Just the other day, my daughter was told her teeth were weird. Right in front of me. On the way to school. By one of her closest friends. Stones fell in my heart.
Her teeth are extremely crooked and large and her ‘fangs’ are growing up above the rest of her teeth.
I could see her hurt. I could see her shut down and get a bit smaller.
I couldn’t say anything there and then because I knew she needed to handle this herself without mum stepping in (Oh My God How Embarrassing!). She’s ten. Not three.
That night I sat on her bed and asked: How did that make you feel?
I told her how much it hurts me if someone makes fun of my body.
Then I asked: would you like to talk about what to say when someone makes you feel bad about something you can’t change?
Getting the nod, we talked about calling out SHEEP. That’s just sheep thinking – because sheep just think like everyone else. Calling you weird means you think everyone should be the same, like sheep.
Then she completely blew me away.
She said: “it’s not sheep thinking it’s Donald Trump thinking! He doesn’t like anyone who is different. He wants to build a wall to keep them out.
“I’m going to call Donald Trump thinking to the next person who calls me weird.”
I had a smile the size of Texas. Atta girl. You gonna be okay.
Learning how to have these conversations hasn’t come easily to me. It’s taken years of reading, learning, trial and error. But they have made such a difference to the way our family talks about food/weight/bodies I’m out to share everything I know with parents who care to know. Having the nuance and understanding of how to draw your darlings out and help them find their own words is priceless.
If you’d like to master the art of talking bodies, food and weight in your family, so everyone is happier, I hope you’ll check out the Master Healthy Body Talk and Raise A Happier Family online seminar on Sept 9.
I look forward to seeing you there.
The Body Confidence Coach
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