Daughter's self perception

by Lynn
(Ohio)

My daughter's 9th birthday is today! She is a beautiful little girl with an amazing heart and she is very creative and gifted academically. However, I am very concerned about her self-image. She is very tall for her age and she weighs 105 lbs. She has recently voiced concern to me about her "big belly". She says she knows she is fat and she doesn't like being tall and big. I am continuously telling her how beautiful she is and how God has made her perfect in His image. We think she is perfect, God knows she is perfect, but she does not see how perfect she is in so many ways. I am concerned how this self-image may or will develop into deeper issues with self perception and weight in years to come. My husband and I are encouraging active family activity like biking and swimming and we are making a conscious effort to make healthier food choices. We are trying to make this a family challenge, not just for her, but for the entire family, to promote a healthier lifestyle. Do you have any suggestions on what I can say to her to help her deal with this issue, or can you recommend a book that we could read together that might address issues of self-image? Thanks for your help and support!

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address the problem now
by: cassandra

if i were you, i would address the problem now, before it actually develops into an eating disorder. just continue to be there for her and tell her how beautiful and perfect she is and how much God loves her and how He made her perfect. keep an eye on her to make sure she is eating right and confront her if you see she's eating very little or nothing and lying about it. i say that b/c that's how it all started with me. my best friend caught it with me before i developed a serious case of anorexia, but if she'd only waited another month or so, i would've been serious. my family still doesn't have a clue that i'm still struggling. it all started with me when i was around 12-13 and i'm now 21. its not fun. so please just keep an eye on her and love her.

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