What NOT to say to your child?

United States
March 17, 2008 5:09pm CST
If you have an overweight child, should you nag at them about their weight? Were you ragged on over your weight and/or eating habits as a youngster, and has that had a negative effect on your adult life? What about a habitually late child, or a thumbsucker? What is helpful to say, and what should NOT be said?
3 people like this
7 responses
@Mamagee (392)
• Malaysia
18 Mar 08
No, you shouldn't do that. Your child must be ready to face his/her friends outside there. i think you should plan a healthy diet for him/her. You should tell him/her to ignore what people says because they are negatives and he/she must be positive to face everything. I have a niece who have sucking thumb habbit. I tell her that sucking thumb is not a good habbit and friend will run away from her. It was vary hard for her to stop that habbit. When she grown up, she is no more sucking her thumb.
2 people like this
• United States
18 Mar 08
Mamagee, are you saying that you feel children get enough criticism from others, and that mother and home need to be safe and loving? I can only agree wiht my whole heart. Now if I could just get my mouth to perfectly obey! Do you mean, though, that I should tell my child to ignore EVERY negative response, even helpful coaching? What do you do if extended family-aunts, grandparents, cousins, for instance, make harsh and negative comments? How do you teach your child to balance respect for relationship and reaction to hurt? Even adults struggle with this, don't you think?
1 person likes this
@Mamagee (392)
• Malaysia
19 Mar 08
Know what an overweight child sometimes critise by the frind at school and neighbourhood area. May be it wasn't happen in your place. But your child must be mentally ready. I don't think the parent's family will do that and of cause they will support.
@Swaana (1208)
• India
18 Mar 08
Dear friend nagging never helps. It makes the child more rebellious. Just sit and talk with the child. Kids are not like what we think. They really could understand what we want to convey to them. Do say No. But say the consequences. If the child is obese, dont talk about the diseases, but instead talk about the wellness of exercise, walking. Also you too go with your child for a walk or exercise along when he/she is exercising.
2 people like this
• United States
18 Mar 08
Thank you, Swaana! Oh, for sure nagging never helps, why is it that that is the first thing we try?? :) Modeling a healthy lifestyle, as you say, and concentrating on the positive aspects of being fit and strong is a really good reinforcer. I remember setting up "obstacle courses" for my siblings and I to race around; it was the best fun!
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31636)
• United States
17 Mar 08
Rintintin is right! I was an overweight child. I ate because it was comforting, nobody liked me because I was shy, then because I was fat. It was a vicious cycle. I've been fighting the fat all my life and have only recently been successful. My mom didn't criticize me but everyone else did. "Oh, she has such a pretty face, what a shame she's fat" or the worse one--"she's a BIG girl!" It made it worse, believe me. Support the child, get involved as much as possible physically and even more than that emotionally. Talk, find out what's making the child so upset because only upset children eat too much. Habitually late children should suffer the consequences of their actions, like missing events they wanted to attend. Thumbsuckers--leave them alone!! They're insecure, work on making them more confident and the thumbsucking will stop. Nasty tastes and other things will only make the problem worse and they'll substitute one bad habit for another. Think of yourself in these situations and treat the child accordingly!
• United States
18 Mar 08
Congratulations on persevering and winning your fight against fat! I too struggled with this as a child, and I too still feel the scars from those long-ago wounds to the spirit. You are right, I think, that upset children eat too much; but do you think genetics and/or environment also may contribute? Most schoolteachers, for instance, give out sweet treats as rewards. Your guideline for putting yourself in your child's shoes is a good one, thank you so much for your input.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Mar 08
I am having the same problem with my daughter right now. She is overweight and so am I and have always been . As a child my Mother was always on me, She was overweight also. It really bothered me so I try to choose my words wosely but not really doing a lot of good. The part that bothers her most as shopping for clothes. The wants to be in the girls department when in reality she is in the womwns plus sizes, We are going to start an exersize program soon and has an appt. with a dietian at Children's Hospital next month hopefully the cpmbo will work. Hang in there. Jackie
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Mar 08
Thanks, Jackie, so much. Just gotta stay on the same side of the net in this game, hmm?
1 person likes this
@winterose (39897)
• Canada
18 Mar 08
i gave me a complex that I have kept all my life.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Mar 08
So often we use food to express love; so when those we love and whose opinion we most value want to take that food away, it feels like they are taking the love away. Been there, felt that.
1 person likes this
@miller1978 (1104)
• United States
18 Mar 08
Overweight children should not be picked on especially by their own parents. I have one child that is heavier than she should be. Last summer we started walking more and while we walk we talk. It's a special time for her and I to stay connected with each other now that she is approaching teenage years. As a child I always got picked on by my father. His favorite thing to say to me was "hips like battleships". I have constantly struggled with my weight until I moved back almost 2 years ago. I lost almost 70 pounds through exercise and learning to eat foods in moderation. Since then I have kept it off by walking and going to workout 2-3 times a week with my boyfriend in the evenings. Children who are always late need prompting so they can get ready faster and get where they need to be. My oldest daughter started middle school this year and was constantly late to her classes because she wasn't used to the change over's between classes. I told her consistently that she needed to learn how to get to class on time before they started giving her detentions and keeping her after school. I have a 6 year old who still refuses to quit sucking her thumb. It doesn't help that I have family who constantly yells at her for this. Her therapist said to slowly ween her away from it by talking to her and reminding her that she is doing it. Most of the time she doesn't even know she's doing it.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Mar 08
I really appreciate and agree with your first statement..."especially by their own parents" Yes! If we can't be kind and loving to our own children, who else will? I'm interested that you say one child of yours is heavier, because I assume of course that you've fed them all and nurtured them all basically the same, so this would seem to rule out environment-based factors. Understanding the roots of a problem always helps me deal with it, you know, and I applaud your committment to helping your daughter. Your own success must be a very powerful incentive! Sounds like you made your daughter in middle school responsible for her own lateness and whatever consequences it caused her. Did she resent this or appreciate it?
1 person likes this
@jillbeth (2710)
• United States
18 Mar 08
I don't think parents should nag kids about their weight. After all, the parents are the ones who bring food into the home, serve and prepare it. They should control portion sizes and snacking, and set an example of good eating habits and adequate physical activity to burn off calories. I realize older kids may be able to get food outside of the home, and parents have no real control over that. They should be encouraged to lose weight for their health and appearance, but not made to feel guilty or bad about their eating habits. Nagging anybody into changing bad habits will do no good, and in children it usually reinforces the habit because it is something they can control that parents can't. My son sucked his thumb until he was about five years old but I never discouraged him or teased him about it. I figured it was his way of making himself feel secure. As he got older, he only sucked his thumb when he was tired and eventually gave it up altogether on his own.