I think that the advice to not have a conversation is misguided. Obesity is an growing concern -- 18% of teens are obese, and 30% are overweight. The stats just get higher with age, and they increase every year. I think while the potential for this conversation to go terribly wrong is huge, that we as mothers have an obligation to figure out how to talk to our children. All of our children are at risk for becoming obese because the rates just keep going up and up (if the rates of obesity continue to increase they way they currently are, all Americans will be overweight by 2048) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/08/28/will-all-americans-be-fat-in-40-years.aspx
this is where i disagree with ya :) sorta
our children are getting bombarded with weight all around us. as parents we dont need to add any of that. there are tooo many children in my dd's 5th grade class who are fixated on weight (without their parents talking about it). in fact i even ran across a first grader who felt that way. however she wants to be a film actress, is a performer so because of her interest i guess the obesity concern is worse.
i wonder if we did a poll how many children on our board is obese. i dont think we should see all families with the same lens. obesity is a problem with some families - not all. though in my books, being obese and fat are two different things. i think these days obese and fat are becoming synonymous which is not right.
obviously the government doesnt care. if they did at least they would have some afterschool sports programs available for free. the corporations dont care. look at the junk in the guise of food.
i think 80% of our problem can be solved by food. by food i mean the amount of sugar, fat and salt in our system. the 3 biggest items in processed food. if we havent got our children's attention by the teens its already late. not too late, but late and its HARD for anyone to change their food habits.
if your child is brought up with the right nutrition. the concept of nutrition, of balanced diet and then add taste to it then by the teens they are able to do that on their own. not something parent guided but child directed.
and honestly one thing that frustrates me is the notion children are inactive. children are NEVER inactive unless their lifestyle forces them to be and then it becomes a habit. all a child needs is another good friend in the neighborhood and a parent to supervise and gosh they are active all over. but they DO need a friend. that is the key. so if you dont have that you sign them up for an activity. not as a teen, but as a child so that by teens for your child activity is a habit. however if you are poor and or working all the time then you are pretty much screwed. i hate this idea that because u have a backyard, add a few toys and let ur child loose there and they should have a grand time. no that is wrong. they are BORED by themselves (mostly not all kids). instead let them free there with a good friend and THEN they'll have a ball.
at this point of time with OPs child one has to be supersensitive. she is at a very sensitive age. perhaps instead of talking she should focus on doing. together as a family. keep an eye on is the child down, depressed? is she already aware of her belly and feels horrible. if the mom doesnt brign up the conversation sensitively - a no mean task to achieve - she can make things worse.
dd and i have talks on weight and food. not because its the teens, but its something we have always talked about. it is just as much as our conversation as talking about the latest movie we saw.
dd just started middle school. i see what a huge impact it has on her life.
i understand where you are coming from Linda. i get what you are trying to say. recently dd went through allergies which restricted her diet. it had such a HUGE social and thus psychological impact on dd. THAT made me aware of how important it is HOW we talk to our children. and thus i feel instead of talking first ACT. make the changes. dont bring crap in teh house (that is non food packaged in the form of food) and as a family get active if you are not.
i think if you begin with talking - its pointing a finger at the child and saying she is wrong. irresponsible. doesnt know anything. not the right way to start. you gotta first break the habit and then talk.