Talking to your child about their weight and BMI is something most parents hesitate to do. Often, preconceptions like it might be unacceptable for your child and leave them depressed, preventing you from taking the first step. Well, it is way easier than you think. If you follow specific guidelines and take suitable precautions, you will be able to convey the right amount of advice to your toddler.
Is It OK To Talk With My Child About Their Weight?
Yes, it is alright to lightly discuss your child’s weight and health. Often the first step is the most confusing one. Before coming to any conclusion, you should first actually ensure whether your child is overweight or not.
Discussing this topic widely depends upon what expectations you have from them. As per the general recommendations from World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centre For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), moderate weight ranges of a child are as follows:
In children up to the first year, girls’ average weight varies from 7.3 pounds to 19.9 pounds (i.e. 3.31 kgs to 9.02 kgs) in the 11th month. At the same time, it varies from 7.4 pounds to 20.8 pounds (i.e. 3.35 kgs to 9.43 kgs) for boys.
During the second year after birth, the average weight of girls varies from 20.4 pounds to 25.9 pounds (i.e. 9.25 kgs to 11.74 kgs). For boys in the same age group, their weight ranges between 21.3 and 26.3 pounds (i.e. 9.66 kgs to 11.92 kgs).
A child undergoes drastic physical changes in this duration. The average weight in girls varies from 26.5 pounds (i.e. 12.02 kgs) in the second year to 115 pounds (i.e. 52.16 kgs) in the 15th year. Whereas in boys, 27.5 pounds (i.e.12.47 kgs) in the second year while 123.5 pounds (56.01 kgs) portray a traditional figure in the 15th.
How Should I Initiate The Discussion?
Before you begin, keep in mind what to speak and how to express it. Start with penning down some basic thoughts you wish to deliver and some answers to the questions that might get presented. Keeping the conversation short and genuine will take you a long way. Here are a few tips for initiating a talk naturally:
- Car rides are the best place to talk about sensitive affairs. Unlike the dinner table, your child will not feel forced to participate in the discussion.
- When shopping, casually ask if their peers talk about ‘who’s tallest or thinnest in your group?’ Or did their buddies ever be concerned about ‘who has the busiest diet?’
- Try to pay attention to their expression whenever your child gabs about their daily experiences after school. It may include some crucial details they want to discuss with you.
- If any other family member is already obese, you can trigger the talk by setting an example. In this manner, you won’t accuse them and can openly mention the consequences of obesity on an individual’s health.
Things to Keep In Mind While Talking To Your Child
Sensitive topics like your child’s weight require extra care when discussed. If you use the correct technique and deliver your thoughts accordingly, your child will understand better and will be able to make conclusions on their own. Below are a few key points you should never forget while chatting about your child’s weight:
Keep the conversation natural:
Ask your child about their thoughts and experiences. It will restrict them from losing interest and keep them interested in the talk.
Stay Calm and Optimistic:
This will allow the child to make efforts and confidently convey any flawed incidents like bullying or body shaming that happened in the past.
Adapt The Topic:
Try to soothe your kid by relating to them that being chubby has nothing to do with your looks; Rather, it has a more significant impact on how you feel.
Do not rush things once your child gets involved in the process. Instead, concentrate on one step at a time. Keep the tasks as specific as possible. Distinct tasks are more viable to get completed.
Keep them motivated:
Periodically, let the kid understand being unhealthy isn’t their fault. Persuade them that everyone has a different lifestyle and that it’s OK until you are ready to rectify it.
What All Should You Speak About? Do’s & Don’ts
Once you learn how to deliver your thoughts, some specific vital points may prove a great help. These include:
- Don’t overtalk. Your child should not feel as if you are pushing them to lose weight all in one go. Instead, let them analyse the importance of a healthy body on their own. It will create a long-lasting impact.
- Increase their number of active hours in a day. Ask your child to practice outdoor activities and sports. It will help them to limit screen time as much as possible.
- Children tend to learn from what they observe. Set an example by doing the things you expect them to do. When you obey certain restrictions, kids get encouraged to follow you easily.