If you are one of the millions of parents who have heard these words and one of the tens of thousands who is also faced with an overweight child when those words were spoken – then this is for you!
For all the parents who can’t, don’t want to, or are afraid to address obesity with their child STOP Obesity Alliance and Alliance for a Healthier Generation have done a huge favor for you. This wonderful document – Weigh In: Talking to Your Children About Weight and Health – came into my inbox today. It teaches parents how to have the “obesity” talk with their kids. Kind of like the “sex” talk or the “drug” talk, we now have to prepare ourselves for the “obesity” talk.
I like what this paper has to say – it teaches parents to talk about overweight and obesity constructively and to approach it from a health perspective. Sure, we all say it’s about health, but it really is hard to stay that course when you’re faced with a 10 year-old who just wants to wear the clothes her friends wear. Health is far from her mind. This piece forces parents to bring health to the forefront of all your obesity conversations. The researchers and parents who wrote this conversation piece liken obesity to ADHD or asthma and offer tips to help children normalize their health problem and puts it into terms kids will understand. Like this…
“Having extra weight means your body may have to work harder than it needs to. Just like when you don’t like it when your teacher gives you extra homework, your body doesn’t like to do more work than it has to. If we can help your body stop overworking, we can make sure you have enough energy to do the things that you like to do and what makes you happy like (FILL IN).” –page 10
I know this will come in handy because at least a few times a month when a parent calls my office with a referral they ask me how I suggest bringing up the appointment with their overweight son or daughter. Honesty is always the best policy for me and this combines honesty with some really effective tips to make your empathy go a long way. Take a look.