Body Positive Parenting

A Course on Ending the Toxic Cycle of Fatphobia

This online course will guide you in dismantling fatphobic beliefs within yourself and promoting a body positive outlook in your children. The course will teach you:

  • How to recognize subtle fatphobic teachings and beliefs
  • How to speak to your children about their health and bodies in a positive and age appropriate manner
  • How to counteract the messages from Diet Culture and provide more diverse representations of bodies in your own home
  • How to speak to medical professionals and other family about these issues

The easiest way to overcome toxic ideas about health and bodies is to help stop them from taking root at all. This class will give you the tools to do so.

Scholarship Fund
We set aside $1 out of every $4 for a scholarship fund for people who cannot afford the full price. For more information on scholarship options please see the FAQ below. Thanks!

This Course Includes:

8 Core Modules, Plus 1 Bonus Module

This core lessons will guide you through dismantling shame and toxic beliefs while giving you the tools to uplift and support your child in being comfortable with their own bodies and the diversity of others.

Readings and Exercises

Each module has written coursework for you to follow along with as well as a larger assignment at the end of the module. Throughout each lesson are also smaller exercises to help retain new information and get you thinking of how to incorporate what you’ve learned into your own life.

Email Support from the Course Leader

You can also reach out to the Course Leader via email or messaging if you have questions or need help at any time.

From the Course Leader:

Donyae Coles
Course Leader

We all want our children to grow up happy and healthy. But having grown up ourselves in a fatphobic culture, one that considers fat to be the worst thing you can be in many cases, we may unconsciously pass on these toxic beliefs to our children. It’s not intentional, but to resist it we must intentionally dismantle it.

Many parents don’t know how to speak about weight or health to our children without using those harmful tropes and stereotypes. You may feel nervous about speaking up to medical professionals or other family members about their harmful language.

I created this course to help parents and caregivers like you develop those skills to be better advocates for your children and help your children be better advocates for themselves.

We all deserve to be able to love our bodies as they are. This course will help you help your children learn to do just that, while providing a foundation for helping them fight back against the toxic influence of fatphobic ideas and diet culture.

Hope to see you in the course!


Course Modules:

Module 1 – Introduction

We use a lot of terminology in this course that you may not be familiar with. This section will go over the key terms that we will be using as well as more thoroughly explain why it is so important that we recognize and end fatphobic ideas and support of diet culture.

  • Introduction to the terms fatphobia and diet culture
  • Talking through the negative effects it has on our children
  • Why we need to end this cycle
  • A deeper reflection on the things you would like to change in your approach so that real action can be applied to them

Module 2 – Clean Your Plate: Clearing Up the Mixed Messages About Food

Food is a very tricky subject for many people. A lot of culture and ideas of stability and worth are tied into what we eat (or don’t eat). This module discusses these issues and provides solutions for breaking them down to promote a healthy relationship with food without all the moralization of dieting.

  • Understanding the history and roles of food within families including what role it plays in culture as well as food as a reward system
  • Explanation of intuitive eating and ways to incorporate and encourage it in your own children. We will also look at how we may unwittingly undermine it
  • How to talk about food as a neutral part of life (not good or bad)
  • Warning signs of disordered eating

Module 3 – Weight Is Not an Assessment of Health

Weight is often used as an assessment of a person’s health by the layman and even medical professionals at times. You cannot tell someone’s health by the size of their jeans though. This section explains why weight as health is harmful and common misconceptions around fitness and body size.

  • An explanation of why weight doesn’t work as a health assessment
  • A look into understanding BMI and why it’s a poor assessment of health
  • Unpacking the place of “fitness” in health
  • Unpacking the concept of “healthy” as a moral judgement and a one size fits all measurement
  • How to discuss health without using weight as an indicator

Module 4 – Dealing With Yourself

A lot of the toxic ideas that our children learn about fat bodies are ones they pick up from us, their parents and caregivers. In order to fully push against them, we need to make sure that we’re eliminating these ideas in ourselves.

  • How to use the tools you learned previously on yourself and why you should
  • The difference in the world from when you were younger and now. Ideas of health have changed as well as the world we’re exposed to. We need to change how we see things as well
  • How negative talk about your own body affects your child and how you can help stop yourself

Module 5 – Diet Culture: The World Outside Your House

Diet culture is massive and this module will help you take on the many facets of it. The module focuses on weeding out the influences of diet culture that may have infiltrated your life as well as helping you recognize them going forward.

