What is a nice way to let a parent know they should be worried about their child's weight & health?

[deleted account] ( 7 moms have responded )

My friend and his kids joke about their weight and think it is funny to call each other names. My son doesnt find it funny at all. I'm worried about talking to him about his kids. Dont get me wrong, I am far from perfect weight wise, But I do not want to see his kids go thru what I did when I was younger. Everytime I have brought it up, he dismisses it quick. But with one of his kids, It is more serious. She is drinking alot and I worry about diabetes, it runs in their family. I have to watch my son's diet due to health reasons, and I definally need to loose some. When I cook healthy for them, his kids wont eat and he ends up giving them junk food! I am not sure how they eat at their moms house. They are both very sweet kids, and I dont want to see them sick or getting teased. I find it very sad thier parents dont see this. What can I do to try and help in a nice way without offending the dad?

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I agree with Staci, The children's pediatrician should be talking to them more bluntly, but that is not your role. Your actions will speak louder than any words you could say. Get active, offer healthy alternatives at your home and if they ask why, explain that you want to live long and feel strong not sluggish and sickly

Staci - posted on 07/27/2010

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If he is dismissing the conversation then you should probably let it go and allow him to handle his own family. While I'm sure that your intentions are pure, some parents might view your advice as an intrusion or an insinuation that they are not good parents. When the kids are at your house continue to introduce them to new foods or healthier versions of their favorite foods-with no pressure. If they like it, then they will tell Dad to make it and you have made a positive impact without raising the hairs on his neck. Otherwise, let it go.

Christine - posted on 07/23/2010

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Are his kids friends with your son? Maybe your son can ask them if they want to take up a sport.. join a team together or something?

As far as talking to the father.. your friend.. it's obviously a touchy subject.. why do I say touchy? Well the fact that he is joking about it with his son means that he's aware of it and so is his son.. but neither of them are ready to deal with the issue so they treat it with humour.
Second hint is.. when you bring it up.. he changes the subject.. again.. he's aware of it and not ready to deal with the issue.

And it is sad.. kids can be mean and really suffer..

My best advice is this..

Set an example with your own family.. eat healthy.. start working out with your kids.. family bike rides, or family walks after dinner or something..

when your friend and his son comes around.. include them with it.. don't invite them.. just say hey.. we are going to do our family walk.. get your shoes on.

But set the example.. set the standard.. and maybe that will help?

If not.. then do this.. pull the father aside.. and talk to him candidly.. and then ask him to do something with you to get healthy. (Don't say lose weight, or get in shape.. just say.. get healthy).. join weight watchers together or start walking together.. make it a challenge .. who can lose the most weight with in a certain time period.. place a bet.. make it fun..

We use to at one of my old jobs.. weigh ourselves in front of each other on New Years Day.. and then compete to see who can lose the most weight by the end of the first quarter.. winner usually got a pot of money.. but you can make the award anything you want..

but if you can get the father exercising with you and watching what he's eatting.. and getting healthy with you.. then that will also influence his son.

Anyway.. the reason I've given a couple ways to handle this is because a lot depends on the type of friendship you have with him..

But I know that no matter what.. the best way to get someone in the right direction is to do it with them.. set the example..

those are my thoughts.

Kristen - posted on 04/30/2010

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That's a hard one, isn't it?! You're right to be concerned, though. Maybe some good, old-fashion per-influence might help. :) Found this great article about kids in Bronx, NY making a pledge to no longer drink surgery or artificial sweetened beverages like soda. Might be a good one to share: http://kristensherlock.wordpress.com/

Kristin - posted on 04/07/2010

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Set a good example. Instead of talking about it, just do it. When you make dinner, it's only healthy food. Do not bring the junk into the house. Ask your friend to please stop bringing it into your home. Use the "it's too much of a temptation for you" if you must. Make your get togethers with his kids active; hikes, walks, ballgames, races, bike rides, swimming. There are lots of activites that you can do as a family.

If your son doesn't like the name calling, he should speak up about it and not just to you. Sometimes hearing from a child, that calling each other names based on weight is mean or cruel is just what an adult needs to hear. Children seem to be given much more latitude regarding speaking their mind. I'm not saying you should prompt or coach him to say something, but if it comes up and he feels like saying something he should.

It feel like less of an attack on parenting skills if everyone is working to live healthier. Good luck.

Sarah - posted on 03/17/2010

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Sometimes a problem like this can be a touchy situation. But what you can do is get active with them and maybe that encourage them more.Like going on walks with them,or to the park,and try to make it fun. Have a contest with it or something that.And instead of junk food, try fruit for snack time,and nuts or yogurt. There so many different healthy but also good tastening food..

Rebecca - posted on 03/15/2010

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Maybe suggest his kids join a local soccer team for kids with your son? If financially the money is there of course. Or baseball. Ask them if their family would like to join your on a canoe adventure some weekend. Or maybe tell them you want to start a family competition of which family can lose the most body fat before a certain date. Do weigh ins every week or month.

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