Should we let children be so honest?

Should we let children be so honest?

Missy M and I were looking out of the bus window. I noticed a lady with a rather funky coat and long skirt, and wanted to point it out to Missy M.

Which lady Mummy? The fat one?

I hadn’t even registered it, but the lady was a little on the large side. I decided to make this into a “teaching moment”, and explained that it was not nice to call someone “fat”.

But why Mummy? She can’t hear us!

That is true, but we don’t say things about people, that if they did hear us, might make them cry. So even when they can’t hear, we practice not saying those things.

But why would she cry Mummy? She is fat.

I became increasingly uncomfortable being confronted with Political Correctness and English Manners. Quite possibly, I squirmed in my seat.

Mummy, How could she be upset; god made her that way.

Now that sentence cut through everything. If god made her, why would her size be anything to make her cry? She is either big or small. No judgement. God made her that way. Why would she not be happy? It was Mummy who had made up a story about the word “fat” in her mind and decided on what it meant, and what other people might think it meant.

Turns out the “teaching moment” was for me, not Missy M.

(And yet I am still uncomfortable writing this, so looks like I still have a lot of thinking about weight).

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