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ChubbyBubbles

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I'm a supersized mommy of a beautiful 2 year old little boy. He is the love of my life! However, he's getting to the age where he is beginning to realize people are different. Lately he's been saying to me "Mommy, you're bigger" as he looks up at me with those gorgeous blue eyes of his. It breaks my heart to think that one day he might grow up to be embarrassed by me, bullied by others because of me or even ashamed to be seen with me. My husband (an FA) and I never use the word FAT. Unfortunately society seems to love the word. As much as most of the world can't stand the sight of a fat person...they all seem to love to say the word...F A T. So sooner or later my innocent little boy is going to learn that his mommy is FAT and he will also learn that being fat is not acceptable. FAT IS BAD. How can I protect my son from all the negativity the world is going to show him because of me?? I grew up being made fun of and bullied. I hated school and didn't have alot of friends. I know what it's like to be an outcast. I don't want my son to suffer the consequences because of MY actions. I'm just not sure how to handle the next 16 years of his life. Especially his school years. I want my son to love ALL people and not look at anyone differently...whether they are fat, skinny, black, white, handicapped, etc.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions that might help me out? Please, I need some help on this one. Thanks! :)

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LoveBHMS

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I think Sandie once posted something about this sort of situation with regards to her grandson. As I recall she just told him that yes, some people are fat just as some are short or have blue eyes or are in wheelchairs.

You said you and your husband don't use the word 'fat' but you refer to him as an "FA" which is of course a "Fat Admirer." What would be so wrong with just using the word fat in a neutral manner, again no different from designating eye color or race?

"Yes, mommy is fat." End of story. I bet the more your son just accepts difference in size or shape or national origin or physical capability as a normal fact of life, the more he'll just shrug it off when kids say things. Kids who bully or tease are looking for reaction, and the less he gives them, the more bored they'll get with it.
 

Chimpi

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Hard to explain, but I will do my best.
NOTE: All of this seems only logical. I have no experience in raising a child, and I do not know you much at all.

To quote that ever famous saying, "Actions speak louder than words." Personally, I think not using the word "fat" might be a hindrance, rather than anything but. I think the best way to approach teaching or showing someone that it is all right to be 'different' (or in this case, bigger) is to let them see it quite regularly.
Random Person: "ChubbyBubbles, my you're big" (or fat, or large, or whatever word they use)
ChubbyBubbles: "Why thank you! I love myself!" (or any variation of the sort)

Sort of a case where you nip it in the butt before it is even thought of that you might like being who you are. Please remember that I have no idea what you do in front of your son, or if you sit down and try talking to him, or whatever happens behind your words on Dimensions. I'm just speaking from my own perspective on how to teach someone. Show acceptance to him through your own acceptance. Smile to situations that bring your size, or your race, or your height, or anything at all to light. Do not avoid them [in front of him]. Show him love for your brothers and sisters that are a different weight, size, shape, color, ethnicity, religion, political persuasion, etc.... Teach him that it is all right to be different - Any sort of different.
But I think the best way is just to show him in physical form. Do you have 'different' friends? Possibly invite them over while your son is there and have a really good time (and let your son in on the fun, or let him learn from what is going on). It all depends on what you want to teach him and how far you're willing to go to get your point across. Again, I am not sure quite how to do it as I am not a parent.

Them just be my random thoughts.
:bow:
 

Tad

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I know there have been discussions along these lines in the past, but I'm not sure if it was on these boards (where you might find the old threads with the search function), or the old boards (where they are now lost).

My own parents were thin, but my wife's parents were big, with her mom being a BBW or SSBBW depending on where you draw that line, when she was younger. Her mom's size was never a really big deal for her. Not that she was not mortified by her mother as much as any other teenager was, but her size was really not a big issue. I think that had to do a lot with her mother never apologizing for her size. My wife and I are both 'obese' by the medical definition of the word, but not super-sized. My son is nine now, and our size has never really come up as an issue for him that I'm aware of. Then again, everyone at his school knows that although he could take the bus, my wife walks him or bikes with him every day, and because the kids in his class have seen my wife around frequently since junior kindergarten, they are just used to her.

I think maybe the biggest thing is you projecting confidence, and making it plain to your son that your size is not a big deal. Then he'll have confidence that it is not a problem, and comments will mostly roll off of him. It is more likely that things will really affect him if he thinks he has to protect you on that front, or he knows those things hurt you. Besides just projecting confidence and attitude, it cannot hurt to be active and be seen to be active, to meet his friends, daycare-mates, and eventual class mates: known people are much less interesting targets than strangers usually.