  • How Diet Culture sneaks into our lives (even when we think we’re keeping it out)
  • What is thin privilege? Why it’s important for you to understand
  • How to funnel the media to fight against Diet Culture without outright banning things from the home
  • Introducing more inclusive media

Module 6 – Age Appropriate Discussion Tactics

We talk about bodies and acceptance in differently to our children as they age and this section will give you age specific tools and resources for these discussions.

  • Tactics that cover ages from one to the teen years
  • How to speak with children while still respecting their body autonomy
  • Discussing positive body image when dealing with peers
  • Dealing with body changes without attaching morality such as weight loss (or gain) due to puberty

Module 7 – Confronting Family and Friends

Talking to family and other caregivers about a weight neutral stance may seem difficult, especially if you’re dealing with someone who has a history of being weight critical, doubly so if that person is your own parent! This unit will give you tools to confront these people in hopes they don’t undermine your own efforts for your child.

  • How to talk to extended family members about their fatphobic language
  • Discussing these issues with close friends and caretakers who may be involved with your child
  • Dealing with the anxiety that these actions may trigger due to your own past

Module 8 – Talking to Health Professionals

Speaking with medical professionals, especially when your child has a medical issue, about weight and your family’s weight neutral stance can be very hard. After all, you’re coming to these people for their expertise and it can feel as though you’re undermining them. This unit will give you the tools you need to advocate for your child in a medical setting.

  • How and when to discuss a weight neutral stance with your pediatricians and health providers
  • Resources for countering use of weight or visible fat as a health metric
  • What steps to take if your doctor dismisses your concerns

Bonus Module – Dealing with Bullies

This unit is being offered as a bonus because the culture of bullying is so much more than just ensuring that children play nicely. The tools in this section will help you recognize bullying, how to deal with administration and other parents, and finally how to handle it if your child is the bully.

  • Steps to create more open lines of communication with your children
  • What tools to help your child cultivate to help them advocate for themselves when possible
  • When and how to step in and deal with educators and other parents

Still Not Sure the Course is Right for You?

We really want to make sure that this course is working for you.

If you find that it’s not for any reason, you can get a full refund anytime within the first 30 days of the course just by letting us know. So there’s no risk to enrolling now and getting the support you deserve!

Your Course Leader

Donyae Coles
Donyae Coles

Donyae Coles is a Contributing Writer at RESIST and passionately believes that there is no wrong way to have a body. She has written many articles supporting Fat Acceptance, Self-Acceptance, and Body Positivity in general, and has worked with children and families as an Early Childhood Educator, helping them better communicate and navigate the tricky world of their emotions. She is also the mother of three children whom she's raised in a body positive environment using all of the techniques in this course.

Course FAQ

When does the course start and finish?

The course is instantly available as soon as you sign-up. It is self-paced, so you decide when you start and when you finish. Each week you'll get access to a new lesson, giving you time to work with the readings and exercises before moving onto the next lesson.

How will I access everything?

After signing up, you will receive an email with directions on how to access your course. From within the course intranet, you will be able to do everything – from accessing the course lessons to contacting the teacher to leaving questions or comments. Your access never expires to the course so you can come back whenever you need support.

How long do I have access to the course?

After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.

What if I can't afford the full course price?

We're committed to making Social Justice U courses accessible for those with less income and wealth.

Here are some options if you can't afford the full course cost:

  • Pay in 3 monthly installments of $26: If you can’t pay the full price all at once, you can pay it in 3 installments. You'll see this option when enrolling.
  • Refer someone: If you refer someone to the course who signs up, have them tell us via the Contact Us form. You’ll get 25% of the fee refunded to you. So if you get 4 friends to join you, you get the course for free! Note that this also retroactive, so it’s ok if you’ve already signed-up, you’ll still get the discount!
  • Apply for a scholarship: As part of our commitment to social justice and accessibility, Social Justice U has a scholarship fund that receives $1 of every $4 earned from course sales. Go here to learn more and apply.

I’ve taken another Social Justice U course. Do I get a repeat customer discount?

Yes! We do give a 15% repeat customer discount as our thank you! If you’ve enrolled in one of other online courses and are enrolling in a new one, please let us know via the Contact Us form. We’ll email you back to confirm that we’re refunding you 15% of the course fee.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

We have a no-questions-asked 30 day guarantee. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund!

Is the course accessible for people with a hearing impairment?

Yes, it is – the entire course is text-based.

This course is not open for enrollment.