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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dd, who is 8, for several weeks has been a vegetarian (sp is off, i know but the worm ate my word <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> ). She made this decision of her own free will. Everyone else in my household eats meat. I have honored my daughter's wishes on this and have left meat out of her diet. Well, she comes home from school today and tells me that she ate meat at lunch. I asked her why, because when my dd makes up her mind about something...there is no budging her <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">. She tells me that her teacher (who is 24 years old) told her that if she wanted to be a veggie when she was an adult that was fine but that it was a bad idea for a child <b>and that she was too skinny and NEEDED to eat meat</b> My daughter was and still is heartbroken. She told me when she got home that she really, really doesn't want to eat animals. Justice said that the teacher didn't actually MAKE her eat the meat. So I asked why she ate it and she said "but I don't want to be too skinny mama". I think I have done damage control....I told justice that if she didn't want to eat meat that she didn't have to and that eating meat wasn't going to change the fact that she is a slender girl (I did not use the word skinny). I am really bothered that this woman has laid the foundation of a frikkin complex in my 8 year old. I think I have done enough and I am cooking extra veggies for dinner...just for her.<br><br>
Now...What should I do about this teacher? I am going to Justice's school tomorrow (I can only hope that I am calm enough to speak rationally with this woman). I am also going to speak to the principal and probably the cafeteria staff (not sure if that is warrented though). I don't think that ANYONE should tell my daughter what to eat.<br><br>
deep breaths deep breaths counting backwards from ten...am still pissed
 

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That would make me so angry and you have every right to talk to the teacher, i definately would. Explain to her your daughters choice and firm belief in it. As her mother you are the only one with the right to worry about what she eats. Also as a "skinny" child I can tell you how I hated when my teachers would comment on it<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: I would also bring that up to the teacher. My dd who is 6 takes alot of pride in what she eats, we are vegetarians and she loves bringing in fruit and veggies for her morning snack. She is on this edamame kick and brings in a bowl of it for snack time. The kids tease her about it and say it is yucky, we have had discussions about it. I am very truthful with her that some adults and kids do not know how to eat healthy and they think fruit snacks are just as good as fruit. I am fortunate enough to have a teacher who tries really hard to encourage healthy eating in her kids.<br><br>
Again I would calmly but firmly tell the teacher it is not her place to monitor your child and explain to her the damage control you had to do and how you are trying to encourage in your dd a healthy view of her body and what the taecher said is damaging to that.
 

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OMG I would be pissed! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/splat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="splat"> I was a vegetarian for over 8 years and my children were most of their lives as well. We just recently started eating meat. The only trouble we really had besides family and friends making comments was my oldest daughter's doctor. Of course he thought it was a bad idea and that she should choose, blah blah blah (but she shouldn't choose if she wants to eat meat, she should just eat it. lol). If a teacher EVER did that to my child, watch out. :LOL I would talk to the teacher and everyone else that's involved with her lunch at school and let them know that it's HER choice and they need to keep their mouths shut! I would also make a complaint to the principal.<br><br>
BTW, I will be more careful not to use the word skinny. I've always been on the other end of the complex so it never really occured to me that my daughter could be bothered by that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blush.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blush"> Thanks!
 

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That would make me *furious*! (My 4 yr old dd is a vegetarian of her own accord, so I can really imagine being in that position)<br>
I wouldn't even both scheduling an appointment, but would demand a few minutes after school today to just let this teacher know how you feel about this. I woudl say to the teacher, that my child has made a philosophical decision about her diet, and that your family supports that right. That it is not her place to discuss this with your child, and that her words were ill chosen and potentially damaging to a young psyche.<br>
I would then go home and schedule a conference with the principal, and let them know what happened.
 

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I would be pi$$ed too!<br><br>
However, 4 years ago, I could've been that teacher. Young, naive, no children, truly does care about your child, but is misguided. The teacher needs to be educated. If she has no children, she has no idea what you are feeling, and hasn't thought about it through your eyes.<br><br>
Now, I am giving this woman the beneift of the doubt, assuming that she was like I was at her age/position. Hopefully I'm right on that. If I am right, she will take what you say seriously, just b/c you are there to tell her she was wrong and not to do it again. Try to tell her how you are very respectful of your daughter's ability to make food choices, tell her you are very certain that your dd's diet is better than most her age (who won't even eat veggies) and that if she would like to learn about vegetarianism and the benefits to health she can do some research.<br><br>
Tell her that it is not her place to tell your dd what/how/when to eat. There are likely some kids in your dd's class who need the teacher's guidance (some kids come to school hungry and only get a decent breakfast and lunch there, and teachers become mothers to these kids) the teacher needs to know that your dd has a very involved loving mama, who is taking care of her physical and emotional needs just fine, thank you.<br><br>
Remember that this person will be your child's teacher for the next 8 months or so, and you may need to work with her in the future, so yelling at her won't help anything. Approaching this as an opportunity to teach her that ~your dd has a loving family meeting her needs, your dd has made a responsible choice, which you support as your dd is mature enough to make the decision, and to educate her on her misconceptions about vegetarianism, as well as the hurtfullness of words like "skinny" (which many people think is a compliment).<br><br>
Good luck remaining calm, I know it would be hard for me too, I can just see my former self in this teacher. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Does the teacher also discourage the fat kids from eating fried food choices or sweets?<br><br>
Something you might like to ask her--because it's equally inappropriate. Perhaps if put in that light, she might see how damaging her comments can be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, everyone! Patty - you are right, I do need to approach this in a educative manner. Maybe this teacher doesn't understand (usually we reject that which we can't understand) the health benefits of vegetarianism (thanks for the correct spelling, btw <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">). I am going this morning to make it very clear to all involved that my daughter is mature enough and knows her own needs better than anyone else. If I can trust her to decide what is best for her nutritionally, so should the school.<br><br>
I may also ask that this teacher not call my little girl skinny. It can be just as detrimental to the self esteem as fat. Some people simply don't understand that.
 

