D.P. asks from Sacramento, CA on May 27, 2008
Friend with Overweight Child
I really need some help and advice. I have a friend with a child who is overweight, she is 5 1/2. I mean overweight to the point the pediatrician told the mother she needs to change her diet and her ways. Once when the child was about 3 I was at their home and they were filling her sippy cup with soda. Many times when I go over there is always junk food out and around and they eat out often. I am by no means a health fanatic and my kids have their share of junk food, but I do monitor. I am myself a bit overweight, and as an adult my weight is my responsibility and my children's weight is also my responsibility, I feel as parents we need to be incontrol of our children and thier weight and it is our responsibility make sure they maintain a healthy weight. I have seen the girl make herself a bowl of nothing but whipcream and told her mom I was concerned with her eating that but she wasn't. I am afraid that this little girl is going to end up in poor health and/or have to go through life being the brunt of the other kids jokes and we know how mean children can be. Thank goodness, at least at this point in her life she is a very self assured positive child. How can I explain to her mother my concerns without sounding liking I am questioning her parenting, or putting her or her daughter down. I really want what is best for the child.
M.S. answers from San Francisco on May 27, 2008
I suggest going about it in a very different way. You could speak to her and tell her that you have decided that you want your child to eat healthy and adopt a healthy lifestyle and that you are contacting all your daughters friends and parents for help. You can then ask her for help in implementing it- and maybe see if her daughter wants to join your daughter in healthy eating or exercising- (join ballet/ride bikes etc). I know that you said that you eat healthy and monitor your child's eating-but its just a non-confrontational way of getting a suggestion in to someone who may not hear it otherwise. If you make it sound like you need help with it-she may be more open to bringing her child in on it too-at the very least,she would see continuous positive changes in your child and learn more about healthy food and lifestyle.
4 moms found this helpful
P.W. answers from San Francisco on May 27, 2008
It will be really hard to express your concerns to your friend. If she can hear what you have to say about her child's diet and not be mad about it she will be a rare person indeed. You can try telling her if you like. If the pediatrician's advice didn't mean anything to her it's doubtful yours will. Good luck.
3 moms found this helpful
M.S. answers from Sacramento on May 28, 2008
Very touchy subject - especially if your friend had weight issues as a child. Soda needs to go completely, the tooth decay argument should be enough for that (same goes for Gatorade). It is about spending more time moving than eating. Take the kids to the park, ride bikes, jump rope, trampoline, walk the dog, ride scooter, etc. Also Nerf foam dart guns for the whole family - a 10-15 minute all out "gun" fight really works up a sweat, and the kids love it. While the child may have good self esteem now - 1-3rd graders are not so nice about weight issues. I know Kaiser has a Healthy Lifestyle class that kids and parents can take together - maybe her health plan also has one. I have a niece in 3rd grade with this issue, and it is really out of control, and sadly I don't see it changing until parents completely over haul lifestyle. :)
C.L. answers from San Francisco on May 28, 2008
So far both Molly and Page have already brought up some good points. Maybe you could hint to her to check out the show on the TLC called "Honey we're killing the kids." I don't know if that's a subtle enough of a hint for her. Just out of curiosity, but are her parents overweight?? I have a co-worker in which she is the same way with all her kids and unfortunately I don't think anyone has ever told her that it's wrong. I mean, even my co-worker is way overweight, but there isn't much you can do. It's great that you care and that you are trying to look out for the best interest of your friend's child. The parents are going to do what they want to do it. On the other hand, you could always try. Trying it better than nothing at all. Maybe you should think about if you were to tell her, and she didn't want to be friends anymore, would that be all right with you?? Another idea maybe is when the kids are together, like someone suggested, introduce healthy eating habits and maybe the parent will catch on. I realize that this is probably going to be tough with you. Good luck. In the end, I think you will make a good decision.