Are you struggling to know what to do as a parent with your overweight child? I speak with many many parents who have an overweight or obese child. They often don’t know what to do to help their child. It can feel downright frustrating and defeating. I’d like to speak to all parents out there, who at this very moment feel helpless and hopeless in this area and phase of their life.
A coaching client called in and said..
“I have 3 kids and my youngest is 8 and she has a weight issue. She is bigger than the rest of us and I feel like I’m a horrible parent because of it. Like it’s all my fault that she has the problems she has, and I don’t know how to fix her.”
Okay…can anyone relate to this same circumstance this poor mother is going through right now? Have you ever blamed yourself for the outcome of your Childs weight, or anything difficult they’re going through in their life for that matter? We put a ton of pressure on ourselves as parents to get every little thing right. If our children don’t turn out how society thinks they should, somehow, that’s our fault as the parent.
But here’s the thing…When you think you’re a terrible parent and this is all your fault, how do you feel? In one word, tell me how you feel…Think about that for a minute and come up with an answer. (guilty, frustrated, overwhelm etc.)
Let’s pick guilty. Most parents can relate to the feeling of guilt. Now, what do you do when you feel guilty? How do you show up around your child and others when you feel guilty? Do you get angry and lash out at your child and try to get them to do things differently? Do you ignore the situation? If so, how is that working for you? Are things more peaceful now? Is your child eating healthier and exercising and doing all the things you always dreamed they would? My guess is no. It’s not working out. And not only is it not working out, but now you’re adding shame to the guilt. Am I right? Now you are in this guilt/shame cycle that you don’t know how to get out of.
There is hope for you
But did you know you can change that quite quickly? Did you know it’s your thoughts that create guilt and shame, not how you responded to your child. Your thought “I’m a terrible parent” led to you feeling angry which then led to you lashing out at your child.
So the question then becomes, why are you choosing to think this thought? When there are so many thoughts available to you that won’t produce guilt and shame, why are you choosing to think “I’m a bad parent?”
What would you do in a perfect world?
Now…if things looked perfectly for your overweight child and for you, what would you have done differently? Would you have been diligent about only eating healthy foods or restricting your child’s calories and how much they ate? What would you do? Let’s get clear on what that might have looked like. My guess is, you’re probably a little unsure yourself. But let’s say you did only bring in healthy food and chose to restrict calories.
I want you to know that even if you chose to do things differently, it could’ve also led to a path where your child now has an eating disorder. Then you would’ve said “I made a terrible mistake. I’m a terrible parent.” Do you see how your brain could make you a terrible parent either way? We just don’t know. We can’t know. There’s no sense in going back to the past now. There’s zero upside to arguing with the past. What if we started believing “the past is always perfect. It happened exactly as it was suppose to.”
I want you to know that there is no way to do this parenting thing 100% perfect. You are bound to make some mistakes and that’s okay. I think we’re even suppose to. But when your brain wants to go to the story of “You’re a horrible parent, you should’ve done things differently”, I want you to stop and answer your brain..”No, we don’t know what would’ve happened had we done things differently. I’m done beating myself up over this situation. I’m ready to let go of needing to control the outcome.”
Getting results with your overweight child
Okay, so you really really want to help your child overcome food addictions and learn healthier habits right?
So…let’s ask ourselves…
What feels like love moving forward? Sit with that for a second. If you were showing up loving and kind towards your child in regards to their weight and the families eating habits, what would that look like? And not only showing up loving towards your child, but to you? What do you do when you truly love you? Do you beat yourself up for every short coming you make? That’s not love my friend. And I promise that when you start thinking thoughts that produce the emotion of love, you show up differently and you get a completely different result.
A parent’s love can do wonders
Do you love your child? Did you know the only requirement for being an amazing parent is to love your child? Instead of guilt and shame, what would serve you better as their parent? Confidence, empowered, calm?
Aright…let’s take a look at the circumstance again and just plug in a different thought and see what happens.
Circumstance – My child’s weight
Thought – Nothing has gone wrong here. I’m an amazing mother (or father)
Feeling – Confident, calm and empowered
Action – I stop judging me and my child and be more supportive and get more creative about the future for me and them. What else can I offer my child through love and compassion about loving their body? How do I teach my child about health and wellness, and the benefits of exercise and good sleep? – (Your brain will go to work coming up with ideas that will benefit you both).
And do you know what the result is when you’ve done that?…
Result – You are an amazing mother or father and live your life in a way where you truly believe “Nothing has gone wrong.”
Doesn’t that feel better?
Letting go of control
You might be thinking “yeah but will it solve the problem of my child being overweight?” Now…if you’re asking me that question, you still don’t get it. You still believe that something has gone wrong.
Notice how we try to be so controlling as parent’s. We feel if something is broken, we must fix it. But what if nothing is broken? That’s what I want to offer to you today. To consider that nothing has gone wrong here. And when you consider that nothing has actually gone wrong and you sit with that, notice how it feels in your body.
Making decisions from confidence and love
Notice how much easier it is to make decisions from confidence, calm and love. This is you living your best life my friend. And when you show up calm and loving towards you and your children, you begin to set the example of a healthy body by how you’re taking care of yours. Are you exercising daily, eating lots of veggies and drinking plenty of water? Does your child see you doing this? Are you serving family meals loaded with veggies and maybe cutting out flour and sugar more often? Maybe you’re making one of my amazing snack boards each day for your kids.
Are you taking the time to teach your children about nutrition and not nagging them about it. You see, this is how you’ll show up when you believe nothing has gone wrong. You think “What else can we do? Meditation? Family prayer? Yoga together?” The possibilities are endless.
Now, would you like some guidance to having healthy, hard working, helpful kids in just 30 days? Get on my wait list for a program I’m creating right now called “Warrior Family Success System.” I’m going to teach you how to get your family from weak and unhealthy, to disciplined, strong, and resilient. It’s time to create strong, healthy families and I’m going to lead the way!
And if you’d like some 1:1 coaching to really help you refine your parenting skills in a loving and compassionate way, let’s jump on a call together. Email me and we’ll find a time that works for both of us. Yourhealthcoachishere@gmail-com
P.S. Do you have an overweight child? What do you do to encourage and help them to be healthier? Post it in the comments below.