Friday, May 19, 2006


The thing that I love about having a blog is the advice that I get from people who are much wiser than I. With that said... here is what I need advice on....

My 8 yr old is a big girl. She is the tallest 2nd grader in her school and has the largest feet (these are facts she came home with after a physical fitness exam). She is a bit overweight... nothing to be concerned about according to her pediatrician. But... most of the weight is tummy weight. The result of this weight is that it makes it very difficult to buy her clothing. The clothes in her size are made for girls who are starting to develop curves, so when she tries the clothes on they accentuate her tummy. I try to buy stuff that I feel will be flattering as a means of bypassing the issue... but sometimes it doesn't work. I usually cover with some comment about the outfit not fitting correctly and she lets it go... tonight, she wanted to know what exactly I meant. How do you explain to an 8 yr old the importance of flattering clothes without her thinking I am saying she is fat?

I don't want to warp her... or make her think she is fat; I want to protect her because kids are mean and she has come home crying many, many times because the girls in her class said she was fat. She often makes comments about how she wishes she could be skinny like her little sister. My hubbie is 6'4"... so I know this will not last forever... one day we will wake up and she will be 6' tall with long legs and with her luck she'll even get the boobs that run in my family. But... what do I do now? Do I ignore it and buy her the clothes she wants... or do I keep trying to help her understand how to dress to disguise (because isn't that what we as women do everyday)?



Sarah said...

It's truly a fine line, one that I tight-rope across on those horrid shopping occasions. I simply say, "Oh, that's really tight on your tummy -- let's see what this one looks like." She's not fat, and soon enough that tummy will migrate to her bottom and boobs and yes, I think you should help her dress to hide/disguise/flatter. And, even though I don't THINK I'm hung up about sizes, I'm still learning -- keep going BIGGER! Don't let her get hung up on it, but just say that the other size was a little tight, and you don't want her to be uncomfortable. But, you're right, some things simply won't fit or flatter her. And saying, "this one doesn't fit you right, let's look at this other style." is perfectly fine. Even, "I don't like the way that fits you." b/c that could mean, "you look entirely too cute/sexy worldly for an 8 yr. old." I think all said in love and to protect her feelings should be fine. My daughter's therapist can tell you otherwise in 10 years. . .

Roxanne said...

Speaking from the body of a big girl (always have been) who could never fit into the "Luv it" jeans or the latest "Esprit" fashion of the day. . .

I think what you've been saying is fine. . .and I would go really big on the comfort issue. As in, "This style doesn't fit really well. When things don't fit, after about 30 minutes you just start to feel uncomfortable. That's why there are so many styles of clothes--some fit--some don't."

I know you want to protect her--and you have already been privy to the fact that you can't. So just keep on doing what you're doing--loving her, supporting her, and trying to find the cutest clothes possible without making her feel out of style or out of place.

I teach in a Jr. High school, and I see girlies every day who try to squish themselves into clothing that is way too small--not flattering. Yes, they are wearing what everyone else wears, but I know they feel rotten.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could make everyone be sweet and kind and happy with themselves and everyone around them? Until that time--which I pretty much think will be in heaven--we can only raise our daughters to be that way as much as possible.

Prayers for you and your Meg.


Roxanne said...

Two more cents here.

I have given birth to a daughter with her daddy's genes. She is lithe and thin and willowy and has blue eyes and long blond hair to boot.

One would think she has it made, but she was in tears on Tues. after school because she couldn't "jump and twist" as high as Samantha. Therefore Samantha and her cronies had written her name on the "bad list" and made her stand on the "bad side."

I have no clue what Samantha looks like--she could be 7 year old super-model thin or as big as the broad side of a barn but have great jumping abilities. . .and she made my gorgeous, thin, can-wear-whatever-she-wants baby cry.

So what I told Victoria was this. "When Mommy was a little girl there were some girls who were very mean to her. They would never let her play with them at recess, and whenever I would try to play with them, they would grab each other's hands and sing 'Tick-tock, the game is locked. Nobody else can play. Hurray!' Mommy would cry and cry and she got her feelings hurt a lot. But you know what? Now at least two of those girls are grown ladies like Mommy, and I don't think they are very happy. I think they were unhappy little girls and are unhappy big ladies. They haven't ever been happy with themselves, and so they will never be happy with anyone else. You will always be happy, because you love everybody. You don't make fun of people, and you want everyone to play and have a good time no matter what they can or can't do. You love everyone just like God wants you to, and so even though those girls can hurt your feelings, they can never make you unhappy because Jesus lives in your heart."

Now that might have gone straight over her head. And some of it did. But she does know two things, no one can truly take her happiness away, and her mommy has felt the same way at times and has lived through to the other side.

That was on Tues. On Wed. evening, we were sitting around after dinner when Victoria came up to me and said, "Mommy. I made up a new song." I was a bit confused at first, then she said, "You know how those girls used to sing that mean song to you? Well, I made up a NEW song. 'Tick-tock, the game's unlocked. Everybody can play. Hurray!' "

I was speechless. All I could do was hug her and hug her and hug her. She is at the very beginning of her journey in this world. And she is at the very beginning of all the pain that is here as well. But she already has a valuable little lesson stored away in her heart. And if that is the best I can do for her, then maybe she will be okay after all.

Stephanie said...

Your daughters are both adorable!

It's a tough call, but I guess I'd go the route, "yes, that's a nice one, but I really like this one better" or "Wow! That color really brings out the sparkle in your eyes (highlights in your hair, color of your skin) let's see if we can find any other tops in this color."

Having two boys, I don't get to enjoy clothes shopping trips with a young girl, but that doesn't mean I can't pretend :)

liz said...

I read this last night and I was just book browsing - gotta fulfill my commitment - but anyway, I saw this and thought it might help.

It is a hard topic to bring up because we don't want to give our girls a complex or something.

My 10 year old is so petite - she still wears an 8 slim and should still be in a booster! My 13 year old just hit 63 inches - that's how tall I am - and is "blossoming" and gaining some curves. My 17 year old now wears a bra 2 cup sizes bigger than mine! So I don't know...

... if I gain some kind of insight and wisdom I'll share it. Otherwise, I will continue to pray for you and your daughters.

Come by and visit me any time!

Rebecca said...

Poor thing. I was like that too, and still am, after four kids. All my weight is in the tummy, which is so hard to shop for. My mom was always pretty honest with me about how some clothes are flattering and some aren't. That's a tough line to walk though.