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Childhood Obesity

Help Kids Deal with Teasing

Large sized children can become targets for cruel teasing. This is a form of bullying sometimes referred to as “taunting” in order to distinguish it from normal playful teasing that occurs between friends.

As a parent, your help and support can make a difference. Here are some points to consider:

  • No one has the right to criticize another person’s body.
  • Comments directed at a fat child as a way of shaming him/her to lose weight is cruel -- “If you lost weight maybe kids wouldn’t tease you so much”.
  • If you witness teasing, be firm about stopping it. State in a calm voice to the child doing the teasing that their words are hurtful and you want them to stop.
  • If your child is being bullied at school, become their advocate. Tell them it’s not their fault and that adult help is usually needed. Seek help from the school in dealing with the situation.
  • Teach your kids to stick up for friends who are being bullied. Bullies lose their power if bystanders are willing to go to a trusted adult for help. Let your kids know that getting help for a bullied child is not “tattling”.
  • Be alert to examples of size discrimination in our society, such as fat jokes or the use of rude names such as “fatso”. Help your children understand that these comments are not funny, they are hurtful and undeserved.

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Revised: Monday November 15 2010


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