This mum's response to her daughter calling her fat is something we all need to read
(Picture: Allison Kimmey/Instagram)

Kids aren’t known for being very tactful.

Whether it’s commenting on your drinking in front of your neighbours calling you out on your slovenly clothing choices, they have very few feelings filters. But they’re only parroting what they’ve learnt is acceptable – be that from the TV, school or overhearing adult conversations.

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Which is why when Allison Kimmey’s daughter called her fat, she decided to intervene by teaching her the difference between being and having fat.

‘My daughter called me fat today,’ the self-help author and body positivity parenting blogger said in an Instagram post.

‘She was upset I made them get out of the pool and she told her brother that mama is fat. I told her to meet me upstairs so we could chat.

My daughter called me fat today. She was upset I made them get out of the pool and she told her brother that mama is fat. I told her to meet me upstairs so we could chat. Me: “what did you say about me?” Her: “I said you were fat, mama, im sorry” Me: “let’s talk about it. The truth is, I am not fat. No one IS fat. It’s not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us energy. Do you have fat?” Her: “yes! I have some here on my tummy” Me: “that’s right! So do I and so does your brother!” Her brother: “I don’t have any fat, I’m the skinniest, I just have muscles” Me: “actually everyone, every single person in the world has fat. But each of us has different amounts.” Her brother: ” oh right! I have some to protect my big muscles! But you have more than me” Me: “Yes, that’s true. Some people have a lot, and others don’t have very much. But that doesn’t mean that one person is better than the other, do you both understand? Both: “yes, mama” Me: “so can you repeat what I said” Them: “yes! I shouldn’t say someone is fat because you can’t be just fat, but everyone HAS fat and it’s okay to have different fat” Me: “exactly right!” Them: “can we go back to the pool now?” Me: no 🤣🤣 __________________ Each moment these topics come up i have to choose how I’m going to handle them. Fat is not a bad word in our house. If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical and undesirable. Since we don’t call people fat as an insult in my household, I have to assume she internalized this idea from somewhere or someone else. Our children are fed ideas from every angle, you have to understand that that WILL happen: at a friends house whose parents have different values, watching a tv show or movie, overhearing someone at school- ideas about body image are already filtering through their minds. It is our job to continue to be the loudest, most accepting, positive and CONSISTENT voice they hear. So that it can rise above the rest. Give me a 🙌🏻 if this resonated w u! Just do you! Xoxo Allie

A post shared by ALLIE 🌸 Just Do You, Babe! (@allisonkimmey) on

‘The truth is, I am not fat. No one IS fat. It’s not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us energy.’

Allison then went on to explain to her daughter that she and her brother both had fat too.

‘Some people have a lot, and others don’t have very much. But that doesn’t mean that one person is better than the other.’

She says that every time a topic like this comes up, she has to decide how to teach her kids how to handle them.

‘Fat is not a bad word in our house. If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical and undesirable. Since we don’t call people fat as an insult in my household, I have to assume she internalised this idea from somewhere or someone else.

‘Our children are fed ideas from every angle, you have to understand that that WILL happen: at a friends house whose parents have different values, watching a TV show or movie, overhearing someone at school – ideas about body image are already filtering through their minds.

‘It is our job to continue to be the loudest, most accepting, positive and CONSISTENT voice they hear. So that it can rise above the rest.’

When it comes to dealing with these sorts of difficult issues, she recommends parents always taking a moment to work out what their children have actually said and what they mean by it.

She told Cosmo: ‘I always begin by asking them what they meant by their statement or if they understand what a particular word means. Usually, it turns out they mean something completely different.

‘And from there we break it apart more, I lead with questions for them and that provides an opportunity for me to help them get the answer themselves and empowers their belief system’.

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