I am always amused at parents who tell me to watch what I say around their little kids. I am fully aware that a swear word will become the delight of that three year old. People forget that I have a lot of verbal self control due to the nature of my employment.
But do parents really think about what they are saying to their kids? Case in point:
When I was about 5 years old, I had my first dance recital. It was in the Old Gym of the high school in my rural town. It had these old wooden bleachers that circled the gym floor. Yes. Circled in a U shape. It was a very nice gym that was unfortunately remodeled and half the bleachers were taken out to become classrooms. And just this year, it was torn down. But I digress again.
I think I had two or three numbers. We had one costume change. I did tap, ballet, and maybe one other little thing. We did not get our costumes until that day. Some of them were one size fits all. I think I wanted the red sparkly top, and so did another little girl. Somehow, I ended up with the blue sparkly top and was quite disappointed. I had just turned five. It makes sense.
Instead of kind, but firm words from my mother, she belted out, "You don't want the red one anyways because it makes you look fat. Blue is more slimming."
Here is a pic of about when I was 5 with my dad. I do wish I had pants like that now. And hmmm... I just realized I am wearing a blue top!
Now sit back and imagine telling this little girl she is fat? I can't. I think it is awful.
And that folks, was the first time I can remember my mother mentioning how fat I looked. And very soon after that recital, I started figure skating. Another sport that is not forgiving when it comes to weight. And it was at that moment, that you could have probably said goodbye to any normal functioning metabolism. Because when you have a kid doing hardcore exercise training, it is disastrous to the body. But more on that later.
Words do hurt. And it is better to say something nice or not say anything at all. Especially when dealing with young children.