In the note, she politely requested that the doctor refrain from using qualitative words when discussing her child's weight and Body Mass Index (BMI).
Growing up, children are very cautious about their bodies and slowly learn how to embrace their own bodies. In fragile moments like these, the responsibility lies on adults to support and vouch for them without pointing fingers or making them feel embarrassed. Caroline—who goes by @general.caranobi on TikTok—shared how she supported her daughter with body positivity during her pediatrician visits in a subtle and promising manner.
Caroline shared that she was going to try something new during her recent visit to her daughter’s pediatrician. She shared a handwritten letter that she addressed to her daughter’s doctor regarding her daughter’s weight and BMI (Body Mass Index.) Her letter read, “When discussing my child’s weight and/or BMI please refrain from using qualitative words.” Caroline further pointed out a few words to be avoided such as “good” or “bad.” She then mentioned that she managed to keep a body-positive and body-neutral environment for her daughter and would like to maintain the same through her childhood.
“I appreciate your cooperation in preserving that for as long as we can,” Caroline added. She also said that the doctor could speak with her outside the examination room regarding matters and other information. Fellow moms applauded Caroline’s effort in maintaining body positivity for her daughter and encouraging those around her for the same. @sarahdeshields said, “I wish I had done this earlier with my kids. They dread checkups because of this specific complex.” Caroline also provided a follow-up video sharing how it went with the pediatrician after the letter.
“The nurse made no comment when she was weighing my kid. When the doctor came in, she asked me if it was okay to show a growth curve with no numbers on it,” Caroline added. She also mentioned that the doctor very supportively took heed of her note and was cautious in her comments to her child. “The doctor said ‘Your body is growing exactly the way it wants to grow. Hooray!’” Caroline shared that she was happy with the response and that this was an appropriate response for her child at this point. She also shared the questions the pediatrician asked her daughter which included how she was feeling, her ease in exercising if she was “able to eat lots of fruits, veggies and meats” and so on.
“There was no discussion about eating sugar or any restrictions as such,” Caroline said. In another follow-up video, Caroline addressed a few comments about her purpose in writing a note. She said, “The whole purpose of the note is to have the conversation in a way that doesn't embarrass the kid.” She also mentioned that she had a talk with her daughter on the way to the doctor. “Some people use words like ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to describe things about bodies and mom and dad disagree with that,” she explained to her.
She also said that if her daughter feels bad about any such comments, she asks her to talk about it and address it. “I’m only going to be able to insulate her from so much for so long. So, explaining to her how people’s brains work and how people communicate and here’s some ways to handle it is the other side of doing it,” Caroline added. All in all, she highlighted the way to subtly avoid body shaming for your kids at a much-visited place like the doctor and how to inculcate an appropriate attitude towards dealing with such scenarios.