Parents Should Avoid Commenting On a Child`s Weight
Many people might tend to ask and wonder if it is okay for a parent or parents to talk to their children about weight issues especially if the child is overweight or if they should refrain from mentioning anything related to weight.
According to many different researchers, parents who find themselves in this situation don’t normally know what to do. They are normally afraid of saying hurtful words to the child, therefore lowering self-esteem issues or triggering an eating disorder in the child.
The main phobia for these parents is saying something that is hurtful to their children and missing an opportunity to help their child with what could be a long-term problem.
A new study has been established that teaches parents to avoid mentioning negative comments to their children especially in relation to weight. This study that is published in the journal for Eating Disorders and weight disorders, explains of how negative comments on children who have unhealthy eating behaviors and binge eating can raise negative stereotypes internally on children.
For example, a parents` comments on his or her daughters` weight can have very many negative repercussions in the future.This kind of repercussion can be the young lady growing up to be a woman who has dissatisfaction levels with her body even in the case whereby she is not overweight.
A parent can have a child who is termed as obese, but the way the situation is discussed, handled and communicated can be really damaging to the child. This is according to Rebecca Puhl, The Deputy Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut.
Rebecca Puhl continues to say that the impact that it has on girls can be deep and destructive since in today’s society girls are mostly exposed to very many different messages that are in relation to weight loss, thinness and over all body weight.
Women are mostly linked to their appearance and if parents don’t challenge their ways of communicating when it comes to weight issues in women, the message that they portray can be internalized.
Several studies that have been done show that parents who encourage children who are overweight especially teenagers to diet, the teenagers normally have a higher risk of developing low self-esteem issues and depression in the later years.
A research done by Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, who is a professor at Minnesota University found out that when parents talk to their children about the importance of losing weight, there is a likelihood that they will diet or tend to use unhealthy weight loss processes and measures.
Dr. Puhl additionally said that harsh comments on weight on children can trigger negative feelings. If a child is of grown age and is overweight, it is advisable for parents to wait until the child introduces that weight topic and it is also upon parents to spare some time and be there for their child and support them in whatever they are doing and with also encouraging words such as: “I love you no matter the size that you are and I would like to support you“
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