Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Talking to our Kids about Weight

While shopping with my youngest daughter today I overheard a parent complaining to her daughter about her being a little overweight and nothing fitting...

To be honest, I wanted to say something!!  You could tell her daughters feelings were hurt & she was being rude to her!

Young girls look at themselves and most have complained about their bodies at some point.. I think this is normal; and after reading a few articles it appears to be true.  I know I did as well as my teenage girl friends growing up.  However, for a parent to be rude or shame their children because they're a little over weight is SO wrong in my opinion; and can make it worse according to experts!!

Lately, I have been talking to my oldest  little more about weight and healthier eating because she has a job at a fast food restaurant where she grabs something to eat after work more often than she needs too and she's been snacking more because it's summertime.  She's not overweight in any way; however, she's put on a few (5-10) pounds over this summer and I do not want these unhealthy eating habits to become her norm!!

This was a touchy topic for me because I do not in any way want her to feel like I was calling her fat or want her to take things the wrong way resulting in body image issues.  Surprisingly, this is a major worry of most parents according to a WebMD Article I came across tonight, which gave some great advice on how to approach the subject as well as ways to start changing some habits.

I wish that the parent in the store knew how much worse it was on her child with her doing what she was doing!!!

In a New York Times Article I was was reading on Body & Image it states...
"A Mother who makes Negative comments about her own body Is setting an Example"
This made me stop and think about how negative I am about my body, and how my girls may see this.  I would never want to my girls to look at themselves negatively because they think it's the way that it's supposed to be!!

As parents we have to be gentle with our children's feelings and insecurities, but teach them ways to change and love themselves regardless of things believed to be flaws.. because we all have them!

So... After seeing this parent doing ALL the wrong things today and reading that what I have been doing with the talks with my own kids was on the right path, it's nice.

My point in this post is to point out that it isn't about a NUMBER on the scale, it's about being HEALTHY and I learned that it's more about teaching your children to make healthy choices that will stick with them as the grow into adults and them knowing that we, as parents, love them no matter what!!

However, I also learned that as a mom of young girls they don't need to see me downing myself all the time, hearing me calling myself fat or knowing I don't love me.  These are not qualities that they see in me, and I don't want them seeing themselves this way in life!!  ... Self Lesson Learned!  :)  and this is something I plan to change starting TODAY!


*A Few resources that I referred to in the article that you may want to read if you need to talk to your child about being overweight, underweight, or just about making healthy food choices!

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/raising-fit-kids/weight/talk-teen-obesity

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/22/health/body-and-image-how-to-talk-to-teenage-girls-about-weight-very-carefully.html