PSYCHOLOGY

I Need You To Be Skinny!: Should You Ever Comment On Your Child’s Weight And Force Them To Be Perfect?

Date December 21, 2018 10:28

Have you ever told your child that they are fat, skinny, or that they need to diet? 

Well, did you know that commenting on your child’s weight can have a great impact on their attitudes towards their own bodies as they become adults?

According to researchers, a parent’s comments in relation to their children’s weight have lifelong impacts that range from low body image to high BMI's in adulthood. These comments, which might range from ‘teasing, criticism, and even positive’ statements have been found to have significant impacts on the satisfaction of women with their weights, even in adulthood.

I Need You To Be Skinny!: Should You Ever Comment On Your Child’s Weight And Force Them To Be Perfect?I Need You To Be Skinny!: Should You Ever Comment On Your Child’s Weight And Force Them To Be Perfect?I Need You To Be Skinny!: Should You Ever Comment On Your Child’s Weight And Force Them To Be Perfect?pimchawee / Shutterstock.com

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The studies reveal that parents, indeed, have great power in influencing their children’s perception of their own bodies as they grow up since children never forget such remarks. However, should parents just sit behind and keep their comments on weight to themselves?

‘I need you to be skinny’

In an episode of What Would You Do (WWYD), the show uses two actors, a mother and a daughter, who are trying to find the perfect dress. In the episode, which tries to see whether other people would step in to help the girl from her mother’s fat-shaming, reveals that most women side with the child and advise her to choose a dress she feels good in.

One mother advises that when it comes to clothes, parents should:

Buy what their children are comfortable in…what they feel beautiful in.

Her advice, therefore, is that no matter how one feels about their children’s weight, care should be taken since they need to feel happy, wanted and loved, no matter what.

via GIPHY

READ ALSO: Weight Bias:: Doctors Told A Woman She Was Just Fat, But Actually Had Cancer

Don’t fat-shame your child, period 

Psychologists discuss that fat-shaming should be avoided at all costs since it is harmful.

I Need You To Be Skinny!: Should You Ever Comment On Your Child’s Weight And Force Them To Be Perfect?I Need You To Be Skinny!: Should You Ever Comment On Your Child’s Weight And Force Them To Be Perfect?I Need You To Be Skinny!: Should You Ever Comment On Your Child’s Weight And Force Them To Be Perfect?SeventyFour / Shutterstock.com

Some of the outcomes of fat-shaming include that:

  1. Fat-shaming poses a danger to one’s health. A study by the Center for Advancing Health found out that compared to others, overweight people were more likely to attempt suicide and suffer from depression, especially when they were discriminated against.
  2. Fat-shaming leads to eating disorders. When children are exposed to media portrayals of desirable weight, they might be forced to develop poor eating habits that might create more harm than good.
  3. Fat-shaming does not work. Fat-shaming does little to motivate weight loss, a fact that suggests it should be avoided at all costs. In reality, adolescents that are fat-shamed are more likely to gain weight.

Therefore, especially at home, parents should avoid making comments on their children’s weight since such children probably face discrimination elsewhere. I Need You To Be Skinny!: Should You Ever Comment On Your Child’s Weight And Force Them To Be Perfect?I Need You To Be Skinny!: Should You Ever Comment On Your Child’s Weight And Force Them To Be Perfect?I Need You To Be Skinny!: Should You Ever Comment On Your Child’s Weight And Force Them To Be Perfect?Good_Stock / Shutterstock.com

In school and other social settings, children with weight issues are more likely to be targeted by bullies, a fact that makes the parent’s role even more important to restore their confidence and positive self-image.

When society becomes more conducive to each child’s uniqueness, they will grow up feeling more confident and with time, they will be able to make constructive and healthy changes in their lives. But, this change starts with you, at home. 

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