Having an overweight kid can be a situation of a great dilemma for parents. In addition to having a pressure of treating every child equally, regardless of physical appearance, they are worried about obesity affecting their child’s health. Both the parents, as well as the kid, carry invisible social anxiety and pressure. If as a parent, you are planning to sail on the weight loss journey, you need to juggle between the emotional and mental repercussions. With an appropriate plan coupled with the right engagement, you can achieve the impossible. Here are some things you need to know before starting on your journey.
Is my kid is REALLY overweight?
Before making final judgement on your kid’s weight, it’s necessary to consider few factors. First of all, kids and teens grow and change until they become adults. Consequently, every month their bodies might have different fat rate. Sometimes, kids who are slightly overweight, become normal after growing in height. Therefore, it’s better to consult with a specialist who can help to come to the final answer.
Moreover, there is possibility to calculate your kid’s BMI (body mass index). Keep in mind that there are different indexes for girls and boys. That is because girls and boys go through totally different changes in their bodies. Therefore, you might calculate BMI for a girl or a boy. Though, as I mentioned earlier, it’s better to consult a specialist. Probably, your kid does not need to follow weight loss diet.
How Can Obesity Affect Self-Esteem Of Your Child?
Research suggests that children as young as 6 years, start associating obesity with a negative outlook. All this accounts for the influence of social media on kids. Additionally, this mental damage is furthermore fueled by:
Not all kids with overweight issues are the victims of bullying and have low self-esteem. But most times, it is the self-consciousness coupled with bullying that causes a child to go into his/her shell. Not only the unpopular but also the popular and less bullied kids can be conscious of their weight. Kids who are bullied in their childhood, keep struggling with their self-confidence by the same token in their adulthood as well.
Alienation accompanied by depression
This is a stepwise procedure. Overweight children first start to isolate themselves from all social activities. Not to mention that isolation further leads to chronic depression in most of the cases. Depression can further cause even more issues in the weight loss process.
In light of the facts discussed above, depression can lead to overeating habits in many children. This is often known as eating emotionally. Emotional eating can inculcate a sense of shame in kids for their lack of control. Moreover, depression can be the major cause of overweight in children and adults.
How Can Your Relationship With The Kid Affect His/Her Self Esteem?
Your relationship with your kids can have long-lasting and deep impacts on their self-esteem. Your support is equally important for a child to get rid of their negative body images. Also, your constant positive help can act in the same way as bullying does. A kid with low self-esteem needs to feel confident about his/her body and personality.
This must be your first goal towards enhancing your child’s self-esteem by behavioral science. With your actions and words, the child should feel proud of whatever he/she does. Your kind and positive words must make the child feel liked, loved, and accepted. The relationships with your kid should not only be positive, but also friendly in nature. Your behavior should time and again remind your kid that they are not alone. Many things like letting your kid do his own work and trusting them with difficult jobs can do the work for you.
How Should You Talk To Your Child About Weight Loss?
It is equally important to talk to your child about their overweight issues. This is meant to not let them feel guilty about it. The first step towards acknowledging the elephant in the room is consulting a pediatrician together. Even if the child provides you with a confidence-boosting consultation and full-proof plan, it is you who has to make it a success.
Even a slightly misused word can make your child feel wrongly judged or disapproved. Similarly, even a little positive encouragement can do wonders for your weight loss plan. The focus of your talk should always be on health and not on the scale of weight. You can try explaining the problem to your kid by using a language that is age-appropriate. You should celebrate every milestone of the weight loss journey of your kid. This must involve the celebration for improved health and not reduced weight.
The most important aspect of a good conversation with your child is exceptional listening skills. Your kid needs to have the confidence that you are empathetic enough to understand his issues and difficulties. In the first place, encouraging your kid to communicate with you can be an important step towards a healthy and fruitful conversation.
Tips For Helping Your Child Lose His/Her Weight
Develop healthy eating habits
Developing healthy eating habits and inculcating them in your kid is very important for an efficient weight loss journey. You should start preparing meals that are rich with nutrients. Consulting a dietician and some online recipe videos will be helpful in this case. Some of the basic things you can do are:
- The diet should include a number of fruits, vegetables, and products that are whole-grain.
- Dairy products should be either low or no-fat.
- Serving adequately-sized portions of the meal is equally important.
- Say no to sugar-rich foods and beverages.
For a diet that is equally healthy and delicious, you should prepare meals with some surprisingly tasty elements. Saying no to salty snacks as well as fast foods is a must if you are planning a calorie-free environment for your kids. However, this is not completely possible and also not right. You have to reward your kids with their favorite snacks once in a while.
In addition, try to support your kid by following a healthy diet, too. Kids tend to copy what they see from their parents. Accordingly, try to become a good role model.
Increase kid’s activity time
A proper diet together with physical exercise in an appropriate amount is a key to getting rid of the overweight issues. A popular physical activity will not only help reduce calories. It will also help in strengthening bones, decreasing blood pressure. Moreover, physical activity helps in reducing stress and enhancing self-esteem.
For the physical exercise to be really effective, your child has to do a continuous workout. The sessions must be for at least 60 minutes. Some types of physical activities that are good for kids are swimming, brisk walking, playing soccer, jumping the rope, and dancing. To make these interesting for your kids, you can add some fun elements to the activities and make them competitive. Moreover, limit the amount of time your kid devotes to watching TV, playing computers, etc. As a parent, you can spend some time outdoors shopping, playing with your kid, etc.
Remember, childhood obesity can be daunting both for parents and kids. But as a parent, you always have to stay strong and support your child without losing any hope. As a matter of fact, you can help to eradicate childhood obesity and restore the self-confidence in your child.
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