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Kids and Body Image

http://www.naturalnews.com/024461.html (Opens in a new window)

Research is showing that younger and younger girls are having problems with body image. In the above article, it’s suggested that girls get a poor body image from their mothers.  Women who go on crash diets and focus entirely on losing weight or how fat they think they are, even the innocent or not so innocent little comments to their kids about not eating too many sweets because they’ll get fat?

That’s damaging to a girl’s self image.  My ex’s daughter had self image issues.  Her aunts used to tell her that if she didn’t watch what she ate, she’d end up as fat as her father was.  Because of this, she had eating issues.  She’d chew on the same bite of food for up to 5 minutes at a time, or hide the food in her cheek instead of swallowing it.  I always felt bad about yelling at her for this, but I didn’t know how else to handle it.  In the meantime, when she was at our house for the weekend, he and I tried to make sure she didn’t sit in front of the tv all the time like she did at home.  Of course, it meant she needed to be constantly entertained because she didn’t know how to entertain herself without sitting in front of the tv. 🙁

I look at my daughter now, and listen to her.  I know I’m unhealthy and need to lose weight, but I don’t see her reflecting this in her own body image.  I put her hair up in the morning and she runs to tell her daddy that she looks beautiful.  She’s always wanting to look at herself in the mirror.  She will also freely tell anyone that’ll listen that I’m beautiful.  I guess in a way I am, when seen through the eyes of a little girl who looks up to her mommy and wants to be like her.

I try to keep her active and eating balanced meals.  I know this is something I’ll have to work at as she grows, I know I need to work on it for myself too.  I need to start being more active and eating healthier foods.  I will soon have 2 kids under 5, and I want to be there for them.  Since my husband chooses not to take care of his diabetes, then I need to do everything I can to make sure I stay healthy for these kids.  I also want to be around for my older son.  He graduates this year, but he still needs his mom. 

All of us need to focus on the good in ourselves instead of the bad.  So, maybe I’m not good at standing up to people who disagree with me.  I am still a geek.  I still know computers, and I still like science fiction.  That doesn’t meant that I’m a bad person.  You have to weigh all of your good and bad traits.  Focus on the good ones, work on improving the bad ones. 

 As for me, once the baby is born, I’ll be focusing on getting healthy for all three of my kids.

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