Partners In Learning Blog Team

Partners In Learning Blog Team
Blog Team

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


The picture above shows four Pre-K students lined up on the playground, waiting for their turn to use the slide. Though these girls are all within a few months of the same age, the last girl in line, Ceci, clearly dominates this group in size. In fact, during her well-child visits Ceci has, without exception, scored in the 90+ percentile for both height and weight since infancy. Cecilia is a healthy child who loves fruits and vegetables and participates in active play throughout the day. Since I am aware that our culture has some well-defined biases regarding body size, I worry that Ceci may eventually develop body image issues.

WebMD offers the following information for parents on this subject:

• 30% of girls aged 10 to 14 are dieting

We should:

• Help children understand that their bodies will change and grow

• Help children understand that there is not one “ideal” body shape

• Adults should watch what they say about their own bodies as well as the comments they make about other people’s bodies

• Avoid stereotypes, prejudices, and words like ugly and fat

• Help children focus on their abilities and personalities rather than their physical appearance

• Promote physical activity and exercise. Girls who play sports tend to have higher levels of self-esteem and healthier body images. “Be fit, not necessarily thin, and you will be healthy for life.”

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