Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Talking about our weight

My son likes to tap on my fitbit. He likes to see how many dots I have and (after I explained what the dots are measuring) he encourages me to move around more to get all my dots for the day.

Most parents admit that they are uncomfortable talking with their children about sex or money, but those are both necessary conversations to have if we are preparing our children for adulthood. I'd like to add a third topic to the uncomfortable conversations list: Health.

Specifically: About the effects of being overweight.

It's no secret that there is an obesity problem across the world and it is affecting adults as well as children. But it is surprising that we, as parents, have a hard time seeing our children as obese. According to the latest research, we explain it away with excuses and don't face the problem head on.

We also don't present good behaviors for our children to model: They don't see us exercising so why should they? I run. I don't like it, but I do it. When my son asked me why I ran in the mornings, I was very honest with him. "Mommy is overweight," I said. "I need to lose weight and be healthier. Running is a good form of exercise to help with that. It is also good for my heart."

That's wasn't easy for me to admit (who wants to tell their child they have a weight problem?), but I wanted him to understand that health is something to take seriously. We talk about being healthy and eating the right foods and exercise now so that we don't have to have a harder talk with him later on in life.

Thankfully, according to his latest checkup, my son isn't overweight. But it is something that I want to keep an eye on.

Because I have a son, I know he will not face the same "ideal body" pressures that young girls face. So, tell me, what are your tips for discussing health and weight with daughters? 

No comments:

Post a Comment