The last post discussed parents’ habits that may not have been best for their children’s healthy lifestyle. This post is going to explore options parents can make to help their children. One of the first issues is the reestablishment of the presence and role of parents in the meal process (Warren and Smalley 36). Families are rarely having dinner together during the week, and this causes a lack of parents’ help in shaping their children’s meals since the children are missing the educational factor about cooking and meal composition by their parents (Warren and Smalley 36).
The parents need to become involved in teaching important lifestyle messages to their children since if parents are involved in the process it is more effective. It can be a family effort rather than directed solely at children. This will make it more social by bringing the family together and not making the child feel they are the outcast of the family. The healthy lifestyle that the child is taught and accustomed to is the one that they are going to view as normal and continue as they get older and remove themselves from the control of their parents.
Many people lack knowledge about obesity (Parker et al., 49). Also, many parents are oblivious to the reality of their children’s appearance (Parker et al., 49). Parents are in an act of denial and are not coming to terms with what the medical professionals are telling them about their children’s weight (Parker et al., 49). The parents do not feel a threat when they find out that their child is in the highest percentile, since there are many other children who are overweight, so it is not a problem that their child is (Parker et al., 49). These attitudes need to be changed. Being overweight is not just a phase that all children go through, and it is hard to reverse weight issues once they occur. It is better to take the medical professional advice and change the lifestyle and actions of the child when it can be easier to monitor them. Parents are not realizing that their child has a weight issue which needs to be handled because it is adversely affecting their child in many ways.
Once parents accept their child’s weight issue child has, they need to educate the child. Parents do not like talking about weight with their children because they do not think it is an important topic and would rather talk about safe sex, drugs, smoking, and alcohol (Warren and Smalley 49). Parents believe this discussion is not their job and is best when the medical professionals do so (Warren and Smalley 49). This is a negative way of thinking about the child becoming aware of the issue and its effects on them. Even when they are told by the medical professional it might not last once they leave the doctors if their parents do not reinforce the message and show support. They need to help them resolve this issue by making changes within the family and taking responsibility for the actions of their children and helping monitor their behaviors. Ideally this would include telling them to go outside and exercise while they are making a healthy, balanced meal. There needs to be openness between parents and children and for all to understand the long term importance of lifestyle changes. Parents cannot shy away from the topic and need to be educated in knowing what is best to say and the actions that are best. The next post is going to explore the role of child care and schools.
Parker, Lynn, Emily Ann Miller, Elena Ovaitt, and Stephen Olson. Alliances for Obesity
Prevention: Finding Common Ground. Washington D.C.: The National Academics Press, 2012. Print.
Warren, Jacob C. and K. Bryant Smalley. “Always the Fat Kid: The Truth About the Enduring
Effects of Childhood Obesity.” New York: Pagrave Macmillan. 2013. Print.