“See, listen to the Doctor’s orders, NO MORE SODA.” This has to be one of the most frustrating lines I hear from parents when discussing health with their children. I spend time with parents explaining how to lower their child’s risk of diabetes, decrease their risk of cardiovascular disease while increasing their child’s energy level, and the parents first instinct it to look at their child and blame them (ugh, gasp)!!!!
Accountability is a huge part of being a parent. Owning both you and your child’s mistakes will allow you to become a better parent. If there is a weight concern and a need for change, this is a team effort with absolutely no blame on the child. Using phrases such as “See, I told you” or “Maybe if the doctor tells you, then you will finally listen” are only detrimental to a child’s health journey. Understand a change is needed and move forward together as a team. This will create a foundation for a successful health change in the household.
Of course if a child is misbehaving, doing poorly in school, disrespecting a friend or an adult, they too must be held accountable. Our goal as parents is to mold our children into independent, kind and respectful humans. All I am saying is when it comes to your child’s food and exercise choices; this one is on you mom and dad. And please, I know what you are thinking….no, we don’t need you to run to the store and buy only plant based foods and spend all the savings at the health market. We need to make simple choices here and there to create a healthy lifestyle for both ourselves and our children. I promise that once you are able to understand that you are the parents, that you are accountable and in charge, then this journey will be much easier.