How do you talk to your daughter about weight and body image?
As TODAY anchor Meredith Vieira knows – she has a daughter herself – saying anything can be tricky.
“Sometimes you feel you’re walking on eggshells, you may say the wrong thing,” Vieira said to TODAY guest Robyn Silverman, author of “Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Screwing Up Our Girls and What We Can Do to Help Them Thrive Despite It.”
Silverman says it’s important to think about not just what you say directly to your daughter, but also consider what you say about others – and yourself. If mom constantly calls herself fat or comments on how much weight the next-door neighbor has gained or lost, her kids will get the message. And body image is definitely a problem: 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat, and 51 percent of 9- and 10-year-old girls say they feel better about themselves if they are on a diet.
Silverman offers some questions that parents should ask themselves before having a “weight talk” with their daughter:
* Is my daughter happy? Healthy?
* Is my daughter successful in school and extra-curricular activities?
* Does my daughter have good friends?
* Is my daughter embarrassed by her weight, or am I?
* Is my daughter being teased? Or discriminated against?
* If my daughter lost weight, would she be happier or would I?