Next week the Butterfly Foundation’s “Fat Talk Free Week” aims to stop people talking negatively about their weight and generally making appearance based comments. Comments like “wow you look great, have you lost weight?” can have just as much harm as pointedly commenting negatively on a weight gain. One of the suggestions is to think of the non- appearance based traits of your friends and families and comment on those instead.
In regards to children, people making negative comments to them regarding weight or appearance is quite rare, however they are often present when comments are made to or about others. How many of us have said “no, I won’t eat that I’m on a diet”? That seemingly innocent comment in the hearing of a child starts to send the message to them that some foods are “bad” or wrong” as well as implying certain body shapes can be “wrong”. Just the other day a colleague had her 7yr old grandson say he wouldn’t eat an egg that was offered to him as “it would make him fat”. In this day and age children are subjected to messages from so many places, family, friends, preschool/daycare, media etc. It is very important that we try as much as possible to make sure these messages are the right ones. Promoting a healthy lifestyle can be done without making things “taboo”. It is also important that children especially grow up realising that being healthy is what is important, not a certain shape or dress size.
At Little Miracles we promote empowerment, positivity and make it our goal to speak life into all our families, parents and children alike. We are constantly praising the children and each other, creating a positive work space and therefore positive space for the children to be. In fact this is so important to us we have a poster featuring “101 ways to praise a child” and hold praise off each year during staff training to see who can remember the most praises! Each and every one of the praises are based on efforts and/or achievement, not appearance.
We would like to take this opportunity to encourage all parents to join us in speaking life into their children, each other and their families. In food and body image, as well as in life, a few words can go a long way.
For more information on the Fat Talk Free Week” please click here.