Do these make my butt look big??

by Lisa Donovan

So my six year old son has become utterly self conscious about his image. Yes, his image. I wasn’t aware that he had an image, but apparently he does. Silly me.

I thought I had at least another ten years before I was faced with this, but not so. I thought that my daughter would be the first one to say “I am not going to wear those jeans, they make my butt look big!!”. Not so. As we were trying on a new pair of pants this morning, my darling young son informed me (by screaming across the apartment) that he hated his new pants because, oh my god, they made his butt look big. I am not kidding. I’m afraid I have a long, long road ahead of me.

My initial impulse is to tell him what a ridiculous idea that is. The fact alone that he is merely a smidge over four feet tall alone makes it impossible for his butt to look big in anything and if he wants to see a big butt he should really dig through the photo trunk and pull out some pregnant pictures of mommy. That might be all the clarification he needs. My second impulse is to worry and rush to the library and find every parenting book I can on raising a self confident child. I think if this were the first time he had ever said anything of the sort, I would let it slide. But, he worries about this type of thing on a daily basis. “People are going to think I look stupid”, “Those are the type of pants that girls wear”, “Everyone is going to laugh at these shoes”. It is a fairly new concern of his, so I am taking my steps lightly. If I make too big a deal of it, it might be something that never goes away. If I don’t treat it like it is important at all, the same might happen.

I found a good article about peer pressure and self confidence. It talks about the origins of such behavior and how you, as a parent, can understand it and help ease the pressure of it.

You can help insulate your child from the negative affects of social pressure by following these five steps:

  1. Identify risk factors. Keep your eyes and ears open and discover the types of social pressures that easily influence your child.
  2. Be protective. Find ways to lessen the amount of time your child is left unsupervised around sources of negative social pressure.
  3. Be a teacher. Empower your child with the skills to help him or her deal with stressful and pressure-packed situations.
  4. Monitor and plan. Make sure your child can have his or her needs (acceptance, excitement, etc.) met, including maximizing time spent with positive social influences.
  5. Communicate. Talk with your child to keep your relationship strong.
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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 5th, 2006 at 8:26 am and is filed under Parenting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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