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Comments

Becki

I remember very distinctly an episode at the dinner table when I was about five. My mother was exhorting my older sister, who's been overweight most of her life, to stop eating so much. In almost the same breath, she was pushing (then-)skinny little me to eat more. Even now I can remember the stress in her voice.

As for my home, my son who eats like a horse is as thin as a rail. My daughter isn't as thin, but isn't heavy either. As long as most of the stuff that goes into them is healthy, and they are healthy, I'm not going to sweat it.

suburbancorrespondent

I've found that the boys tend to grow out and then up. The girls, on the other hand, go through a shorter, more intense growth spurt (usually in the 2 years surrounding the first menses) and then tend to blimp out a bit, as their growth slows suddenly, before they have a chance to adjust their eating habits.

So far, everyone's sizes seem to have resolved themselves nicely; but something about my kids makes them suddenly need glasses at age 16. AFTER they've passed the driver's permit eye exam with flying colors...

LizP

Yep, it's funny how kids can be different. My almost 8 year old son is a skinny bean pole. My 5 year old is built like me ... thighs, belly, calves ... at birth I could tell she was built like me, she even had cellulite.

Kyooty/Mary

my biggest obstacle here seems to be getting my oldest to eat when he's asleep. For some reason sleeping seems to be at the top of his list, while my youngest? is stockier than the others were and loves to eat.

Soni

I'm with Becki - as long as you know that you are giving them healthy food, making it available even if they choose not to eat it, you have to let yourself off the hook. And for goodness sake, THROW OUT the growth charts!! There is no "normal". Just sit outside one of your shorties' schools and watch all of the kids parade by and you will see that they come in all shapes and sizes. A lot of it is, indeed, genetics. My older sister is shorter and rounder than me. My younger brother is taller and has always been able to eat whatever he wants and stay fit. If I look at old family photos, it is clear who gets what from whom.
On a more serious note . . . the 16 year old son of my BFF just had a check-up because he is WAY too thin. Turns out he is depressed, just didn't want to stress out his mom. He is now getting help and feels better, which translates to eating more. Just a thought . . .

Joless

My partners niece and nephew are the same. The 11yr old boy is skinny and tall and eats whatever, the 8yr old girl got my partners genes and is definitely on the plumper side but they both love sport and hate vegetables and love sweets... It doesn't help that in this case their mother also hates veg and loves sweets. The girl is being encouraged to exercise more by her parents but is fully aware why and is a bit upset by it all. A tough line to tread.

If she turns out like my partner though, she'll be fine - she can eat what she wants, exercises a bit and is in great shape!

Kira

YES. This so true. It's meaningless to compare all our kids to each other - even within the same family! Everyone has their own body problems and strengths. So true.

Brandy

Trying to get my eleven year old son to eat is like pulling teeth sometimes, he just doesn't like a lot of foods. So I stock up on everything he does like and pray for the best. My eighteen year old just had a doc appointment and while there I had to bite my tongue and roll my eyes. She's tall, but curvy and quite, um, gifted top-wise. The doc always makes a big deal over BMI and was quite happy that she'd dropped about ten pounds to bring her BMI down to "normal". She's happy, healthy very active (lifeguard and a black belt) and yet his big thing was BMI. I'm probably not explaining this well, but I just think too much emphasis with this doc is on BMI? Look at the child, don't discount the child. (This is the same doc that gave us obesity pamphlets when she was ten pounds heavier.) Gah!

Amy

I had my first go round with weight watchers in the 7th grade. My dad "challenged" me that if I could lose weight he would give me $100 to spend on clothes. I so badly wanted a baby blue slicker from Hudson's . I was intent on eating plain tuna on iceberg lettuce, cottage cheese, kid cereal with sugar twin and skim milk....and celery lots of celery....it's been a roller coaster ever since then. I didn't start my period until I was in 9th grade so wonder always if it would have fixed itself then without starting yo yo ing so young.
My mom also would tell me I couldn't wear certain clothes because they were meant for "tall thin" girls. I'm 5 7. Hardly short either.

Katherine

I think doctors can just as much buy into this idea of the perfect human form where they forget how individual each person is and the picture of health for one may not be the picture of health for another.

I remember being about 9 or 10 years old when my mom began obsessing about my weight. I can't help but wonder if she'd just left well enough alone, I'd have outgrown it but she didn't and I didn't. I would yo-yo my weight through high school and college and always my self-worth hinged on what I weighed. Kids deserve better. All my kids are different. My 7 year old is tall and thin, my 5 year old is short and thin, my almost 4 year old is tall enough for people to ask me about my "twins" but she has more meat on her and my 2 year old grows like a week and is built solid as a rock weighing almost as much as my 4 year old. All are healthy as can be. People are just different and doctors need to understand that.

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution, who never sleeps and drinks way too much coffee. She works from home as Social Media Programs Manager for BlogHer, and is the mom to six kids, most of whom play instruments, sing or dance and all of whom are much smarter than she will ever be. In other words, her house is never ever quiet or still. A concentration of asthma, food allergies, spectrum disorders and learning disabilities means that she spends an awful lot of time second guessing herself and Dr. Googling, as well as learning to cook everything the family might like to eat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boxing (she has her Black Belt in Muay Thai), sleeping, exploring coffee shops, photography, ballet class and cooking. She excels in being a smart mouth and has her major in sarcasm, with a dual minor in BS studies and avoiding laundry.