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Friday, March 14, 2008


Around the Living and Loving household recently, there has been copious amounts of talk about being a "Big Girl." Sugar is a little behind the rest of the pack in wanting to be a "Big Girl." In fact, I was beginning to wonder if she'd ever desire to be just like the "Big Kids." I wondered if it was an inherent instinct in children or not, as I am not the type to encourage her to leave babyhood behind, and strive to be "big." I don't feel that I discouraged it either, really. I'm just neutral about it, and followed her lead.

This past week, she has been steadily increasing her interest in all things "big kid." She loves to talk about how big she is getting. Today topped it all, and seriously caught me off guard. I was a tad dumbfounded, and didn't really know how to respond. Let me know how you think I did.

Sugar: (smiling, and gesturing with her hands) "My bottom is getting sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo big. Just like your's mom!

Mama: (stumbling...mumbling....and trying not to be defensive) " sure is!"

And so began my obsession on wondering how to instill a healthy mindset towards her body image. I'm not sure I'm ready for this. Thanks to the media....I've got a lot to fight against. Just GREAT. I went from worrying about something as simple as baby vs. big body image. FANTASTIC!

16 Live It or Love It:

Carolyn said...

Spooooooooooky. I swear we're living a parallel life (minus the farm and the mad photography skills)! Csilla is seriously waffling between being a baby and a big kid. We had a huge melt-down tonight because all of the sudden she wants a big kid bed (she's resisted the idea for months). She refused to sleep in her bed and fell asleep on the couch instead. Potty training has also been a huge big kid vs. baby struggle.

I'm so pleased you posted about this because I've actually been wondering if the extended breastfeeding is a contributor to the confusion. "Booby Time" is SO important to Csilla, but I think she's figuring out that big girls don't really have booby time. So where does that leave her?? I think it's causing her some anxiety.

Anyway. Gosh. Sorry for the long comment, but your timing is creepy. I'm totally struggling with this issue right now too.

As for how you handled the big bottom thing? Take it as a compliment. I'm sure your bottom isn't as big as you think, and I'm sure Sugar Bear just wants to be just like you.

Don't question yourself. Tell Sugar Bear her body is perfect just the way it is and you'll do fine.

Unknown said...

LOL about the bottom comment!
Instilling a healthy body image is so tricky, and I'm sorry to say it gets worse when the kids go to school. Bradley has started talking about not being thin enough (OMG), and it's all because of a girl friend of his in class whose mother is a bit obsessed with her weight. It drives me bezerk!

kat said...

LOL Kids say the darndest things. I imagine it to be really difficult to instill a healthy body image.

Maude Lynn said...

Baby Puppy asked me recently, "does this make me look fat?" This type of garbage is everywhere, and our girls soak it up like little sponges.

With Baby Puppy, I just try to emphasize how healthy and strong her body is.


Laura said...

Hee hee! How funny - and disconcerting! I'm sure she just picked a random body part, but why did it have to be that one? LOL

In all seriousness, though, the body image thing is one of my biggest anxieties about raising a girl. *sigh* I guess we'll all muddle through it together!

Anonymous said...

when you find an answer to this issue, be sure to track me down and pass it along! Our daughter is 8, and at the moment I completely credit sports with keeping a sense of humor about the whole body image stuff at our home. To her, her body is simply the vehicle by which she swims and plays lacrosse - so it is a machine, which is perfectly perfect as long as she can continue to play sports. Thank goodness she has no body image issues ... and thank goodness she hasn't picked up on mine!! (yet!)

Deb said...

LOLOL... :)

We haven't had too many comments dealing with body image yet, thank goodness, but it's something I always keep in the back of my mind, knowing that it's coming. There's just too many references to it out there in the world today...

Autumn said...

Funny little Sugar. I agree that she simply picked a body part, sorry it was your bottom. I think you did fine with your response. I remember being that teenager who didn't eat anything but an apple all day due to body image issues. It's so important to start early with girls, because it's all over everything in our society, pushing them to be a certain body type. I don't envy you at all in that area.

John-Michael said...

Without so much as a tiny blink ... absolute comfortable confidence ... YOU are SO able to gently and graciously handle this tiny ripple on the pond of her development! No problem! (yep! you have TOTALLY impressed me)

Anonymous said...

They can take you so off guard can't they. It's worrying about teaching and conveying all the right things that can weigh so heavily. The fact that it's important to you is half the battle I think. Hope y'all continue to be on the mend.

tommie said...

I think conveying a postive body image may just well be my hardest mommy task!

Unknown said...

I'm sure you tell her that she is smart and love her, etc. each day...I think that is all we can really do for our little girls right now :)

holly said...

these comments come *right* as you were starting to feel good about yourself, i find!

just for the record, *i* don't think you have a big bottom!!

um, i haven't been looking.....just for the record, too...

Donetta said...

My 10 yr old wants to know if she will have a big chest like mine. I was shocked a bit because she reached up and held them. I told He I was not sure. (she is adopted) . So I told her how to care for them and when she gets buds we will get a training bra. "What will we need to teach them?" :)

we are reilly said...

we struggle with the 'big kid' thing over here too -- my daughter keeps telling me, "when I grow up to be a bigger baby, will you hold me?" (of course!) She told me, "I don't want to be a big girl, I just want to always be a baby". I just let her tell me what she wants to tell me and I don't really comment back on the specifics of growing up.

I hear you on the media craze of teaching our children about body image -- it's really quite sickening! When I pick up my daughter, I want to say 'wow you're getting heavy'....but, I don't want her to think she's 'heavy' as in fat -- so, I say, "wow -- you're growing bigger every day"....not sure if that's a better way to say it, but it's so hard to make sure you don't say something (especially to our daughters) that they could misunderstand!

Michie said...

That's too funny. It sounds like something Paige would say. I personally have a horrible body image, and it is something I am working very hard at not passing on to Paige. One of my friends noted it was extra important because everyone tells me that she looks just like me. So if I hate how I look, she's going to pick up on that, because she looks like me. I do not want to pass these feelings on to her, and am working very hard at changing how I feel about myself.

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