Your kid has gained weight. Now what?
Children learn and copy a lot from their parents including among other things how to love, respect and treat their bodies. However, even with all the good intentions sometimes as parents we say the wrong things. We don’t mean to, but we do. Unfortunately, those messages can be misunderstood and can leave a mark for many years to come.
If as a parent you notice that your child has gained weight, here is what you can do:
- Ask openly and directly if they are willing to talk about it. If your child is not even noticing it, if he/she is not bothered by it, don’t even go there. This topic should be open only when you feel your child is starting to say negative things about their body. There are other ways to talk to your kid about what is goin on in their lives and not mention directly their weight: school, friendships, thoughts, feelings…
- Support your child and don’t give advice. Listen what they feel and how you can help them.
- Let them understand that though change is happening and they feel the way they do that they can always come to you for support.
- Try to explain them through examples how bodies change through different stages of our loves and that it is perfectly normal to experience this
- Encourage them to have a healthy lifestyle: eating well, sleeping, moving, reducing stress
What you should never do:
- Make any kind of negative, rude, tactless comments about their weight how much they have gained, how their bodies have changed or what they are eating
- Make negative comments about your own body!Kids listen and they copy
- Make your child go on a restrictive diet and forbid them their favorite foods. That is a clear road to restrictive and binging cycle that could lead potentially to a serious eating disorder
- Make them feel like their worth and value is tied to the number on the scale.