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Just mean or resourceful?


Forum: 2011 Playroom

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  #1  
March 25th, 2013, 02:44 PM
Dixana's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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My 5 yr old is slightly overweight. Everyday he comes home from school and wants junk instead of a healthy snack..
Instead of an epic battle daily over not having a piece of candy or brownie etc I've taken to making him earn it.
So he gets home and drinks a whole cup of water, runs up and down the stairs 15 times then and only then can he have a cookie or piece of candy or whatever.
A friend of mine was on the phone with me tonight while he was doing his stair laps. After hearing my explanation she seems to think I'm going to give him body issues.
I think I'm teaching him a lesson in health and that "treats" are a reward earned only after giving your body what it needs..
What do you think?
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  #2  
March 25th, 2013, 03:13 PM
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I don't see how it's going to give him body issues. It's not like you're saying "you're a fatty, do some laps". And it's also not like your making him do laps for any and all food he eats. I'm sure if he came in and asked for an apple, you'd just give it to him.
We have to learn to make healthy choices and that treats and things come at a price. For example a kid wants a new toy, she/he has to do work (extra chores) to earn the money to pay for it. If we want a unhealthy treat, we have to do work to earn it. Sometimes it's worth paying for, sometimes it's not.

Having been overweight throughout childhood and into adulthood, I kind of wish my mom had helped me learn this at an earlier age. She usually just restricted my access to lots of treats and things so I never really learned. For example I gained 30lbs the year I moved out because I could eat all the junk I wanted, when I wanted and didn't really think of the consequences.
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  #3  
March 25th, 2013, 03:53 PM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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Can you just not have junk in the house? I don't think it'll give him body issues, but if he's over weight, I might limit the amount of junk that's in the house.

Daniel is starting to get a little pudge and we're working on eliminating junk right now. I know it's hard.
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  #4  
March 25th, 2013, 05:41 PM
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I'm a firm believer in not using food as a reward (it's hard), but especially not for exercise/weight loss/etc. I obviously don't have a kid older than Brynlee yet though. I just try not to reward my own self with food. Like...oh I worked out today so I can have a cookie or I lost weight this week so I can have a "cheat" meal. So I am going to try not to do that with Brynlee.
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  #5  
March 25th, 2013, 06:09 PM
~Rae~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I don't think it's mean & I'm glad you recognize a potential issue early on.
I wouldn't associate exercise with snacks though. I'd have him become more active & limit the snacks overall. Can he enroll in T-ball, football, basketball, etc?
My kids don't get the good snacks every day. I want them to view junk as ocassional treats & not an every day occurrence.
I also struggled with my weight my whole life, & I wouldn't wish that on anyone, let alone my own kids.
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  #6  
March 25th, 2013, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandy5586 View Post
I'm a firm believer in not using food as a reward (it's hard), but especially not for exercise/weight loss/etc. I obviously don't have a kid older than Brynlee yet though. I just try not to reward my own self with food. Like...oh I worked out today so I can have a cookie or I lost weight this week so I can have a "cheat" meal. So I am going to try not to do that with Brynlee.
Oh I try not to do that too. But I do try to remind myself that I can't eat things like cookies or cheat meals without having to "pay" for it in some way.
Thinking about how much I would have to work in exchange for that cookie to balance it out healthwise makes me stop and think "do i really want this? is it worth it?"

To me, it seems more like a "If you want x you have to do y." which kinda lets him weigh whether or not he really wants it instead of a "if you do y, you get x".

I do agree with Rachel about trying to limit the junk in the house. If Dale is anything like James, I know that's easier said than done, he's the one that brings most of the junk in the house (like right now he's away so we have none).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Rae~ View Post
I don't think it's mean & I'm glad you recognize a potential issue early on.
I wouldn't associate exercise with snacks though. I'd have him become more active & limit the snacks overall. Can he enroll in T-ball, football, basketball, etc?
My kids don't get the good snacks every day. I want them to view junk as ocassional treats & not an every day occurrence.
I also struggled with my weight my whole life, & I wouldn't wish that on anyone, let alone my own kids.


I don't think it's mean, it's better than not addressing the problem at all.
But I'd try other stuff first, I don't know what you've tried or not though Kara.
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  #7  
March 25th, 2013, 07:17 PM
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We limit snacks in our house and rarely even have desserts. Just like with tv, we try to teach our kids that once in awhile is ok, but all the time is not. I have found that my kids don't go for the "good" stuff even when we have them in the house.

I'm not opposed to you having him run stairs before getting the treat, but I would encourage you to not have those treats around on a regular basis. Also I agree to getting him involved in more activities outside the house, like team sports or swimming.
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  #8  
March 26th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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Ha ha, my four year old runs up and down the stairs fifteen times a day without my encouragement. I've been known to offer him treats as bribes to stop running up and down the stairs. (I have a wild child).

