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Help!..Parental advice needed..

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hello to all my Spark Buddies..Hopefully some of you have kids and can give me some good advice.

Here is my dilemma:
I have a 13 year old daughter who is a very caring, wonderful individual but I am having troubles getting her motivated for exercise activities. She just recently went to the doctor and when they weighed her and told her how much she weighed, I really thought that would hit home for her...I was wrong.

My daughter weighs more than I do currently and that makes me sad. I am trying to figure out how to positively get her moving without beating her down. When my sister and I grew up, my mom never wanted us to be heavy like she was when she graduated from high school, so her way of making that known to us girls she would call us "Big Bertha" if we asked for seconds on a roll or potatoes at dinner. That kind of stuff hangs with us forever..I know my mom never meant to hurt us emotionally but it does hang around with us. My point with that little story is that I have always told myself that I do not want to do that to my daughter.

I believe that we eat "not too bad", of course I could stand to eat a little better too. I do not think she is old enough to warrant "putting her on a diet" to loose some weight because that is daunting and diets tend to haunt us all.

Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to get her excited about being healthy. Maybe I just need to take away the cell phone and Ipod!! Any thoughts to help me out...
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  • KRISTI2661
    Such tough stuff - I totally hear you and I don't have a magic answer. My daughter has always been a "bigger" girl and I made it a point not to say anything about it when she was growing up (she's 28 now) because I feel that's part of my weight problem - the damaging comments made by my mother about my size.

    It seems that my daughter has always been motivated by the reward system (who isn't.) For example, currently we are doing TNT together - she wants that reward at the end. I used to take her hiking with me and we would make a day of it - she loved the reward of spending that alone time with me and having a hike and picnic.

    I don't know, it's just so important to be an example to her - you did say you could eat a little better? - just saying......You are on the right track and she has to do it, you can't do it for her or force her into it. All you can do is love her through it.

    3691 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4782988
    Oh, and my daughter is also 13! :)
    3691 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4782988
    HI! I have had similar issues with my daughter. And the best advice I have heard is this- "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink." You are an excellent fitness example to your daughter. When she is ready to make those positive changes for herself, she will be able to look to you for guidance and support. :)
    3691 days ago
    I haven't read the responses yet, but the cell phone and Ipod are not related to the weight so would not be effective.

    Has she joined the Spark Teen group?

    My Mom's solution was to improve the meals and foods in our own house. We had a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables and no snacks and desserts were cut down to a couple times a week and were a special event. Then she signed us both up for yoga classes on a regular basis. When I protested, she always smiled, and said, "but it will be fun. You don't have anything else to do right now". It was fun and I am so grateful she wanted me to be healthy.

    Maybe she would exercise with you with one of her friends. My own daughter does the Wii Fit with her 13 year old, my granddaughter. I like kayaking with the grandkids. Try different things till you hit on one she likes.

    Good Luck!
    3692 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8639152
    My daughter is the same age and struggles with weight. She recently joined SparkTeens and is having fun with some of the challenges. She likes having her own profile page and being on teams, etc. I wonder if your daughter would be interested?

    3692 days ago
    I worry about how I will handle this someday with my daughter all the time, I had a similar experience growing up one of my dads favorite sayings was a moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips and he repeated it often...like every meal my mom always told me she just wanted me to be healthy but it still always felt like they were judging me so i would eat the way they wanted me to with them and then sneak food later it was bad.