Also, remember that kids are busy just trying to understand the world. That he is noticing that you are bigger just proves that he is developing his powers of observation. Right now, I'm pretty sure that neither size nor fatness is a bad thing to him. I think all you need to say in response is "I most certainly am!" Maybe followed by "and that means I give bigger and better hugs!" or something positive like that.

Best of luck--this parenting thing is always an exploration in the dark. And remember that at best, anyone else's advice is the blind leading the blind--none of us have universal answers.

Regards;

Ed
 

autopaint-1

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I have to say being the father of two daughters that the questions you have are not all that unusual. However, instead of having to explain why Mommy is bigger than daddy, how about why mommy is of one color or relgious faith than daddy? Every family faces challenges of one kind or another. This is where the support element of family comes in. There will always be children or people who for whatever reason find it neccessary to belittle others for whatever reason they can think of. If your child grows up with self esteme knowing that there is nothing wrong with mommy, their vulnerability will be less then if they grow up with a feeling that there is anything wrong with mommy or daddy. That's where you & your husband come in. It's important that your child learn that daddy & mommy realy love each other and are proud to be with each other. Just acting like a normal couple in public will go miles towards both of you as well as your childs acceptance by those you're family will come in contact with. You must learn to realize that you have worth as a wife, a mother and a member of a community. If you walk with confidence others will see it in you and that also will help your child as he grows up.
 

ChubbyBubbles

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What would be so wrong with just using the word fat in a neutral manner, again no different from designating eye color or race?

"Yes, mommy is fat." End of story.
I guess I've been so paranoid about what my son will think of me that I never really put the whole situation into perspective. You're right...I shouldn't be afraid to use the word FAT. It's just a word, right? And if my son sees how scared I am of it, then it will become an issue. I don't know why I never saw it before...thanks for opening my eyes! :)
 

Dr. Feelgood

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You've gotten a lot of feedback, and it's all wise! I will only add this, based on my observations of many boys over many years: while he is little, he will worship you; as he gets to be a pre-teen or teen-ager, he will be horribly embarrassed by you, regardless of your appearance or any other characteristic; as an adult, he will learn to see you as a human being, but the older he gets, the more maudlin he will get about you ;). The bottom line is that whether you are fat, thin, smart, dumb, good, or evil is secondary; what you are primarily is MOM. :bow:
 

ChubbyBubbles

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Personally, I think not using the word "fat" might be a hindrance, rather than anything but. I think the best way to approach teaching or showing someone that it is all right to be 'different' (or in this case, bigger) is to let them see it quite regularly.

Sort of a case where you nip it in the butt before it is even thought of that you might like being who you are. Please remember that I have no idea what you do in front of your son, or if you sit down and try talking to him, or whatever happens behind your words on Dimensions. I'm just speaking from my own perspective on how to teach someone. Show acceptance to him through your own acceptance. Smile to situations that bring your size, or your race, or your height, or anything at all to light. Do not avoid them [in front of him]. Show him love for your brothers and sisters that are a different weight, size, shape, color, ethnicity, religion, political persuasion, etc.... Teach him that it is all right to be different - Any sort of different.
But I think the best way is just to show him in physical form. It all depends on what you want to teach him and how far you're willing to go to get your point across. Again, I am not sure quite how to do it as I am not a parent.

Them just be my random thoughts.
Wow! What a response! Sounds to me like you would make an AWESOME parent!! I have to agree...I need to start using the word FAT instead of being afraid of it. My son needs to know that I love myself and that I am not ashamed of my size (even though at times I am...that's another story!). My son is a very smart little boy and my husband and I always sit down with him and explain whatever it is he wants to know. The incident about me being big kinda caught me off guard so I didn't know what to say. I told him that yes I am big and that means I have more love for him. He just giggled as 2 year olds do and gave me a big hug. I guess I did okay then, huh? Thanks again! :)
 

ChubbyBubbles

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You must learn to realize that you have worth as a wife, a mother and a member of a community. If you walk with confidence others will see it in you and that also will help your child as he grows up.
You hit the nail on the head...I NEED more confidence in my size. But for the sake of my son I have to overcome this major flaw. Thank you for your advice...I truly appreciate it! :)
 

