Monday, July 6, 2009

What about the children?

We have created a situation that is dangerous for our children. According to a recent article by Dr. Andrew Weil, “Excess weight is the most common health problem facing youngsters, and the number of teens considered overweight has almost tripled in twenty years.” We have more obese children than ever before and that number is increasing rapidly. We hear all too often about overweight children being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (which in the past was found so rarely in children that it was referred to as “adult onset” diabetes). We hear more about
eating disorders -- mostly in girls but in many boys too. Even in grammar school little girls worry about being fat. They already want to diet – to look like fashion models, rock stars or actresses on television. They want to fit in, to be popular and pretty and this starts at a very tender age.
Mothers and fathers fret. They attempt to force their daughters and sons either to eat or to stop eating. Parents plead and threaten and scold. They bargain and beg. As caretakers we want our children to do the “right” things and to develop health-promoting habits. We tell our sons and daughters the right things to do. When they do not act in the ways we have carefully taught them, we get frustrated. Parents try so hard and so often fail.
We can make changes on a moment-to-moment basis based on new information we acquire and we can help our children develop into the most clear, energetic, healthy and loving human beings possible. Their survival and ultimately the survival of our species and our world depends upon this. This may sound melodramatic but we must change the dangerous course that we and our children are on. We must move from the extremes of anorexia and obesity towards balance and health. We and our children can learn to make healthier food choices, to appreciate life, to be more flexible and to trust our inner guidance. We can begin to accept and admire different body shapes and sizes. We can move away from rigid diets and society’s ridiculous obsession with being thin towards more loving, natural, flexible and healthy behaviors
I unequivocally guarantee that I was never even close to being the “perfect” mother. My mother and father were not “perfect” parents either. We each did the best we could at the time based on the knowledge, resources and energy we had. My parents loved me although at times I may not have thought so or appreciated their efforts to guide me. I adored my children even though it may not always have appeared that way to them.
If you would like a free copy of my “Tips to Help The Children” please e-mail me at put "tips in the subject line and request a copy. I am happy to send you one. Meanwhile, have a fabulous summer day!
Dr. Denise

No comments: