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Jem80

Should I speak to the other mum about this?

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Caribou

No.

 

You leave that up to the school. Don’t speak to the mum. It’s just asking for trouble.

 

DD once got teased for being fat by a group of girls at school (she was in yr1) DD by no means fat. She’s skinny as a rake but nonetheless the words did their damage. I spoke to the teacher who got the girls and DD together and has a chat about positive body image and saying things about being fat wasn’t acceptable and words hurt.

 

Mostly, kids don’t realise the power of their words sometimes. Since I reported it to teacher there has been no problems and the girls are great friends. Though side effect was DD did a good six ish weeks of being paranoid about her eating. We had to have a lot of patience and remind her that she doesn’t need to worry about food, that her dad and I are looking after her and she eats healthy and doesn’t need exercise. She’s been fine since then.

 

General rule of incidents Like this at school, you speak to the teacher or school. You don’t know how the mum will react. But if there’s a middle person, it gives them a space to process what happened.

 

Unfortunately it’s all too common for kids to be teased about body image at school. Give your DD tools to learn how to react to these incidents. The less power she gives to the words, the less impact they will have. There’s plenty of kids books to help them with not giving words power. I haven’t got any on the top of my head, but hopefully EB will.

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BornToLove

I agree, I wouldn’t talk to the mum about this. I would encourage your daughter to be resilient, to ignore him and find other kids to play with.

 

If it continues, or if he tries it again but this time linking your weight to your daughter, I would say something to the teacher. Schools are pretty good about stoping this sort of thing quickly.

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.Jerry.

I wouldn't go to the mother.

 

To be blunt, kids at that age tell it like it is. I am a teacher and have kids said to me

"You're a bit fat"

"You have big pimples"

"You have a bumpy head"

etc.

 

They just say what they see.

Whilst it is completely tactless and has potential to cause embarrassment, I doubt it is outright bullying.

 

My response to my daughter saying that a child had called me fat would be:

"Well I am a little overweight and I try to eat well and exercise to be healthy. But I am happy with myself and feel great! There are fat people and skinny people and in between people. All is fine! We are all different."

 

I would then ask why she was afraid of getting fat, as I think that is worrying that she feels so afraid.

Boost her up.

Help her feel that no matter what she is strong and happy and beautiful.

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Jem80

Thank you, you're right. It is just a kid calling it like he sees it.

 

Even though I'm friendly with the mum I'll ignore it this time (except for what I've already said to my daughter). If it happens again I'll have a chat to her teacher (although this child is in a different class to her this year).

 

Thanks for the advice.

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Winterlong

.

Edited by Illiterati
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Jem80

Thanks for your insight illiterati, I hadn't considered that she would have a different view on the fat shaming thing.

 

They are a very Christian family so I assumed the approach would be kindness.

 

Do people actually talk about others to their spouses in that way? It seems so mean.

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Hands Up

That was a guess above. I certainly wouldn’t think of it like that and think it’s silly to guess at peoples private conversations. Children are brutally truthful at that age and often point out what they see. Yes, they need to learn tact and kindness but this wouldn’t be something I’d speak to the other parent about. You’ve already spoken to your child, I’d leave it at that.

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~Jolly_F~

Thanks for your insight illiterati, I hadn't considered that she would have a different view on the fat shaming thing.

 

They are a very Christian family so I assumed the approach would be kindness.

 

Do people actually talk about others to their spouses in that way? It seems so mean.

 

Of course they do. For many people their spouse is the person they can say all the stuff that they would never say out loud. I have conversations with my DH that I would never ever have with anyone else.

 

I agree that you also cant assume she has the same attitude towards fat shaming as you.

 

I would say nothing to the other mother or the school personally, unless it became a personal attack on my kid. I would keep the conversation open with my child along the lines of what jerry has posted.

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MadMarchMasterchef

I wouldn't contact the other parents. If it was ongoing I would talk to the teacher.

But most important is to have discussions about weight and body image with your daughter.

And also make sure she knows that others don't get to be the police of our bodies. Its not up to this boy to comment on your body. Maybe you could suggest something positive to say back to him if he says it again

'my mum is happy and healthy thanks' or something like that.

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Kallie88

 

Do people actually talk about others to their spouses in that way? It seems so mean.

 

Yes, some people satisfy their 'gossip' that way, some people want something to talk about, some people are just dicks. My step dad always left functions and b**ched about the people there on the way home, stuff he never would have had the guts to say to their face and was usually downright petty and mean. Yuck. Anyway, not saying this boy's parents are like that, but some people definitely are. I agree with pps not worth bringing up with the other mum. Good to call to the teachers attention though so they can monitor and have body positive talks with the kids.

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Freddie'sMum

It may be just "kids telling like it is" but when this happened to DD#2 (who was the same age as the OP's kid) the mean kids went one step further:

 

"your Mum is FAT so you are going to be FAT too"

 

"you are FAT" (she wasn't).

 

Build up your DD's confidence. Tell her to ignore the other kid. Tell the school what is going on. Do NOT approach the other mother.

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gracie1978

I've learnt something here as well OP. If I knew the other mother I totally would have approached her with this.

 

Good advice from experienced school parents :)

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~Jolly_F~

Yes, some people satisfy their 'gossip' that way, some people want something to talk about, some people are just dicks. My step dad always left functions and b**ched about the people there on the way home, stuff he never would have had the guts to say to their face and was usually downright petty and mean. Yuck. Anyway, not saying this boy's parents are like that, but some people definitely are. I agree with pps not worth bringing up with the other mum. Good to call to the teachers attention though so they can monitor and have body positive talks with the kids.

 

Why is this yuck? I dont understand this.

 

It seems a reasonably normal thing that you discuss people and events after a function or in the private, I really thought this was a normal thing.

 

There is some stuff that should never be said other people, its not about having the guts, its about knowing its not ok to say every thought to the person its about.

 

How do people deal with life if they never discuss stuff like this?

 

Damn I hate this sort of thing, I never have it right and I feel like I am always being judged.

Edited by ~J_F~
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Soontobegran

I think we are in complete denial if we think we never discuss other people negatively out of their ear shot.

 

We all do and we need to own and lose the sanctimony.

 

 

I was a fat mum at school, my kids I am sure heard it a lot but survived because they would have had a come back, after all it came as no surprise they said it......I was.

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Jem80

Of course discuss stuff, but we are really not gossipy people so the only time I have talked to DH about school parents is when he has a professional connection to then, or a common interest, ie "I think you'd really get along with this particular dad, he enjoys X too"...

Edited by Jem80
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amdirel

My response to my daughter saying that a child had called me fat would be:

"Well I am a little overweight and I try to eat well and exercise to be healthy. But I am happy with myself and feel great! There are fat people and skinny people and in between people. All is fine! We are all different."

 

I would then ask why she was afraid of getting fat, as I think that is worrying that she feels so afraid.

Boost her up.

Help her feel that no matter what she is strong and happy and beautiful.

 

This is exactly how I would address it too.

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JK4

As above, I would only mention it to the teacher. While children are brutally honest they also freely repeat what they have heard their parents saying (often without the parents realising they have been over heard). We learnt this the hard way and seems to apply even more when you think the people are friends unfortunately.

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amdirel

Why is this yuck? I dont understand this.

 

It seems a reasonably normal thing that you discuss people and events after a function or in the private, I really thought this was a normal thing.

 

There is some stuff that should never be said other people, its not about having the guts, its about knowing its not ok to say every thought to the person its about.

 

How do people deal with life if they never discuss stuff like this?

 

Damn I hate this sort of thing, I never have it right and I feel like I am always being judged.

 

Definitely not yuck! It's perfectly normal to do this, and as you said, it would be entirely inappropriate to say that kind of stuff to people's faces!

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Abernathy

I think that it's also true that some people (whether they're kids or adults) are just mean and enjoy being unkind. I would encourage your child to have a wide circle of friends so she can choose who she does and doesn't want to play with.

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Freddie'sMum

According to popular Western culture - being fat is the WORST thing that can ever happen to anyone but especially a woman, a mother. Our culture despises fat women.

 

Can you imagine if the Duchess of Cambridge with her perfect life, perfect marriage, perfect 3 children - left the hospital 2 stone heavier and she didn't lose the 'baby weight' straight away? Wars have started for less.

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nup

Of course discuss stuff, but we are really not gossipy people so the only time I have talked to DH about school parents is when he has a professional connection to then, or a common interest, ie "I think you'd really get along with this particular dad, he enjoys X too"...

 

Same. I try to redirect conversation away from people and toward concepts. It distracts from the personal element it and makes it less gossipy. The only time I focus on people is when I really love something they have shown me, they've piqued my interest or when I'm trying to resolve conflict. I'm really opposed to gossip.

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Navy Blue

I'm definitely guilty of venting about other people ie 'Jane at work was so annoying today blah blah blah'.

 

I really do feel uncomfortable though the way some people dissect and gossip about others appearance, mannerisms, every word.

 

Partly because well, 9/10 I'm in my own world and haven't even noticed, and also when it crosses the line to becoming too personal I'm just not interested in talking about it as I hope others wouldn't speak about me that way.

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nup

OP I would have a chat to the teacher about the broader friendship issues. These subtle issues can erode self worth and are deeply harmful but are too often discarded as being unimportant. I don't agree they are. A teacher I approached about friendship issues explained that she would be focusing the entire class on how to be a good friend and revisiting expectations around friends, personal safety and enforcing boundaries. All really healthy stuff. I love good teachers who are focused on the social emotional stuff as well as academic. Kids need constant reinforcement of values otherwise they are at risk of perpetuating rubbish playground Lord of the flies type behaviours.

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ImperatorFuriosa

When my teen was small he got bullied a lot and they ran out of ideas and turned to your mum is fat line. I'am fat, quite so in fact. Of course he tried to defend my honour and all that. They scored a hit.

 

He was quite upset when came home and told me and I just said to him "I know I'm fat. Have I ever had a problem being fat in your entire life?" He said no and I said "well there you go. I don't care what some little kid says about me, I know I'm fat and I'm fine with how I look. The kids can't bring you down now."

 

After that he just laughed at the kids and they ran out of steam. As for speaking to the mum, yeah nah I wouldn't. Bad move. Just speak to the school and let them deal with it.

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