The New Year - Camp Jump Start

If only kids came with instructions, we could be perfect parents. Regrettably, there are no instructions and therefore no perfect parents. We try to do our best raising our families but the busyness of life gets in the way. The problem rests in the fact that sometimes we do not have enough information to make the best decisions. I am a firm believer that “when you know better—you can do better”. These are suggestions for resolutions to a Happy and Healthier New Year that will lead to a Happier and Healthier Family.
When a baby is born, we are so excited. We count their fingers and toes, we ask the doctor if the baby is healthy and, if we are lucky, the doctor says “yes”. We expect that to mean for the next twenty-one years our child will be well. But no one explains to us the important part that we must play, and we really do not get any training for the most important role for which we are cast. As parents, we see only sickness and health; the spectrum in between is lost. We need to pay attention to this gray area.
A parent lovingly fulfills every basic need for an infant, and as the infant grows, it learns to do these tasks by mimicking the way of the parents. As mothers, when a baby cries from hunger we pick them up to comfort them, speak soothingly to them, and feed them. It is an enjoyable time between mother and child. But some babies come to associate food as the comfort. Unless we expand upon this coping mechanism, this baby is destined to a life of emotional eating.
This New Year, let us resolve to choose an enjoyable activity that role models to our children how to deal with stress on a daily basis. Try walking, biking, or dancing to deal with frustrations instead and include your children in this activity. Children copy what we do, not what we say. And we benefit as a family because sometimes we do for our children what we would not do for our self!
The childhood obesity epidemic is a complex problem for society, but truly as parents we are much more concerned about what occurs within our own four walls at home. Many families believe that their chunky child will outgrow their baby fat, but it takes only a few extra pounds to weigh a child down. Then the child does not feel well participating in activity so they become less active and the pounds begin to pile up. Kids are cute but they are cruel to each other. The old saying of “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” was never farther from the truth. The words are forever etched in our children’s brains and hearts and the pain is far more debilitating than broken bones. Their spirits become broken instead. This prevents our child from becoming who they were meant to be. The vicious cycle is set because more than 8 out of 10 of these children will go on to become overweight adults, carrying with them forever all the baggage from childhood. That is if we continue to feed this vicious cycle.
This New Year let us resolve to ask our pediatrician what a normal weight range is for each of our children and our self. Parents are forced out of denial and empowered by this knowledge. No longer will weight be a forbidden secret, but a symptom that can be healed by the family.
Many physicians feel helpless dealing with this obesity epidemic because it requires intense education/assistance to put the family on a healthy path. Time that most of them do not have to give. Most physicians have not even taken nutrition courses, so they do not feel comfortable being the expert, either. But they can refer you to one!
It would be an honor to be a part of your life journey.