Are body image hang-ups passed mum to daughter?

Discussion in 'Slimming World' started by Rosietinted, 6 May 2011 Social URL.

  1. Rosietinted

    Rosietinted New Member

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    I'm working on a project about body image and how anxieties about how we look are passed from mothers to daughters. I'd like to hear from mums who have a daughter who is beginning to display signs of body image awareness at a young age (from about 6 - 11 years).

    I'm really interested in the following:
    Do you have a body hang-up?
    Are you concerned about passing your body worries on to your daughter?
    Has your daughter come home from school saying she is fat or unhappy with the way she looks? If so what steps have you taken to make sure negative messages aren?t being reinforced at home.
     
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  3. JemmaBe

    JemmaBe Silver Member

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    Absolutely undoubtedly. My mum is a serial yo-yo dieter and obsessive, and it's really affected her children.

    When I was little I was convinced I was fat, used to follow diets and think of ways to try to lose weight. I have now seen pictures of myself, I was unbelievably small and certainly a normal weight for my age group.

    It only struck me one day when I was about 12 when I had to wear a skirt in a play, and I saw my legs. And I didn't hate them. I kept looking in the mirror, I really couldn't believe that perhaps I wasn't as fat as I thought I was.
     
  4. vanilla_cupcake

    vanilla_cupcake Silver Member

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    My daughter is turning 6 in a few weeks and I have it drummed in to her that she can't always eat what she wants, there is no fat on her she has a 'normal' wee body but she is aware of the fact that if she were to eat lots of fatty foods she'll end up fat 'like mummy was'. My mum gave off to me for this but I don't care I don't want her having weight to loose when she's older. I don't allow them to have crisps and chocolate every day maybe every other day they get a treat, they get 1 take-away a week whether that be McD's or chinese etc, my son plays Hockey & my daughter does gymnastics as kids need to be active and not sitting at home on computer games all day. My other 2 children are too young for any exercise yet

    My daughter definitely doesn't have any body hang ups, I tell her every single day how gorgeous she is and that I love her etc, she knows she looks cute in her clothes

    I watch what they eat, make sure they eat veg first then meat etc, its important to have them eating healthily as children in the hope they carry it into their adult years.
     
  5. Funky_Munky

    Funky_Munky Put the kettle on

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    Im not one to disagree with someone about how they bring up their own children. What i will say however in my own experience is that as a child similar things were said to me and ive been overweight most of mt adult life as a result. Sometimes the one thing people try to avoid is what ends up happening.
     
  6. biggysmalls

    biggysmalls Too big to fail

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    Yes, I think hang-ups are probably passed on, although this has not been my personal experience at all. My mother didn't seem to have any hang ups about her pretty normal, maybe-a-little-on-the-heavy-side-after-7-kids figure, really. But her four daughters, including myself are, in her words "obssessed" with image, figure, looks and so on. She can't understand it. Said that in her day you were a Large, Medium or Small and she had no idea what dress size/weight she was growing up. So maybe things have changed, with more photos, fashion magazines, internet....

    I would maybe say my dad was actually more pass-remarkable about people's figures...maybe his opinions influenced our hang-ups more.

    Interesting research! all the best with it
     
  7. auntynet

    auntynet Full Member

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    As funkymonkey says - how you raise your children is your business but I'm gonna stick my neck out here and say that a 6 yr old will only obsess about their weight/body image if they have a role model that obsesses about their own. Children grow up far too early these days and I'm a big believer in allowing them to be children for as long as possible so do we really have to "drum it into them" about healthy diets at such a young age?

    You are obviously a very sensible mum and I totally agree with you not wanting her to have to worry about her image as she gets older but as your daughter is still so young, you can (and are) easily controlling her diet and she gets regular exercise with her gymnastics so in view of that, I really don't see the point in drawing her attention to these issues when (imo) all she should be worrying about at 6 yrs of age is what outfit to dress her barbie doll in.

    My son was a normal size as a toddler but suddenly he ballooned when he got to about 9 or 10 yrs old. His diet was reasonably healthy but he was never active, hated sports etc and he grew into an overweight teenager that only wanted to play on his newest games console (which he always saved for and paid for himself). Yes, he ate some junk food but no more than any other normal teenager and I was beginning to worry about his weight however he left school 4 yrs ago and without any effort he managed to lose about a stone and then last summer he left college and started working. If anything he now eats more than ever yet his weight has dropped off and he's back down to a very healthy, acceptable weight.

    As I said first off - your children, your choices and opinions but I personally would cut her a bit of slack. I appreciate you only want to educate her about healthy choices so she doesn't have to face the problems that most of us here are dealing with, but you can do that without "drumming it into her" - she loves her mummy whether mummy is fat or thin and I don't believe that she needs to be aware of what teenagers worry about when she's only 6.

    :hide: *gets off soap box and runs for cover cos she might have been a bit too outspoken*
     
  8. katty

    katty Silver Member

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    i've got 3 children, my eldest girl is 9. has no issues with the body, i've never heard her mention weight and shes never been bullied about weight. although i am now aware about the amount of times i have said to my hubby 'i'm sick of being fat' and the like. i made more of an effort to not say stuff like that last year when i started sw. i wanted to just stop the negativity as kids pick things up so easily and i basically got fed up of hearing myself :p.
    she knows what slimming world is, but she doesn't know the ins and outs, although shes a nosey parker so she probably would like to however, all i feel she needs to know is that its a healthy eating plan for mummy and its helping me to get fitter and be able to chase her round the footie field.
    shes proud of mummy for getting healthy and we eat a whole range of food, rubbish included, we go to restaurants but i dont pick over the menu, i work out in my head the best option for me and they get whatever they like.

    when i was a teen, my dad used to tell me i ate too much, and i was getting bigger and bigger. of course he was right, but it really wasnt something i needed to hear at that age. i now have confidence issues and consequently i ended up at 15 stone. i dont know what caused it, but i am sure my parents didnt help. for me its important to let my kids be kids, im happy that she knows whats bad for her but she knows its ok to have it sometimes. :)
     
  9. PurpleSky

    PurpleSky banana phone

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    My mother never had any body hang ups and i never remember her dieting though what i think she did do(and she has appologised for this so many times over now) was she was my first trigger. I had, had weight issues and it was getting me down. A purely accidental but off the cuff comment from my mum sent me spiralling and then a year and a half later i was in hospital being treated for anorexia. I think though i was always gonig to have issues with food. There really bad now and its hard to get out of that, your loosing loads of weight but you really *could* do better as your still horribly fat, mind set. But this is where slimming world comes in and my consultant, as it beats back those demons a little bit, so my little boy doesn't pick up any weird eating habits from me
     
  10. kingleds

    kingleds Gold Member

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    I did not grow up with my mum, so she never had the opportunity to influence me in this respect. I do however remember my uncle always making comments about my weight- and my dad always being very unhappy about him doing so - it often resulted in them arguing.
    Even as a very overweight person i have never had any hang ups about my body - and my reasons for losing weight now are more health related than anything else.
    I was always what some people might consider little bit large as a kid - in that i went straight kids clothes to a size 14- and i hovered between that & a 16 till i hit 21 ish - at which point i quickly went up to a size 20/22. This directly corresponds to
    2 events 1) buying a car 2) getting a full time jon after uni. Not difficult to figure out how it happened really!
     
  11. silly sausage

    silly sausage Peas on Earth

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    Are you allowed to use these forums for doing research?

    Just wondering.
     
  12. Funky_Munky

    Funky_Munky Put the kettle on

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    Good question silly sausage. Im not sure i agree with it as it seems the poster has only signed up to ask this question?
     
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