Being a parent with an unhealthy or overweight teenager can be a difficult position to be in. Perhaps you as a parent also have issues or insecurities with your weight and your lack of effort to try and lose weight and live healthier has been passed down to your children. The problem is, an adult in the world doesn’t face as much social pressure, bullying, or societal standards as your everyday teenager. Being overweight will surely be a bigger deal to your teenager whether you are or not, so lets’ look at some ways you can support them and help them start making changes for the better.
As the parent, you are most likely the one putting food on the table, supplying your home with groceries, and slipping your teen a 20 before they go out to eat or the movies. Change starts at home in your own fridge or pantry. When your house is stocked with healthier food your kids will have little choice but to eat it, or at least eat a good amount of it. However, when you are stocking your pantry with high sodium ramen noodle packets, fatty cupcakes, and sugary juices you are not doing them any help or favors. Just shopping healthier can aid in cutting your families calorie intake by thousands per week!
Time and time again your teenager is on the outskirts of the family wanting to be alone, be with their friends, or just wanting to be anywhere you aren’t. This spike in independence is normal and you must accept it because forcefully entering your teen’s life will most likely push them further away. Instead plan outings or activities that can allow you one on one time, the chance to treat your kid to something special they want, and the time for them to actually talk with you. For example, going to the mall with your teen and shopping for clothes can be a great way to have a conversation about weight. When they are trying things on or contemplating sizes it’s quite easy to see what losing a few pounds would do for their confidence. You can go shopping for exercise clothes or something slimming like plus size leggings to keep the conversation going about slimming down without having it come off like a demand.
Be Active As A Family
As we mentioned above, it might be hard to get your teen to spend time with you and the family but giving them as many chances as possible is a great way to start. More importantly, what are you doing during those times when everyone is together? A lot of people will get pizza and soda to watch a movie or a football game, but what good is that doing? Cutting out unhealthy habits is part of living healthier but so is adding productive ones. For example, encouraging your kids outdoors. Could you go on a long hike every weekend or maybe a bike ride? There are several sports parents and kids can play together or against one another like tennis, golf, or swimming. All these activities can provide bonding, but more importantly, they provide calorie burn!
As a parent, you are willing to sacrifice anything to see your kids be happy every day and in the United States, one extremely common problem for kids is their weight, harming their physical and emotional health. Figuring out how to guide them into healthy life choices and activities will set themselves up for a long and healthy future, but you might lose a few pounds along the way too!