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TOPIC: Parent Tips for being Supportive....

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June 7, 2013 10:41 AM
As a parent, you know that it is important for your overweight child to reach a healthier weight. But you might also be the last person your child wants to talk to about their weight.

One of your roles is to help keep your child motivated and you can do this by getting actively involved in their weight loss efforts. However, it is important to be supportive without putting your child down or nagging.

Chances are you have found yourself nagging your child at one point or another about their weight. You may have nagged, bribed, or cajoled your child into trying to lose weight.

For Example :
"I was overweight when I was a child and I remember my parents nagging me. They offered me a dollar for every pound I lost, and I would get a ten dollar bonus every time I lost 10 pounds. It didnt work for me, but now I find myself bribing my overweight son the same way."

Stories like this are common. Nagging a c hild is like playing a slot machine...every so often you get what you want. Its those occasional "successes" that make the nagging habit so hard to break.

How do I stop nagging?

Nagging is usually the result of some type of power struggle between you and your child. Have you turned into the food police? The exercise bully? When you set up a lot of restrictive rules, your child will respond negatively. For example, if theyre feeling angry at you and your rules, they will eat the foods you said not to.

Parents nag their children because they care and only want the best for them. But nagging doesnt work. A better way is to let making the right decision be your childs responsibility. Remember, your child needs to take responsibility for their own weight and their own actions in their weight loss goals.


Over weight teens are most likely to succeed with their weightloss goals when they make the decision to lose weight on their own. Your help is important! Dont Nag.

Support your child by:

1.) Offering Encouragement

2.) Providing healthy food options

3.) Serving healthy meals

4.) Supporting exercise efforts by paying for classes, providing transportation,etc.

5.) Join your child and lose weight together!

Expressing yoru care and concern without nagging is one of the hardest challenges you face as a parent. Talk to your child about ways you can help. Ask about specific things you can do to help them reach their goals.

For Example:
"I was nervous about talking to robert about his weight. He has always been heavy and I know he is self-conscious about it. Ive never really said anything to him about it before, I want him to know that I love him no matter what he weighs. But when I asked him if there was something I could do to help him reach his goals, he asked me to stop buying soda. He Said it was too tempting when there was soda in the house. I dont know why I was nervous at first, now we talk all the time about what we can do to keep him on the right track. Im proud of him and Im happy to help."
June 7, 2013 10:50 AM
My StepKid is almost 10. He has put on a lot of weight between age 5 and now. My inclination is that at 10 years old, "dieting" is not the right thing to do. We eat pretty healthily in this house, and we don't keep things like soda and chips around. We only have him 3-5 days a week depending on what's going on that week, so I don't have any real control over what he eats at his mom's, but I know they don't keep soda or a lot of junk around either.

This kid can out eat many adults though. And on one hand, he's not happy with his appearance, but on the other, he's almost 10 and has no self-discipline. I really feel the solution is in physical activity though and not in policing his food.

He is a brilliant kid, but as a result doesn't make friends easily, and really doesn't like other kids his age. He prefers older kids and adults, and he'd rather sit in his room and read a book, or play a computer game, or watch TV than do anything that involves moving around.

We enrolled him in a sports camp for the summer, so three days a week for now he's getting some exercise. But I can't figure out how to motivate him to PLAY or MOVE around otherwise. We limit TV and video games, but I don't feel right limiting reading time.

If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. And thank you, OP, for posting this topic!
Edited by muffle1969 On June 7, 2013 10:51 AM
June 7, 2013 10:55 AM
Thank you so much for posting this! I have 4 children - 2 of whom are overweight and 2 of whom are quite slender. I have been struggling with how to help my overweight children with their weightloss without nagging, bribing, etc. And what's worse, my husband was a fat kid (I've never really been fat so it's hard for me to relate but at the same time I worry about it for them) and he is doing the same things to our kids that his parents did to him; namely, restricting food for him but not for his slimmer siblings. My older son is 17 now and seems to be taking more responsibility for his own personal exercise and weightloss; but my other child with a weight issue is my daughter who is not quite 11. I have really been struggling with how to help her without nagging, bribing, insulting, cajoling, etc.

Your tips are very helpful and I am going to share them with my husband. I hope they help her and us because at this point, she is clearly overweight and seems to be somewhat food obsessed. I'm not sure what to do but want to try to help her from continuing along this path.
June 10, 2013 7:57 AM
my oldest son was the same way as your step son in terms of preferring sedentary and solo activities. We did the same thing that you are doing and encouraged physical activities and did not keep junk food around the house - no soda, no chips.

We are also working now on being careful about what we buy - reading the label to make sure there is no high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors or flavors as the research out there on those additives suggests eliminating them from one's diet is a good thing.

We are also trying to implement the new "plate" portions of eating (has replaced the old food pyramid) where 1/2 the plate is leafy greens or green vegetables; 1/4 is lean protein; and 1/4 is the starch/carbs. That's how the plate is set up initially and then if they are still hungry they can go back for as many helpings of the greens as they want. I also let them have 2 helpings of the lean protein if they are still hungry after that but do limit the starch/carbs to 1/4. Instead of making a bit pot of rice and a small pot of brocoli, we are reversing it.

And we try to encourage them to wait a few minutes in between a first helping and a second helping to give the stomach and liver time to let the brain know whether or not they need more food. That has helped and seems to be something that they can understand even at a fairly young age.


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