For many children, being told that they need to lose weight can really be a difficult thing to handle. Children are pressured to look like their teen idols do, thin and perfect. When they fall short of their ideal image of what they think that they should look like or what they want to be able to look like, many teens suffer from a poor self image. Many children who are overweight have trouble fitting in socially. Some of these teens become very lonely and distant while others choose to fight against those who would make fun of them and may become violent and do poorly in school.
Of course there are all kinds of different scenarios and situations that are possible, and you may have children who agree that their weight is a problem and are willing to do what it takes to become healthier. It is simply important to be aware that children and especially adolescents, will need to be approached and handled with respect, tact and great care when you wish to address anything that concerns their self image.
More and more children have to deal with weight struggles. Experts say that the child obesity rate is higher than it has ever been before with 15 percent of children and adolescents falling into the obesity category. Many times the parents are partly to blame for the poor health of their children. It is this point that becomes important as you decide how to help your own children to lose weight.
When the whole family (that includes mom and dad) works together to achieve a goal of better health, no one is singled-out from the group. Additionally, because the entire household is participating in a new healthy lifestyle, there is a powerful network of support that a child is able to benefit from in the home.
This means that there are no exceptions. Children are experts at finding their way around the rules. When there are no sweets in the house because not even the parents are allowed to have them, the entire temptation of sneaking around to find hidden goodies is eliminated. Trust is developed, and respect is gained because family members are able to sympathize with each other.
Making small changes on a regular basis can ease your family into a healthier lifestyle. It is unlikely that you will be able to get your children excited about eating healthier over night. As you make small changes and your children realize that these different routines are not as unpleasant as they thought they would be, they become more excited about seeing the changes in their own bodies and are more open to trying new things and to continually improve.
Excuses are stumbling blocks along the road to achieving any goal. Many children see that their parents or grandparents are overweight and simply accept that as their fate. Even adults use the excuse that their body and appetite are genetic and that there is nothing that can change it. An attitude of “why even try” does nothing but allow you to sink deeper into your health, attitude and social problems. You may have compelling reasons for why you or your children are overweight. But everyone can benefit from a healthier lifestyle.
Be supportive of each other. Make sure that as a family you are trying to lift each other up instead of tear down efforts of improvement. Involve the family doctor and ask for specific areas where improvement is most needed. Re-visit the doctor on a regular basis to evaluate your progress. The health of your body is not always manifested in the weight that you carry. Your doctor will be able to give you a good idea of positive changes that are occurring because of your lifestyle changes that you may not have even noticed!