Who Is More Anxious - Parent or Child?

Amy Hendel Health Guide
  • 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.

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    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.

Published On: September 09, 2008