Really? I read this in the paper this morning: “if kids are not fit, blame the parents.” As if parents don’t have enough on their plates to be blamed for. I hate (and note the word Hate) to blame others, especially parents. I think every parent on this planet is doing their best to educate their children. What they need is help and support from others, not blaming because kids are obese, not engaging in family fitness or don’t eat healthy. See, it is easy to blame but it is hard to help. If you notice a child is suffering from childhood obesity, ask yourself the following questions: How can I help him? How can I help the parent?
Don’t blame the parents. This won’t help them. It will frustrate them. I know I hate when someone blames me for my actions. But I love when they suggest solutions to overcome some challenges I face. So if you notice a child who is not fit, what can you do to help the child and the parent?
Stop Blaming parents for childhood obesity and help encourage family fitness
Talk to the parent if you are well acquainted
I know it can be a delicate subject to discuss but many parents are not aware their children are overweight and need extra family fitness activities. Some parents may be in denial about childhood obesity.
Include the child in your own family fitness activities
Maybe the parent is juggling multiple jobs, maybe he does not know what kind of activities to do with his children. Some parents are clueless. You may want to try including the child in your family fitness activities and perhaps the parent will also see that it is feasible to have fun and stay fit. Lead by example. When we go on bike rides, we include one or two neighbors. It is an extra responsibility, but they love it and the parents do, too. Sometimes they even end up going out for a ride with us themselves.
Plan family fitness activities with the other family
Family fitness activities as a group are much more fun! When we go skiing, I manage to coordinate the schedule with one of my best friends so the kids can ski together as well as the adults. You can do the same with the family whose child you’re concerned about. Just be creative.
Invite the other family over and lead by example
Do you think the kids have too much screen time in their house? Do they play with tablets, smart phones and any other gadgets? Invite the other family over for play dates and lead by example. Show them how your kids have fun without lots of screen time.
Blaming parents for childhood obesity is easy but helping is hard. Parents already feel bad enough and know that they may have dropped the ball somewhere. They don’t need constant reminders. If you want to help other kids to get fit, lead by example and help the parents with practical solutions, not hurtful words. Words are easy but actions are more difficult.
So what do you think, should we blame parents if kids suffer from childhood obesity, or should we stop playing blame games and lend a helping hand? Let us know in the comments!