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An eating disorder waiting to happen

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Old 11-19-2010, 01:18 PM   #1
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Default An eating disorder waiting to happen

I feel so sorry for this kid in my daughter's gymnastics class. It's a two year old class. Remember that for this story.

We're in class and this other mom referred to her daughter as having thunder thighs. Later the instructor picks a kid to do a song where we lift the kids and toss them and twirl them. The instructor picked another kid and the mom made a comment about how it was because the instructor was smart to protect her back. Then she asks the mom of the chosen kid about her kid's age. When the mom said she was two but small for her age, the crazy mom (yes I'm judging someone else by now) says "you're so lucky".

Arrgh!!! It's a freaking hour long class and I heard her disparage her daughter's weight/size three times and that's what I was close enough to hear. Now, before you think this kid really is huge, she was approximately in the middle of the class as far as height and weight. There are the younger and more petite kids and then there are the older 2 year olds. My daughter is the largest in the class. She's like 90 something percentile for height and she is packed with lean muscle (she looks like a mini track star or Dominique Dawes in her gymnastics gear). I have a bad back and have never hurt it with my daughter and that song, so there's no reason to believe a healthy woman (the instructor) with a smaller child (the kid of the crazy lady) should have to worry about that.

There is not a single kid in that class with a weight issue and here is this woman spreading her negative self image issues into the group. I'm trying to live healthier and teach my daughter to accept and love her body by being a good example. It's so sad to see that so young. How sad that I may try to create a healthy environment for my daughter and her self image, but she will face many other places where she's exposed to such negativity and skewed perceptions.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:27 PM   #2
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I have a friend who told her 4 year old that her shorts from last year didn't fit because she got fat.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:29 PM   #3
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This is in a class where the kids are 2 years old?!?! Oh my gosh.

That mother has no idea what her daughter will end up looking like! She's TWO for crying out loud - bodies change from the age of 2 on. Wow.

It's good you recognize what that other woman is doing and that you are doing the opposite (which is promoting a healthy self-image).

It reminds me a little of a situation that's in reverse that I know of. A friend of mine is very petite, like her mother used to be. Her mother used to have a 22 inch waist naturally. Now she is over 200lbs and not tall. The mother lives vicariously through the daughter, commenting on how tiny the daughter is and how fat the mother is (which makes the daughter very uncomfortable). The daughter is terrified of becoming like her mother. Now she says she is not at all built like her (not true - she is built EXACTLY like her mom). So I don't know if she'll end up obese and the other way. It's worrying.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:29 PM   #4
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wtf is wrong with people.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:32 PM   #5
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Wow I might not have been able to hold my tongue! I might have said "Excuse me, but why are you saying your daughter is overweight? Your daughter is perfectly normal looking and the way you are talking is only going to give her an eating disorder in the future."

I wouldn't be surprised if a parent or two chimed in.

Seriously abuse comes in all forms... Too bad you can't call CPS on her.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:08 PM   #6
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:13 PM   #7
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That's so very sad. It's a horrible example she's setting for all of the other mom's and children as well. Poor kid.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:43 PM   #8
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Whoa! That's pretty awful at any age, but at age 2?? I was a really big kid and I've always had to deal with random remarks from my family, particularily my mom, but they were never outright mean like that, and it was always in a very supportive context. Reminds me of a girl I knew in college whose mom told her that she got fat and ugly after she stopped ice skating, and that no guy would ever love her as a fat pig. So much for unconditional love and support! I'd have a really hard time holding my tongue around someone like that.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerab View Post
Wow I might not have been able to hold my tongue! I might have said "Excuse me, but why are you saying your daughter is overweight? Your daughter is perfectly normal looking and the way you are talking is only going to give her an eating disorder in the future."

I wouldn't be surprised if a parent or two chimed in.

Seriously abuse comes in all forms... Too bad you can't call CPS on her.

I agree. I wouldn't be able to tolerate it.

It's so sad, and so very true what you said OP.
She's just spreading her negative self-images
amongst the group.

Next time, honestly, say something to her.
Not only is her daughter feeling like crap at
the end of the day, but she's also saying that
in a public place. How truly sad and ignorant.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:08 PM   #10
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I would have bawled her out. That's disgusting and I'd never do that to my children. I know when I gained weight all I heard from my mom was how fat I was and other people who knew me in my "skinny" days constantly going at me because I had gained so much weight. It's disgusting, and annoying and definitely not good for someone's health. But to say that about a 2 year old...that poor kid I can just see what she's going to be like in 10 even 15 years from now.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:58 PM   #11
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You could, actually, call CPS and report her. We get quite a few intakes about emotional abuse, which this is pretty clearly. I've worked cases where the parents were eventually court ordered to have "parent partners" (that's what they're called in our state) which is like a trained mentor to teach them how to treat their children. Studies have shown that the majority of children who are in the juvenile system and in CAPS programs for self mutilation and eating disorders don't come from homes where physical abuse is present, but homes where there is emotional abuse or neglect. And long term studies have shown that children who are emotionally neglected or abused are far less successful than those who are physically abused. I'm not sure what state you are in, but my state takes these cases just as seriously as physical abuse cases, because the damage can be far worse.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:59 PM   #12
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Sorry, I should have added that I'm a CPS Specialist.
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:46 AM   #13
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I have to agree with kathrynk, and it can be done anonymously so you don't have to have a verbal confrontation with the crazy mother- which wouldn't change the way she treats her child anyway. The mom obviously has serious body image issues and her poor kid is going to grow up probably never being able to fit her mom's ideal of physical perfection. She won't have her child taken away for just for comments like that (unless there's even worse verbal abuse going on), but maybe she could get help on how to deal with her own issues and not continue to emotionally abuse her child.
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Old 11-20-2010, 01:45 PM   #14
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That story made me cry. Go give your daughter a hug...I'm off to find mine.
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:50 PM   #15
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Not sure what the correct names for these things are but is there like an American Gymnastics or State Gymnastics code of practice? I used to coach gymnastics here in Scotland and one of our core philosophies is positive body image. If this lady had been overheard by a coach then although she's not part of the coaching staff she's there during the class so she'd be getting spoken to asking her not to comment on children's bodies. We have to display a positive body image poster during all classes as a condition of license.

There are very clear guidelines even for how to approach a senior gymnast about weight issues, if they are competing at national level for example, but even then you are meant to refer to their training nutrition, strength and muscle tissue so that you never, never tell a young girl she's too heavy, you just tell her that her nutrition needs to be reviewed. We sometimes chat with older children about quality nutrition for fuelling their training but again it's never about weight, it's always about if you have a bag of chips and a candy bar in your lunch box then how will that provide what your body needs to do gymnastics with.

A class for tiny children who are not likely to be going to the Olympics this year (!) has no place for this kind of talk. I'd speak to the coach, could the coach overhear this? Maybe they don't know. Shame this kid has to hear this at home, though, it certainly screwed me up. In our house you never looked "nice" in anything, you either looked slim or you looked "like a gasometer", my mum was constantly tweaking our clothes to stop us looking "fat" and if we grew a bit taller and started to look stretched my mum would go on and on about it, specially my sister, she was always being told she was slim and I never was, ironically because my sister was big and I wasn't, so every time she got a tiny bit less big she was complimented on being so slim. I ended up with anorexia and my mum admitted afterwards she was actually jealous of me losing so much weight. AARGHHH!!
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