Who Is More Anxious - Parent or Child?
You have an overweight child and they are facing bullying.¬† If you read my blogs on The Obesity Connection - if you read my book, Fat Families Thin Families¬†¬†- you'll know how I feel about these situations.¬† Putting that aside - there is nothing worse for parent or child than the anxiety of sending a child off to a community - daily - which may be unkind, insulting, downright cruel.¬† The emotional impact on a child - who has to face bullying daily is huge.¬† I've seen kids develop stomach complaints and rashes because of the anxiety they develop - I've seen kid's self esteem literally descend "into the toilet" and I've seen parents anxiety grow as they try to find a solution to an untenable situation.¬† The scars can be lifelong.
One study found that parents with overweight children/teens view the bullying as a greater problem than the actual obesity or weight issue.¬† Now - hear me out - you have to solve both of these at the same time.¬† If you struggle with weight then YOUR FAMILY needs help - as a group or team¬†- and you need education, support, maybe some work with medical professionals, and the whole family has to start shifting habits to healthier ones - better food choices, portion control, exercise - AS A TEAM EFFORT.
Then there are the tools you need to give your child.¬† You have to teach them to define themselves in another way, to find their talents and the things they excel at - while working on the real health issues.¬† If you make the "weight" message about health - and not weight - you shift the whole picture and you take the pressure off both you the parent, and the child.¬† Enroll them in karate - it's a discipline - not just a sport acitivity - it tends to be nurturing and the "masters" will never allow teasing or bullying.¬† Utilize local religious kid support groups - where there is less likely to be an anxiety provoking - unkind environment - and more likely to be a nurturing environment.¬† Do more things¬† - as a family¬†-¬†so you can keep communication open and really help to "cheer your child on" through these unfortunate life lessons.
Mostly realize that obesity is generational and more than likely -you too may have gone through this as a child, Draw on your experiences but also decide that - obesity or serious weight issues in my family stop now.¬† Don't force your child to go through this¬†- decide to stop the generational weight issues AND anxiety issues that come almost tied to how the world perceives you and behaves with you - if you are carrying way to much weight.¬† It's not a judgement call - it's a physical and emotional health call.