No, I don't think it's mean at all. It seems like a simple, easy, practical solution for getting started on addressing the health issue. I don't know if it's the best long-term solution -- getting him into sports or something would probably lead to more long-term benefits -- but I don't see how it could hurt.
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  #9  
March 26th, 2013, 02:18 PM
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I definitely don't think it's mean. I do like the ideas about limiting junk food and getting him involved in sports or something. My parents had us in softball (girls) and baseball (boy) and the only time we had the really good snack was after a game. It's great that you're keeping an eye on him!
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  #10  
March 26th, 2013, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Rae~ View Post
I don't think it's mean & I'm glad you recognize a potential issue early on.
I wouldn't associate exercise with snacks though. I'd have him become more active & limit the snacks overall. Can he enroll in T-ball, football, basketball, etc?
My kids don't get the good snacks every day. I want them to view junk as ocassional treats & not an every day occurrence.
I also struggled with my weight my whole life, & I wouldn't wish that on anyone, let alone my own kids.
I agree with this. Maybe looking into a sport or activitie would be good for him.
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  #11  
March 26th, 2013, 10:13 PM
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I think while its not mean I just think there are better ways to go about it. Making it fun instead of a have too. Getting him involved in a sport or something that will help burn the energy and the weight. Going on walks as a family while he rides a bike, running outside playing ball with dad ect.
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  #12  
March 30th, 2013, 10:34 AM
mom2more's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I don't think it is mean, but when he sees everyone else in the house getting junk food without having to earn it he may have some hurt feelings over it.

I would just start limiting everyone in the house's junk food and making everyone in the house be more active along with him. So that way its not a YOU need to lose weight thing and more of a WE ALL want to be healthy thing.

When it starts warming up outside by you (if it hasn't already) start doing more outside. Take family walks/bike rides. When my older son was that age we would bring a grocery bag on the walk and collect cool rocks and leaves and stuff. And give him activities to do that are fun and keep him active, whether its organized sports or getting some outdoor toys and playing them with him. As for inside maybe start turning on music and dancing around with him. Or get on the floor with him and make challenges like who can do more sit ups or push ups...whatever you can do to make it fun with him so it seems like a game.

My 16 yr old has battled pudginess, and she is naturally short. So I just started stepping up healthiness and doing more physical activities with her. She loves to dance so we started doing Zumba together (even though I stink at it!). And we take walks together when its nice outside. She didn't love going for walks so I started saying I wanted to get ideas for our flower beds and we started walking around an paying attention to everyones flowers, so that made it fun for her. As a family we all love to go on bike rides and we got one of those pull along trailers for my little one to go in. Plus we go outside and all play basketball together and stuff.

When it comes to food I stopped putting out so much food. I make everyone's plates and then put the leftovers away (I usually cook enough to be able to have a meal from it a second day that week since we are pretty busy and I hate fast food). And I love salads because I have been on a diet so I have gotten her into them too.

I have seen some really cute ideas like having your kids help you cut up fresh healthy snacks and storing them in ziploc bags in the fridge so they can help themselves to them.

Its really good that you see the problem now and are being proactive Its much harder when kids are older and trying to lose a lot of weight.
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  #13  
April 3rd, 2013, 06:26 AM
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I agree with the other ladies. It's not mean, but there are also other ways to go about it. Doing exercise before eating junk food doesn't necessarily cancel it out, especially with sugar. There are still other issues associated with eating too much sugar or fats. You can exercise 7 days a week but if you eat fried foods and sugar everyday, you'll still be unhealthy, so I think you are misleading him by letting him believe that exercise will make it okay to have junk food.

I also agree that just limiting the junk food in the house would be helpful. IMO, we lead by example. If we eat junk, our children will want it also, so if I don't want my children to eat it, I don't eat it (when they are awake anyway ) If my children ask for a brownie or something unhealthy for a snack, they are just told they need to find something else. I let them have sweets and junk, at least a few times a week, but I feel it needs to be in moderation. If they ask for it more than that, they are met with a few healthier options and if they don't want those, I figure they aren't truly hungry.
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  #14  
April 6th, 2013, 09:41 PM
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I don't believe it's mean but I wonder what sort of message you are sending your son?

Do you want him to lose weight or do you want him to be healthy?
Weight loss and healthy lifestyle are not the same thing.

If you just want him to lose weight then all he needs is to burn all the extra calories he is going to consume.
So a 50 calorie cookie=run up and down the stairs for 10 minutes. This seems like what you are doing, even if you aren't using those exact terms.

But what are you going to do if he wants 3 cookies, ice-cream, a candy bar and chocolate cake? Make him run a marathon?

If you want him to be have a healthy lifestyle, then you should get rid of the junk and teach him that exercise is something you do to get rewards. The rewards of strength, health, energy, intelligence, and longevity.

Hope I don't sound too preachy.
Overall health is something that is very important to me and how I raise my son. My husband is obese and I'm overweight(and recently joined Weight Watchers). I don't want my son to have the same weight and health problems that many of us in our families do. He has never had a piece of candy, cake or chocolate and I'm already worried about the day he discovers what he's been missing!
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