I love my daughter immensely. She is a challenging almost 9 year-old, that is full of personality and I try promote her unique sense of self.
She has had some growing pains recently, and while I have had some mild panic attacks, and have wished her to be 18 and off to college already, I do understand that this is as difficult a time for her as it is for me. Trust me, the things you go through with a young child makes me wish she’d b done with the drama already. Olivia is growing up way too slowly. I want this craziness over with.
That being said, there certain things, as a parent, you should and should not do or say to your child. There are unspoken rules of raising a girl of this millennia that must NEVER be broken. I do my best to not break those rules, although, I will admit, I am far from perfect.
While I was away, enjoying myself this past weekend, Olivia’s father broke one of those rules. And I almost punched him in the face for it.
One of the reasons I never talk about fat or discuss a person’s weight is because, as a personal trainer and fitness instructor, I don’t want to focus on a person’s negative view of themselves. And weight is a sensitive matter for many of us.
Since I hurt my back last year, I’ve gained a significant amount of weight due to my limited physical ability. However, I am aware that the extra weight does not change my value as a person. I believe the focus should be on feeling strong and healthy, exercising daily, and taking in good nutrition. If you happen to have a muffin top while you are doing that, so be it. Eventually your body will match up with your healthy goals and everything will be awesome.
But why focus on a person’s weight? It doesn’t define who they are as a person. And discussing it can make them feel negatively toward their body, thus placing them in a place of defensiveness for where they are now, not in a place of positivity for where they are heading.
So when I got home and Olivia told me, “daddy said I need to go on a diet”, I almost leaped across the room and knocked him straight on his ass.
Dude, who the fuck are you to tell an 8 year-old little girl that she needs to go on a diet?
Olivia is active – she plays soccer and goes to gymnastics weekly. She understands that she needs 60 minutes of activity per day so when she comes home, she jumps on her trampoline to make sure she gets that daily allotment of exercise.
The problem with Olivia is she eats a lot of garbage, and let me tell you, while I am guilty of the occasional sweet snack, her father is the one who gives her a donut or muffin EVERY DAY AFTER SCHOOL.
Her father, who doesn’t know how to cook a single vegetable.
Her father, who goes home from work, eats garbage, and sits on his butt watching TV for 4 hours straight.
Her father, who has about 40 pounds on him that he could stand to lose.
This same man, is telling a child that she needs to go on a diet.
After a few brief words and the mother of all side eyes, I made sure he understood that he is NEVER to say that to her again.
Yes, Olivia is at the higher end of the weight scale for her age. No, we don’t want her to become unhealthily overweight.
But the last thing you want to do as a parent is to give a young girl a weight complex.
Nah, son. You won’t be doing that to MY child. MY child has done the Spartan Race 4 times. MY child scored 3 goals in a soccer game a few weeks ago. MY child can do a backward bridge crawl.
MY child is more than her weight.
If you want to make sure she doesn’t become overweight, provide healthier food. Stop giving her sugary snacks. Make sure you let her get some exercise daily.
But NEVER. And I mean NEVER tell a child to go on a diet.
The negative ramifications of that is astounding.
Love her. Lead her down the right path.
That’s what parenting is all about.