The Today Show did a segment on how parents should talk to their children about their weight. In all, it’s not a bad segment, with the chief recommendations being:
- frame discussions of health/weight in terms of fueling the body & the child feeling good
- show your kids good eating habits, from the top down (ie: parents have to buy in)
- don’t single out a single child for a weight problem
- understand that it may not be the foods your child eats but a number of factors (ie: may not be worth talking about)
Here is the segment:
Personally, while I agree with the sentiments, I know that the above clip and its recommendations aren’t a fix-all solution. I grew up in a home with good, home-cooked food; we ate together as a family and junk food was limited. My mother never told me I was fat, though I know that, regardless, I got that message — from school, TV, and even just from hearing my mom’s stories of her own weight struggles as a child. All the good examples and positive reinforcement didn’t stop me from developing odd food behaviors and a skewed self-image — what great society says to our kids about weight (directly and indirectly) matters, too.
What do you think? Do you remember The Talk? Are you a parent afraid of giving The Talk?