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You have everyright to be upset! She should not have interfered in that way. Especially making you daughter feel strange about her weight. You really need to talk to that woman. Our daughters have enough issues about their weight.
 

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What everybody else has said is right on, the teacher also needs to know that there is a wide variance of body types, and they don't always correspond to what a person eats. I look at food and gain weight. My MIL, husband and son on the other hand gorge themselves on food and are "thin" . My husband has spent his whole life trying to gain weight. Skinny is insulting just as fat is. It is true though to someone on the heavier side it is hard to understand that.
 

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I totally agree.<br>
As the mother of a "skinny" child who has made educated choices about her diet, I hear you. Your plan sounds great. Your kid sounds awesome. And you sound like an intuitive, supportive, sensitive attached mamma. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Hmmm. Vegetarian children are too skinny.<br><br>
That must be why all those kids in India are slender.<br>
Maybe she should be grossly overweight...like many kids in this country.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:
 

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How did it go? Did you talk to the teacher today?
 

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What happened?<br><br>
I did wanna share that last year when DD was in her first Kindergarten (ie. before it got so horrible that I took her out) the schooled pulled something on me. The ysent home a note saying I woed $$ for 2 days of their lunches b/c she didn't have what the yfound appropriate or not. I called the prinicpal who apologised. I explained that the first 3 months of school DD came hoem w/ her lunch everyday and noone noticed she wasn't eating. So I planned the new lunches w/ her. homemade peanut butter crackers, juice box (100%) and a snack-nothing great but something she'd eat. The week this occurred I was flat broke and had borrowed the money for food, so iwas really pissed. Anyway, the school said her food was not good enough but gave her grilled cheese, milk, and ppudding-how the hell is that healthier?!?! Also, what if she had dairy issues (milk does make her gassy, so I limit it), Iwas fuming! iwrote the teachers Aide who sent me the letter a 2 page letter explaining why this was innapropriate of her to not even contact me first if she saw a problem and to then tell me to pay for food whe n Ihad sent her a lunch. I also mentioned if I had sent a lunchable noone would've hada problem-that is less food, and less healthy!<br><br>
Guess what the Aide did? Nothing but ask my then 5yo why Mommy won't send in the money-even after the Prinicipal apologized. Ugh. This was one of the final straws at that awful place!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok. I went in this morning and spoke to her teacher. It seems that Justice had told some children at lunch that she was a veggie because she didn't want to eat animals (my baby, the activist <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> , she actually tried to convince another girl in her class to be a veggie too ~the teacher told me this!). Well a little boy, started telling her that she couldn't eat her pizza, even if she picked off the peperoni (because of the cheese) and that she couldn't drink her milk because both of these things came from cows. So, Justice wasn't eating ANYTHING at lunch and the teacher said what she said in hopes of getting my girlie to eat a bit. I can understand her motives, but did tell her that I would appreciate if she not refer to my impressionable daughter as *skinny*, that Justice is extremely sensitive and will take it to heart. I told Justice that she doesn't need to listen to other children that it was ok to eat pizza (healthy, huh) and that she could and needed to drink her milk (no allergies here). So all is well at school and the teacher simply banned discussion of Justice's diet at lunchtime.
 

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Glad to hear that it all went well, and by talking to the teacher you found out what your dd was hearing from that boy, so you could clear things up, and that you taught the teacher about her language and the effect it can have. Sounds like everybody learned something (I assume your dd will be rightfully educating her little criticizer<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> )<br><br>
Isn't it nice when things work out?
 

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as an ex teacher...<br><br>
could you possibly go into the classroom (with the teachers permission of course) and give a demo on differnet types of veggies? (it could be incorporated into their science/health... and most teacher like parent participation. I know from my experience that just because I (as the teacher )said that x was off limits it was still a point of teasing for z child.<br><br>
That way the children are educated and not "teasing" your child. And education is the key right?
 
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