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My 8 Year Old Daughter Asked if She Should Go on a Diet

PYF_Babble_DaughterDietI knew it was coming someday.  I just didn’t know it would be now. Or even soon….as in the next few years.  Call me naive, but my sweet small girl, who will turn nine this July, just broke the 50 inches and 50 pounds mark…. so one of the very last things I was expecting to hear from her mouth was, “Mommy, should I go on a diet?”

And yet, there we were.  Sitting at the dinner table and those little hands lifted her shirt to examine her stomach as she turned her big brown eyes up to meet mine – searching for an honest answer.  I’m not sure I could possibly say ‘NO!’ fast enough.  But I wanted to give her more than that.  She deserves more than that.  I want her to understand the difference between ‘diet’ and ‘healthy choice’.  I want her to know she is ‘enough’ as she is.  I want her to know how I choose my foods, how I decide what is good for my body.

I have made it a mission to NEVER voice any body image issues in front of my small people.  They have never even heard me utter so much as a ‘I’m having a fat day’ – even in jest.  I want them to feel accepting of themselves.  I want to raise strong and powerful children.  And I know that starts with ‘do as I do’ more than ‘do as I say’.

This is how our conversation happened.  The moment my daughter asked me if she should diet….

Have you ever had a similar conversation with any of your children?  How did you handle it?  I do know this is just the beginning.  This won’t be the only time this sweet girl wants to talk image or body.  I’d love to know your thoughts.

Read more from Danielle on Babble and her personal sites ExtraordinaryMommy and DanielleSmithMedia.

You can also follow her on Twitter.

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