Comparing me to stepmother (?)

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2013
Comparing me to stepmother (?)
Tue, 10-15-2013 - 1:24pm

Hello All,

I have an 8 year old daughter and sometimes she says these "out of the blue" things once in a while (what kid doesn't?) It's very unusual to me; she tends to compare my size to her stepmother, i.e. "You're fatter than she is" or "She weighs less than you." The strange thing is, all I've heard her (my daughter) and her brother say when they visit with her and their dad is that she is a total nightmare and they wish she wasn't around. What my fiance and I don't understand is that, I am in much better shape than the stepmother and always have been. It would be painfully obvious to anyone who looked at her and myself. But, why my daughter brings this up, I don't know. I don't talk about the stepmother or their father and yet this "you're fat" thing comes up every once in a while. I can understand that if she were mad at me about something and as "revenge" said this, but she is saying it when everything is all well.

Any ideas on why a child would repeat something like this that isn't true? When she brings it up, I kindly remind her that I do not want to hear about the stepmother. Honestly, it hurts my feelings a little bit (considering I've lost 20lbs this past summer) but I don't let her know that. 

What are your thoughts?

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Tue, 10-15-2013 - 3:56pm
I would also put this on the blended families board and you may get more advice. It is completely natural for kids to compare the important people in their lives. She may be hearing those types of things from her stepmom and/or dad while at their house and it may be why she is saying things like that. She may not even realize she is doing it consciously. She is old enough that I don't think it would be a bad idea to tell her how you feel. She also may not really realize you have lost a bit of weight this summer. How often are they with their dad and step mom? My step son will make comments here and there about "this is how my step dad cooks xxx", stuff like that. Kids that go from house to have do the best they can to adjust, etc. I would just brush it off honestly. She may also not understand the difference between "healthy", "in shape", etc. when she is comparing you two.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 10-16-2013 - 11:06am

My guess would be that she heard your ex or SM say that at one time & is repeating it because it doesn't usually seem to occur to kids to think about weight unless someone is unusually fat, or tall or whatever.  I wouldn't make a big deal about it but the next time you might say something like "well I've lost weight so I don't think I'm bigger."  or you could even take the tactic of saying "it's not really important to me who is bigger or smaller.  People come in all different sizes."  I would try to avoid telling your DD that you don't want to hear about SM.  First of all, if there is something important that your DD needs to tell you about SM, she won't feel that she is able to do that.  And you don't want her to know that it annoys you.  Just don't react or change the subject.