It's a given that the media has made us all think more about our weight. When it comes to kids, this can be extremely dangerous. Children are supposed to put on a bit of weight before they have a growth spurt, but that doesn't mean they should be obese. You can avoid this problem with a healthy lifestyle, but if you're going to try to correct the problem, you need to do it in a way that is not going to make the problem worse. Remember that you have to lead by example and build a child's self-esteem, not tear it down.
Quit giving mixed signals. I know of a child who eats fried foods on a regular basis. She is grossly overweight and her parents force her to work out every day. For some reason, the parents are not making the connection between the fried foods and the weight problem. The result is that the child now makes expressions that indicate her self-esteem issues. This is a recipe for disaster. If you are going to help your child get healthy, you have to look at all the areas that impact her weight, not just one.
Forget about diet programs. I can't think of a better way to create a budding eating disorder than to put your child on a diet plan. There is a difference between making healthier choices and using a fad diet. Diet plans like Weight Watchers are made for adults and do not take into consideration the nutritional needs of children. They actually need some of the fats that adults don't need. You don't need a fad diet. You need a lifestyle change.
Don't define your child by his or her weight. As we grow up, adults are the people we look up to. We hang on every word they say. When they tell us we are fat, it's an indication of their own immaturity, but we don't see that as children. Instead, we develop and image of ourselves that can last a lifetime. It only took me about 20 years and a glimpse at some old photos to finally learn that lesson. You don't have to make your child wait that long. Help them get healthy, but don't make their weight something you obsess about.
Exercise with your child. There is this trend of parenting styles that makes parents allow technology to raise their children. Try taking your child outside and getting some exercise with them. You can go for a walk, work in the garden, or just throw a ball around. You don't need an exercise regime to be healthy. You just need to get up and move around and instill those practices in your child.
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Source: Personal Experience