How to Respond When Your Kid Makes Public References To Someone's Weight

Before you leave the house, have a conversation

Dr. Cook suggests that you can avoid the uncomfortable situation by educating yourself about acceptable behavior before you leave your house. It doesn’t take much to talk about the topic. A quick reminder that it is rude to point out or speak loudly about other people in public will suffice. Younger children might be curious about the reason for this rule. If they do, you can help them to understand by asking them: What would their reaction be if someone pointed at them or commented on their appearance? This exchange will help you to establish ground rules regarding good manners and let your child know that they will see many different people.

Correct the behavior

Your foresight wasn’t enough to help you follow the advice. Your child pointed out a person with a large frame and made loud comments about their physique, right in the middle of quiet library. What now? Take a deep breath, and remind yourself that children’s questions often come from innocence and genuine curiosity. Don’t shame or scold them for making a mistake. Dr. Cook suggests that you calmly repeat the rules and then move on. Dr. Cook suggests that you calmly reiterate the rules to your child and move on.

Change the narrative

It’s better to assume your child’s victim does not want to be part of your lesson plan. Don’t make an example of them, and save the larger discussion about other bodies for later. However, it’s possible that your child still wants to learn more about the things they have observed. As we mentioned earlier, you should not ignore them. Dr. Cook suggests that you take advantage of the opportunity to change the narrative and acknowledge the comment, as well as redirect your child toward a positive trait. This is the simple script: “I noticed you noticed someone who looked a little different than you.” Can you now notice what you have in common?

Dr. Cook says that if someone overhears your child’s questions and is genuinely interested in interacting with them, it’s okay to allow it. Although this may feel awkward, it is important that you own the situation and allow your child to speak to someone who will listen. Dr. Cook says that heavy people are aware of their weight and can hear and judge everything. So letting them have a say in the story could be beneficial for both of you.

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