The mom was concerned about teaching her kid the importance of body positivity after the toddler described a woman as 'a girl with a big tummy.'
Every parent understands the importance of inculcating important values within children during their formative years. The values children garner while growing up are the values that they carry forward in their hearts throughout their lives. But the young age of kids makes it hard for them to understand the intricacies of matters that they are being taught about like, body image. u/notabot780 wanted to find ways in which she could approach the topic of body image and positivity with her children. She asked for suggestions on Reddit and got heartwarming reactions from parents who shared their own experiences of how they make their children understand that all bodies are beautiful and should be respected.
u/notabot780 began the post by relaying what her 3-year-old kid had done which caused her to question her approach towards body image. Her kid pointed out to a woman with two kids, and said “That girl has a big tummy!” The remark was heard by the woman and she immediately left the place. The mother corrected her kid and taught them that people should not comment on other people's bodies. The Redditor was not satisfied and felt that the response required more explanation as it leaves many loose ends. In her opinion, the reaction that her kid had observed about a particular body type might make them think that having such a physique makes an individual susceptible to criticism.
They might also grow to resent that body type if not criticize it. The mother wants to teach the kid that having any body shape is normal as long as the person is healthy. She wants them to understand that all body types and people should be respected. Therefore through her thread, she wants to ask for help in terms of what she should add to the approach.
The mother asked in the thread, "Is there a better way to handle it? One that might make the person feel better?" She wants her kids to have a wholesome knowledge about the issue at hand so that they can deal with it maturely in the future. She wants them to know that they do not need to be like the people they see on TV and that others' opinions regarding this do not matter. These lessons are valuable as according to the survey done by the UK Parliament, 61% of adults end up having body image issues because of the societal pressure regarding looking a certain way. This shows that the mother's worry is not unfounded and that it is important for children to understand that they need to associate body type with health and not with societal expectations.
The comment section shared their own experience and insights to help the mother. u/SufficientCow4 stated what she does with her children, "I tell my kid that we don't make comments about people's bodies. She is 5 and old enough to understand that it can hurt feelings. I also let her know that if she has a question she can ask me in private." u/HomelyHobbit gave a suggestion to the mother, "I think a reminder before you go out in public is a good idea. Just basically a rundown of the expectations at any particular place you go. 'We're going shopping today. When we go shopping we all stay together, we can look at things we like, but we don't beg for them, and we remember not to comment on anyone else's body'."