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The Power of Family

Imagine your overweight child sitting on the couch along with the entire family, watching a rented movie. But while everyone else is munching on cookies in front of the TV, she’s trying to restrain herself from reaching for a handful of her own. It’s a bit of torture that is setting her up for failure.

Without a doubt, it is much easier to make changes when those around you are adopting the same new behaviors as you. Your child’s success in losing weight is dependent on the support of the entire family—parents, partners, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and anyone else who spends time with her. Part of your parenting responsibility is to let the other adults in your child’s life (school teachers, church leaders, scoutmasters, relatives) know about your child’s efforts so they won’t undermine them. All it takes are a few acts of sabotage, however innocent or unintentional, to tip your youngster in the wrong direction and derail weeks of her best efforts.

At every opportunity, your family needs to demonstrate support for your overweight youngster. You need to be consistent in approaching your child’s weight problem because you have the primary responsibility for managing her nutrition and physical activity.

If you’re divorced from your child’s other parent, you need to share information with your former spouse on an ongoing basis. You need to mutually decide on any changes in the environment that need to be made at each of your respective homes. Even when you’re divorced, you need to close ranks and stand together in every aspect of parenting.

Last Updated
A Parent's Guide to Childhood Obesity: A Road Map to Health (Copyright © 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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