How to Handle the F Word

Recently my 4 1/2 year-old has been using the word “fat” more often. This got me thinking about how I could best teach him about fat acceptance. Our words matter here - if I deny my body fat or hush him from using the word altogether, then I am essentially telling him that fat is bad. This would be a harmful message to send. Instead, here are some fat positive, body-inclusive responses I came up with:⠀

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Scenario 1: Child says "I'm Fat"⠀
Fat Positive Response: Oh, you're noticing fat. Fat is such an important part of your body. Fat helps you stay warm, cushions you from falls and keeps your body working like it's supposed to, such as making hormones to help you grow and develop.⠀

Scenario 2: Child says "You're Fat"⠀
Response: You're noticing my body. I do have fat on my body and there's nothing wrong with fat. Doesn't it feel good to give me a nice, soft hug? ⠀

Scenario 3: Child calls someone Fat⠀
Response: Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. While all bodies are good, it's best not to comment on other people's bodies. Can you tell me something else you notice about that person? ⠀

Scenario 4: Auntie bashes her body in front of your child⠀
Response: Auntie, we love you just the way you are. Let's all speak nicely about bodies in this house, especially since little ears are listening.⠀

I'd love to hear your ideas for body positive responses - please share!⠀

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