For the past few years I have been concerned about my child's weight, mainly because we have diabetes in the family and the general ill-health that comes from being overweight. It is very difficult to talk to teens about their weight for a few reasons: they do the opposite of anything you want them to do, they are very sensitive. I read a few articles that said not to state the obvious to your child that they are over-weight. Now this I struggled with because you know the kids at school aren't being that considerate of their feelings and so if I now say it's not a problem I look like I'm lying, faking being disingenuous - none of which I am willing to do. So for years I have encouraged my daughter to watch her weight, eat right, exercise and be healthy. I say encouraged but it was not always put into practise by babygirl.
Last weekend we had an incident where I had taken her and two friends out to the cinema. I paid for their tickets, a hefty KD 24. The kids had chosen these seats and deal so I was not going to moan about the price and embarrass them or my daughter. Included in the ticket was a hot dog. This would not be my preferred dinner choice but again this is the deal the kids wanted. I told them that was their dinner (strictly no nachos and cheese) and after the movie we can go for frozen yoghurt. They had 45 mins before the movie was starting and my daughter made it clear that I was not to hang around with them. No problem I would wander around the mall staying in the vicinity.
I had my trainers on so had a good walk around and, for their bad luck, spotted them 10 mins later in Elevation Burger each having a portion of cheese smothered french fries. I was not happy but thought I would deal with it later with just my daughter as the other two were not my kids. The two other kids are very overweight almost double the size of my babygirl. I reminded them to not be late for their movie and carried on with my walk. A friend joined me for coffee and we continued to walk. My kid's movie should have started but who do my friend and I see in the hot dog line 20 mins after the expensive movie started, all three of them. I was furious they were late for their movie that I had paid KD 8 each for and because they were further delayed as they were hell-bent on getting their hot dogs.
To their good luck the movie they had planned to see was cancelled (they did not know this) and so I got a refund and three free tickets for another movie plus they had hot dogs - thank you Al Hamra Grand Cinema awesome customer service. But I was still seething at the blatant disregard for my request for them to only eat the hot dog and no other crap (the hot dog was more than enough) and I was really upset that they could not get themselves to the movie on time. I hate when people come in and disturb you once the movie starts plus they would have missed 25 mins of it. Grrrrrrr....
After the movie finished I picked them up and took them to Al Shaheed Park which they moaned about but enjoyed it, initially, until I made them walk all the way around it to get some exercise. Teenagers are real moaners. One of the kids was being sarcastic and making disparaging remarks; It was time for a talk.
I explained to the young lady that such negative remarks, bad food choices, lack of interest in doing anything at all were not good for her and that her weight could be making her disinterested, sad and unhealthy. It's a vicious cycle of feeling sad, comfort eating, feeling more sad because of the weight gain. I know this was the problem because she had told my daughter that she comfort eats. It's a heartbreaking situation so quite easily rectified. I offered my help and told her that all three of them should encourage each other to make better choices.
So, it seems they all hate me now. But I have noticed my daughter making far better choices and even asking me for advice. I told her I am willing to take all three of them to walk, bike or whatever at weekends but something good for their health. I apologised for being so horribly blunt/honest, but I do really hope it works better than ignoring the problem.
We shall see at the weekend who wants to go do something about this and who doesn't.
Parenting sux! I really hope they want change more than they hate me.