Eating disorders are beginning to take root in children as early as kindergarten, but no mother wants to consider this for their child. Unfortunately for Australian mother and writer Amy Cheney, the discovery of her 7-year-old daughter’s Diyet [sic] checklist thrust her head-first into a conversation about body image that she never expected to have with her second-grader.
The list, written on pink flowery paper, was sitting on the floor beside a group of Polly Pocket dolls and friendship bracelets when Amy found it. The words were mostly misspelled, showing the young girl’s age, and reading through what little she could interpret was torture.
17 pooshups 2 times a day
16 star jumps 2 times a day
2 keewee froots
5 glasses of water
Rid my bike 3 time a day
Jog/run up and down the driv way 3 times
“I felt sick,” Amy writes on Australian mommy blog Mamamia. “Physically ill. Like someone had knocked the air from my chest. Whose fault is this? Is it mine because I let her play with Barbies? Because sometimes she’s allowed to watch Total Drama Action? Is it because when I draw with her I can only draw stick figures?”
Amy soon discovered that her daughter had learned about diets from a friend from school who was on one herself, so Amy decided it was time to speak with her daughter about “beautiful healthy bodies and the gift that they are.”
“I am not naive. I know this will not be the last time I talk about food and weight and bodies with my daughter. I am just ultra pissed that it had to start when she was 7.”
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