JerseyGirl07093

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FAT is not a four letter word, please remember that.
It's just a word, like tall, thin, short, etc. etc.
When my son was little (he's almost 19 now!) he said some kids at school said I was fat. I said to him "yes, I am" and he could tell them that if they ever said it again. Well, it is the truth.
Then I told him to tell those kids that if they kept bothering him his fat mom would come to the school and sit on them! :p
 

stefanie

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Hi, ChubbyBubbles. This is what I wrote on the userinfo page for my Livejournal blog (about big men.) I think it applies to everyone, though:

I use the word “fat” here a lot. It's a good Anglo-Saxon word, solid, dependable, clear. On my tongue it's a word of power, “taken back” and rehabilitated from its common use as a slur or insult. In other words, I use “fat” in an experimental way (because it's so rarely done) – a way that's positive and loving and respectful.

So with a young child, I think it's OK to say, "Yes, Mommy's fat. Some mommies are thin, some are fat, some are in-between. We all come in different shapes and sizes." (Ditto for daddies, too, of course!)

I think it's important to start kids out with acceptance of fat bodies, too, because they themselves may grow up to be fat - or if not, they may find themselves loving fat men or women, and it would be so nice to start that out on a good foot, without shame or feeling like it's something "wrong" or "dirty." If kids have been raised in a positive atmosphere, hopefully they can be somewhat cushioned (so to speak, LOL) against the negative attitudes.

Good luck, and I wish you the best.
 

Keb

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Your son is adorable! He looks very sweet, too. At two, it's very unlikely that he's associated your size with anything negative yet. You're Mom, you give awesome hugs and make yummy food and read him bedtime stories and give him something to run to when he scrapes his knee or feels afraid. All he's doing, as others have said, is observing that other people don't all look like you.

If he sees that this observation worries you, then he'll think it's a bigger deal than it has to be. Little kids feed off the energy of their caretakers; if you're not afraid, they're less likely to be afraid, if you're happy, they're more likely to be happy. There's other variables to their reactions, of course, but in general they're going to mirror yours.

So you have a chance to make this an educational game (everything is a game, and everything is a learning experience, when they're this little). "Yep, I'm big, and you're little. What else is big? What else is little?" Get out a book of opposites and read it together. Ask which is better to be, and see what he thinks. For every strength of being little, there's a corresponding strength to being big--"I'm little, so I can hide under the bed." "I'm big, so I can get the cookies off the top shelf. Want one?" Teaching him to see the strengths of diversity like that can be fun.

Next year, some kid might say "Your mom is fat!" and he'll probably say, "So? She can do x, y, and z." In a few years, he might pick up on the negative values associated with fat in society, and then you can talk to him about what's true and what's not in your case. You can be honest and loving with him; he's going to love you no matter what other people say. He might get teased, but that's part of growing up too--every child gets teased at some point for something. Quote unquote perfect kids from perfect families get teased, sometimes for being perfect. If he learns from you how to deal with teasing in a positive (ignoring, standing up for himself/others nonviolently, asking for adult help, understanding that teasers are insecure and looking for a reaction) manner, he's going to be happy regardless of what other children do.

There's a lot of positive stuff you can for him. Don't make it a big deal, and he won't. And love him (as if you could stop!) since that's the most important thing for any kid.
 

bigplaidpants

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ChubbyBubbles,

Great question....

I'm sorry I haven't the chance to read everyone else's responses. It's thanksgiving morn' and I just have a few minutes, when I saw your thread.

I have two little girls, 4 and 6. Of course, people's bodies and experience are different. I'm not supersized; neither is my wife. But, she is undeniably fat: jiggly, tubby, obviously, fat. I, too, am heavy. In our house, we are open with our kids in regards to fat and our bodies.

Our girls have gone through the "you're fat!" period. They've laughed (affectionately, not inappropriately for their age). It was never derogatory. They've snuggled into our bodies. Touched "the fat" to feel it. We do not react emotionally forcing them, who are too young to understand, that we *must! celebrate! fat!*, but we openly address any negative connotation of it.

As you suggest, you cannot shield your kids from the negative connotations of it. To be honest, most of us who are even FA's or extremely size positive cannot completely eradicate the negative connotation of the word in our own ears. What we can do is militate against such prejudice, which we do in our house. We talk about how we are fat; fat is beautiful. We talk about how people come in all different sizes and colors. When the topic of fat negativity comes up, we talk about how sad it is. But, we don't dwell on it. We simply disagree; show another perspective...and move on.

