lucky -- she's both healthy and thin.  But wouldn't it be sad if Bluey looked the same but ate a lot of food that was unhealthy and didn't get much exercise?  Her coat (or scales or feathers - whatever) would be more scraggly and she wouldn't want to play much.  That would be sad.

    See if you can change the conversation into a more productive one about having a healthy lifestyle, rather than a thin appearance.
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • Honestly? Its probably a stage, and I think overdoing it with some deep conversation isnt worth it right now. That is a hard concept to understand.

    I would just make sure if it comes up, you keep saying what you are- that physical differences are not what makes up a person, or should be why you like them.

    How are you with body image? I would say that is the only thing to watch out for- I am pretty average weight but always want to lose weight. I NEVER talk about feeling fat, looking fat, etc in front of her.
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