Desperate Housewives, Desperate Measurements

Anyone out there catch the latest installment of this show?

Okay, I confess, my Sunday night t.v. watching is all comfort food. Yummy, cozy, silly, stuff that you can curl up with and forget all about foreclosures, bailouts, presidents, campaigns and the calamities out there.

I had to laugh at the latest story line; Gabby with her 4 year old overweight daughter. Making her run to catch up with the car, trying to disguise her exercise.

Now admittedly, they exaggerated some of it, but sadly, not that much. I don’t think this is an unusual issue out there; one of a mom who is acutely weight conscious, perhaps naturally thin, with a daughter whose body tends toward that of her husband’s. Or vice versa. Key here, is that the child is beginning to gain weight, get teased by kids perhaps, and Mom (or Dad), is worried that this is the beginning of a big problem

I have had many parents consult with me on this issue. The variations are: Mom is worried and trying to restrict the child, Dad is thinking that Mom is going to create an eating disorder and problem with self esteem, or vice versa, or substitute single sex couples.

No diff. The issues are the same. When it comes to our kids’ weight gain, many parents are paralyzed to know how to intervene in a way that is not going to make their kid feel bad.

I have found that a simple, matter of fact attitude towards eating behavior and exercise seems to help relieve kids and presents them with options so that they end up taking better care of their bodies. In this blog I am taking up the issue of exercise though. Eating I have talked about and will next. But the couch potato thing is truly, the bane of many parents’ existence!

Basically, it goes like this:

My attitude regarding exercise is this: “If you were just a head, no problem, but you are not just a head walking around.” You have to exercise. Not an option. You have to find a way to take care of your body. It needs to move!

Kids do spend alot more time on the couch, surfing surfing, (virtually of course). Our jobs as parents is to find ways they can exercise that are doable, not fancy, and to get it to happen.

I don’t think we need to deceive them. My attitude again, is that it is their jobs to take good care of their bodies, and their primary responsibilities come first. Homework, (that is their job if they are in school,) eating well for their body and exercising their body moderately.

Like any safety issue, it is non-negotiable and other privileges go if their primary safety needs are not being attended to.

The hows and how oftens are up to you. Less can be more. Walking to and from school counts some. Don’t go crazy with this, no need.

Don’t worry about fancy and expensive classes either. Walking, pushups (yes, for girls and boys to build muscle strength and metabolism), are great. Skipping rope, hula hoop for the 4 – 8 year old girls.

Key aspect is that it needs to happen several times a week, and be sustainable.

Again, non-negotiable. Pull out your parenting skills and authoritative clarity. You do know better. And remind them: “You are not just a head walking around”

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