I won't pry much on this....but, your post did bring this to mind. It comes out of my own experience as a stay-at-home dad. My mom said this to me once: "Love has a tendency to pull out everything unlike itself." In other words, love - whether between spouses, but especially with our own kids - brings up all our "stuff." At least, it's been true in my life, that raising our kids and the impossible-to-describe love we have for them has forced me to deal with my own issues surrounding so many things. I can't avoid my issues; it affects how I raise them. My issues are often what define the struggles I have with body-image, how to discipline, eating issues (our daughter eats like a horse in amount and messyness), etc.

The best chance your son has of seeing you in a beautiful fat light is to live that way. Whether you use the word fat or not, we parents are our kids first and foremost models of social interaction and self-esteem. This may be a chance to deal with some of the "stuff" from high-school (if there is some) and fall in love with your "fat" or supersized-self. We all take these parental journey's on our own. Given what you've shared just in this post - of yourself and your son - the evidence you've got an incredibly beautiful son and he's lucky to have you.

The love you have for him is love others have for you, too.

Blessings....from a fellow parent and stay-at-home dad.
bigplaidpants
 

GWARrior

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I dont think you can protect him from all the negativity, but you can let him know that you will be open and honest when he has questions. And make sure you and your hubby are a shining example of size acceptance... which im sure you are :)
 

Green Eyed Fairy

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I'm a fat mommy, too.....it didn't really effect me at all until a little girl on my daughter's school bus told her I am fat. It bothered my daughter because she told me about it.....I told her that I am fat...and that didn't mean I was different than any other mother. She seems to love me as much as any other child- I don't try to skirt around it but prefer to face it head on. Yes, I'm fat but that doesn't mean I am somehow "less" when it comes to my children- nor are you

You seem to be expecting to face some type of dreaded moment or consequences- I personally recommend letting go of those worries/anxieties mainly because you're stressing about it is what your child is going to pick up on. He will love you the same no matter what- isn't that one of the joys of children...they love you unconditionally? :)
 

NancyGirl74

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I'm not a mom but I'm a preschool teacher with a classroom full of curious 3 year olds. Questions about my size are fairly common and usually just natural curiosity. While it used to bother me when I was a younger teacher it really doesn't any more. When I'm asked about my weight I usually ask a question in return: "Why do you have blue eyes?" and then I base my answer on their response. If they say, "Because God made me that way" or "Because my mommy has blue eyes" I will say that I am big because God made me that way or because my mommy/family is big. If they ask, "Did you eat too much food?" I'm honest and say yes. Typically, the kids then say something silly about how they ate too much once and their belly got big too. My answers seem to be good enough for them and normally the questions stop afterward.

I know it's different with your own child and things will become more challenging as he grows older and his peers have a stronger influence. However, I think honesty is always best. Calling fat fat is just speaking truth. It may take some of the sting out of the negativity of the word if you say it first to your child. "Mommy is fat because she likes donuts too much." Or something silly like that. So that when a mean spirited peer snidely says to your child, "Your mom is fat." He can say, "Yeah, so?" and hopefully it won't be quite as hurtful.
 

Theatrmuse/Kara

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I always use the word "fat"...........it's just a word like any other.

I also tell small children..........that God made people......... and animals of all shapes and sizes...fat and thin, big and small.........look at doggies.......one may be a large Saint Bernard and another might be a little bitty miniature poodle.......God makes and loves us all. In fact, if he had made all of us people to look the same......same skin, body type, color eyes, etc.........boy............wouldn't the world be a BORING old place. Aren't we lucky we are all sooooo different????

Works everytime!!!!!!!!!:D
Hugs, Kara
 

ekmanifest

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I was very worried about this when my son was little, but it just really didn't come to pass. Like others have said, I try to use the word fat, to take the emotional energy out of it (for him and for me) - and we maybe discussed it once or twice when he was a little guy. Now at 11, he is embarrassed whenever I open my mouth and any of his friends are within shouting distance - but this has NOTHING to do with me being super-sized and all to do with me being the most annoying thing that ever lived :)
 

Theatrmuse/Kara

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he is embarrassed whenever I open my mouth and any of his friends are within shouting distance - but this has NOTHING to do with me being super-sized and all to do with me being the most annoying thing that ever lived :)

LOLOL! My 22 year old son was like that..........particularly when I laugh really loud at something............he always says at the movies, "MOM! Do you know how that voice of yours carries???"

Honestly, I AM in THEATRE and that voice of mine is my career!
Hugs, Kara
 

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