Never pass on an opportunity to teach a child. Even if it exposes your vulnerability

I wrote this a year ago, and posted it to my Facebook page. It’s come up on the “On This Day” feature, so I thought I’d share it here…..

 

I snuck over to Woolies (Woolworths grocery store) a couple of hours ago, while getting some vegies a little girl about 3 or 4 asked her mum why was I so fat.
The mum looked at me and mouthed ‘Sorry’, I said, that it was ok, and did she mind if I explained ‘why’ to the girl.

I squatted down to her level, and very gently said “when I was a little girl, I used to love chocolate, and chips, and donuts, and all those sort of things, and I never ate my healthy food like vegies and fruit when my mummy told me too.”

I then asked her if she liked ‘happy meals’ from McDonalds, and she smiled brightly and nodded yes.
I told her that the happy meals were my very favourite, and I got to have them lots and lots, (never had one til adulthood though lol) and when you eat too many happy meals, and donuts, and chocolate and all those sometimes foods, you end up getting too fat.
Now, If I ate all these yummy fruits and veggies that your mum is buying for you right now, I would be beautiful and healthy like your mummy,
So just remember next time your mummy wants you to eat the healthy foods, you have to be a grown up girl and eat them, because if you eat too many sometimes food like I did, that’s how you get very fat, and we want you to grow strong and healthy.
You can still have the other things, but only sometimes so you won’t have to worry about being fat”

I stood up and smiled at the little girl. The mum said ‘thank you’, and I said to the little girl that “next time you see a fat person, you won’t need to say it out loud, because it might hurt their feelings, just remember less sometimes food, and more healthy food and you’ll never have to worry about being fat like me”

The mum put her hand on mine and said the most sincerest ‘thank you’
And she was sorry if it caused any embarrassment.
I told her not to worry about it, just remind her daughter what we’d spoken about and use me as an example of too many unhealthy foods.

Never pass up an opportunity to teach a child something. Even if it is uncomfortable.


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