by Rosie Molinary for Mamiverse.com
A shopping trip has your son asking you questions about his size. Your recent health journey has people asking about your weight loss in front of your tween daughter. Your mom talks about your kids’ bodies—to them. As adults, we know what people say to us is actually a mirror into their issues and we still struggle to not take comments about our bodies personally. But because cognition develops into our 20s, it is even harder for kids to navigate these comments. Parents need to be as proactive as possible about what messages their children hear and redirect them when necessary. Here we offer scripts for three different situations.
During a shopping trip, your son gets upset when he realizes he still wears a size 7 when he is 9 years old. “Why isn’t my clothing size my age anymore,” he asks.
Difficult fitting room experiences can make you feel like your body is wrong, and that message is debilitating. Nothing is wrong with your son, obviously. He is just at the age where bodies develop at different rates and yet clothing is made in production. Help him develop some ease around clothing sizes and an ability to see them just as a tool and not as a judgment.
The script: Every body is different and grows at different rates. Sometimes you’ll see people who are really tall because that is how their body is meant to grow right now and sometimes you’ll see people with lots of muscles because that is how they are supposed to grow right now. Nothing is right or wrong on a body. It’s just about what your body is doing right now.
As you get older, sizes aren’t really about your age any more, and not all sizes—from store to store or style to style—will be the same. Sometimes we’ll need a 7 in one store and a 9 in another and sometimes we’ll need a 7 for one part of our body and a 9 for another part. The numbers don’t really mean anything other than to give us a guide when we are trying to choose what to try on.
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