A disturbing trend we are seeing in this age of decadence is the increase in obesity rates. While it is bad enough that grown adults are consuming too much junk food and pairing it with a sedentary lifestyle, they are likewise subjecting their children to the same fate.
Can we honestly say we are surprised by this revelation however? As the left pushes agendas such as “fat acceptance” and “beautiful at any size” the repercussions are trickling down to our very children.
Any self-respecting father should vehemently reject these misguided leftist notions and teach their kids the importance of nutrition and fitness and how they impact all facets of their life.
I like to ponder both sides of every argument, but to date I have not been able to think of a single positive to being overweight (unless you’re a chubby chaser, but we’re not going there).
Parents who do not mind their children’s weight are doing them a disservice. Some would even argue raising seriously overweight children is tantamount to child abuse. You wouldn’t let your kid drink or smoke, so why are you letting them be overweight?
You can Google the many, MANY adverse effects to being overweight so I won’t get into all of them, but I will highlight a few that will specifically affect your child in their formative years.
First, their confidence will be much lower than if they are fit and active. Children have a habit of speaking their mind and typically will have no qualms calling your child out if they’re overweight. You can hem and haw about how this shouldn’t happen, how we should stop bullies, and yada yada yada, but facts are facts and you’re not going to change human behavior. While I’m not keen on changing your behavior to fit into any particular group, constant beratement from your peers can damage a kid’s psyche and slowly drag them down. Pair that with the fact that they’ll be chosen last for sports teams and less competent in the sports that they do play and this all sets them up for a mindset of helplessness.
Second, a fit, strong young man or woman will be more likely to be proactive in situations than someone who is weak and overweight.
Strength and power breeds confidence.
Confidence breeds action.
Action leads to success.
Success increases confidence and thus the cycle continues.
How to Encourage Your Child to be Healthy
This isn’t really as complicated as it seems, but -as is most things when parenting- requires you to lead from the front. You must prove to your son or daughter that being fit and healthy is important by practicing what you preach. Does your kid see you eating healthy and exercising? If so, they’ll be more inclined to do the same. When I can’t make it to the gym and wind up doing pushups, situps, and squats in the living room, my daughters will inevitably join in, trying to emulate what dad is doing.
Can they do a proper pushup? Not yet; the oldest is only five, but I encourage them to keep up and count along with me.
Some big hindrances to keeping your sons and/or daughters healthy will come in the form of electronics: Video games, TV, the iPad, etc. will not only suck away their time, but also keep them glued to the couch. You can try to work around this by incorporating video games that involve them standing and moving around, like the Wii and Xbox Kinect, or just limit their input and cut them off.
Typically, we leave the TV running in the background because my girls watch it more in passing as they chase each other around the house and play with their other toys instead of being couch potatoes. When I see them starting to wind down, I encourage them to get up and dance to the music that’s playing on their shows or simply become the big, bad tickle giant and they scramble to a hiding spot as I stomp through the house yelling “FEE FI FO FUM!”
Getting them to eat healthy is an entirely different matter. We regularly fed our kids vegetables with every meal and they scarfed them down and asked for more for a long time. All of a sudden, they began turning their noses up at the notion of eating their broccoli and have been obstinate about it ever since. If you have some tactics that have worked for you, I’d love to hear them!
Children grow at a rapid pace and this, coupled with their activity levels, makes it incredibly easy to keep their weight at a healthy range. Any parent with obese children, severe health issues excluded, have failed them in spectacular fashion. Forget the fat acceptance bullshit and invest in your child’s health.
Teach them the importance of eating right and staying active.
Practice what you preach and eat right and exercise in front of them.
Equip them with the knowledge and confidence to shoot down any arguments promoting fat acceptance as a healthy lifestyle choice.