I have a large beef with the people on this planet who feel so bad about themselves that they have to take it out on others. Especially when those others are their own children. A parent’s role in part is to provide their children with something that is essential to their survival into adulthood and beyond: Self Esteem. I cannot stress enough how important this issue is. And no, commenting that your kid has gained weight or putting them on a diet when they’re nine is not a way to enhance their self image in a favourable manner. Most nine-year-olds haven’t lost their baby fat yet! If they’re going to have weight troubles, make sure it’s medical and not mental alright? All it takes is a little reinforcement every now and then, especially when they might be having a low point. Don’t agree with them that they’re a little overweight and help them diet, say: “You’re great just the way you are, but if you’re worried about it, I’ll help.” Much more constructive. I’d hate it if every time I saw my mother she said that I needed to lose weight or get new pants. I already feel guilty enough about gaining those few pounds that the reiteration from an outside source makes me feel worse, and more often than not, that makes me eat. (‘Comfort’ food is a common way people gain weight. I know!) Now, I don’t have a serious eating disorder, but I am aware that I often turn to food to make me feel better. Not that it really works, but it’s a mental loop I’ve been stuck in for years. With positive input though, I feel more inclined to work off that extra bit of weight. Doesn’t that make sense? I’d really like to see that kind of positive reinforcement happening with some of my friends. The negativity gets so layered after a while that compliments have begun to appear to them as lies. The old saying “a little goes a long way” certainly applies in this case. I see mothers look at their daughters and say something about their weight and I want to smack the woman. I know they love each other, but it makes no sense to me how they can do so and be so critical at the same time (at least on one side, I see devotion on the other). Criticism is not constructive when it just makes people feel bad. This has been on my mind for a long time and I apologize in advance if I offend anybody. I call it like I see it, and I hate to see the actions of others, no matter how well-intentioned they may be, hurting my friends.