Manasseh whined, "Are we eating, again?" Seriously, I don't know where this boy came from, we may have taken the wrong child home from Vacation Bible School, he loves food.. usually.
I told him, "Yes, we are going to have a snack and talk with some friends for a little while." Again, he sighed as he proclaimed, "I'm fat and I don't want to die!"
My 5 year old son is hearing the message that he's fat!? He's never heard it from his parents - it's not truth at all. We really don't talk about weight in front of him. We do talk about health and making healthy food choices, treating our bodies well, etc. This "I'm fat and I don't want to die" thing kind of rocked me.
I'm still pondering what to do with that. You see - he tells me that he heard it from a friend. She told him that all kids say that. He believes it to be true now. Yikes! Even though my kid isn't getting these messages from school and mainstream media, his friends are. His friend, by the way, is not fat either.
My heart breaks for the 5 and 6 year old children that are hearing that they are too fat - 5 and 6 year olds! Truth? Some children are too fat, they are obese. These kids don't need to hear it in those words either - I'm sure they do though, far too often.
As you go to bed tonight, say a prayer that your children be protected from the lies that they are going to hear from friends, family, media, and even school. As you wake up in the morning, find a child and encourage them. Tell them how beautiful they are, point out something they do well, love on the children around you. Most of all, listen to them. Hear the messages that they are getting (they'll tell you if you listen).
I did tell Manasseh very plainly tonight, "You are not fat - and we are all going to die." I want him to know the truth. I hope he's learned to trust me. I want him to know that I won't give him an ice cream cone if I think it's going to kill him. I want him to grow to be strong, healthy, and wise.
How do you help your children balance the messages of our culture with truth?