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Q. My daughter said her volleyball coach suggested she lose some weight. Her doctor and I think she's fine. Should I speak to the coach?
A. It's hard not to want to scream at the coach about contributing to society's toxic messages to girls about being thin. But that's not good parenting. Speak with the coach in person (not by phone or e-mail) and ask him if he told your daughter to lose weight. If he did, request that he focus his comments solely on concrete ways to improve her game. If he didn't, discuss why your daughter has this impression and what he can do to address it. Usually I prefer for kids to advocate for themselves, but weight is such a sensitive and potentially humiliating issue that this is one of those times when you have to directly intervene.
Originally published in the December 2007 issue of Family Circle magazine.