    i think the best thing you can do is just provide healthy options in the house i mean i couldnt have snuck doritos at that age if they werent already there lots of fruits and veggies cut up and in containers so its a no hassle snack and plan activities as a family so its about everyone not just singling her out hiking or swiming or whatever you guys enjoy I wouldnt bring it up yet she's still young her body could change and sometimes even the best intentions can hurt good luck!
    3692 days ago
    I'm not a parent, but if you're doctor isn't filling the role as an educator about health and fitness, then maybe you need to step in and teach her what she really needs to know. It's crucial that she learns more. I know I had a doctor who didn't tell me for a long time that my cholesterol was high. Then when another doctor told me that the numbers were all wrong, I was able to do something about it. It doesn't sound like she's aware that her weight is too high. A lot of doctors won't tell you anything because they figure that you're not going to do anything anyway. So they just tell you what your latest symptoms mean, if they feel like it. But that's not really allowing the patient to be proactive. Because of her age, the doctor may feel that she's not capable of dealing with this problem. Perhaps you should contact the doctor, and tell them that is did not go well from your point of view and you would like to see more education about your daughter's health being included in the visits. It will just be harder for you if the doctor isn't helping with that. Did you know that there's a version of SparkPeople for teens? Maybe she would like to use that. You might somehow get her interested in that. Maybe later, when she realizes she needs help. I would start with taking her on walks and hikes, doing fun things like that. An after dinner walk? It could be a new family tradition... Good luck! Oh, and I like the WII Fit idea, or maybe dance video games. You could also have fun with her using exercise dvds together. Maybe if you talk with her, and draw her out, you'll discover something she's been wanting to do for a long time, but was afraid she wouldn't be good at, like dancing or a sport.
    3692 days ago
    Personally, I think your daughter will figure it out for herself. You are setting a great example for her. Some times kids don't want to be like their parents, especially teenagers. They want to feel in control of themselves. As time goes by, I believe she'll know what is best for her. That, of course, is to eat healthy and exercise. It'll come more natural to her because it's already a part of her world through you.

    It's so true about hurtful things our parents said to us keeping a hold on us! It's great that you are breaking that pattern.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it or she may still get the feeling that something is wrong with her. Just promote her self confidence, make her feel important, like she knows what she's doing, that she capable of making good decisions and before you know it, she will! At least that is what works with my daughters.

    I would continue to always invite her to do whatever you're doing. You never want her to come back and say that you didn't include her as I have experienced.

    3692 days ago
    My daughter is young..only 9 and tiny little thing...but I believe having her see me work out has been a good motivator for her. She does gymnastics and last year joined cross country after she watched me run a 5K with my sister. Over the past 1-2 years we have started doing a lot of active family things together... hiking, canoeing, going to the beach, biking, etc... I also tell her that I will take away her DS, ipod, laptop etc if she uses it too much.... she knows she has to divide up her time between being active, electronics and reading.... but I think the key is finding something your daughter will love to do...

    Having said that...I have to add that I believe a girls body transforms miraculously around that age... I have a niece who grew and stretched out to this thin tall glass of tea - - in only a year it was unbelievable... between age 13-15.... so just make sure you set a healthy example and she'll be just fine! I too, am so worried about influencing my daughter in any way - never use 'fat' or 'diet' words in this house.... just HEALTHY!

    good luck!!
    3692 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9129512
    it looks like you are a runner. maybe if you tell her something to the effect of "i feel we haven't been spending time together latel. let's go for a walk and talk?"
    or if she's interested in any sort of sport that will encourage her to get active. or marching band if she likes music. or have her mow the lawn ever week. or do some weeding as one of her chores. or maybe have her babysit a neighborhood kid during the day- they could go to the park. (she can use my kid for that one... hehehe)..... or she can wash the car(s). fold the laundry. dusting. vaccuming.
    pretty much any chores that's moderatly active?
    hope that helps somewhat.
    3692 days ago
  • FIREFLY1967
    I have a 16 year old daughter and she had similar problem when she was younger too. Is your daughter about to go into High School? That might be enough of a factor for her to start watching what she eats and make her care about looking better and being more healthy. Also, is she into any sports? Maybe when school starts there will be something she would be interested in trying that will help get her moving. Once my daughter hit H.S., she was aware of how other girls looked and started watching what she ate and became more involved with sports. She is a cheerleader and does track so once these things are over, she tends to put on a little extra weight, but once the season starts back up, she loses the weight. No grounding or taking away stuff will work, but you can try to help in a sneaky way with what you cook for her to eat. Also, she is still growing and her body will change. Hope this helps!
    3692 days ago
    Have you tried buying the WII Fit and doing it with her? You could both get healthy and spend Mother/Daughter time together. My daughter and I went on Spark together and we help each other to stay motivated and challenge each other to do better. Never critisize her just suggest doing it together as a Mother/daughter team. My daughter loves the WII Fit as well as my son. It's a great workout for both. Best of Luck to you both.
    3692 days ago
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