Opinions please

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ML, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    My friend called yesterday to tell me about a 12 week program at her weight loss center for kids 9-13. Apparently it focuses on healthy eating, reading labels, peer pressure, etc. It's also FREE. This is not a diet per se, no packaged foods or any of that.

    husband thinks this could harm manster's self esteem. That we will be labeling him one of the fat kids. He's borderline. Yes, he IS overweight but getting taller and looking a bit better. He's so sensitive to how we perceive him. He doesn't want to be singled out in any way and I don't want to cause more harm.

    Of course he doesn't want to go. Tells me he already knows how to read labels, etc. What he needs is to hear alternative ways for dealing with stress, feelings and the cravings/sugar addiction. This is the part that I think could benefit him.

    So what do you think. Should I honor his request not to go or use my "I'm the mom and in charge" voice and drag him there? Do you think this may offer enough benefit to risk his self esteem taking a hit? I'm not sure he sees himself as a "fat kid" and will this just put more labeling on him?

  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Uhmmm, in my humble opinion, I would drop the issue because I would be afraid of causing more of an eating problem by focusing on it too much. My mother focused on my lack of eating/being underweight when I was a teen and it really made things worse. The problem went away as soon as I got away from her. I'm not saying you have gone to this point, but with a boy who's still growing and has difficult child issues, I'd let this one go since he has already said he isn't interested. Plus, he isn't WAY overweight yet and my guess is that before it gets to that point later on, he will start caring and watching it a little more himself.
  3. ML

    ML Guest

    Thank you KLMNO!
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's just my 2 cents, ML- but this happened with my son. Now that he's almost 15yo, he cares a lot more about how he looks and being muscular (ie- fit), because you know, the peer thing is playing into it. LOL! He's still a lttle overweight, but nothing I am concerned about because it's not much and he sometimes talks about watching his weight- I'm letting it be his responsibility/control/choice and staying out of it. And don't forget about that growth spurts boys get where they grow a lot taller in short periods of time- that helps.

    I know you feed him healthy foods and watch the amount of junk food so I think that's the most important thing.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    ML, I think I'd run it by his pediatrician, who knows manster and may know this program and whether it might be helpful or harmful.

    My mom instinct tells me to lay low on the issue, though. My own son lost 20 pounds this summer when he did an intensive therapeutic wilderness program. Without talking about weight at all, he ate healthy and hiked extensively. The weight came off on its own. Perhaps when manster's older and can participate in teen programs like this, the weight will take care of itself.

    Is he currently involved in activities that burn calories on a daily basis?
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    If he doesn't want to go, I think pushing him to go might be counterproductive.

    Instead, maybe you can ask if they have some handouts about the stress eating and things of the like that you could pick up and just have lying around. I bet he'll pick them up and read them if he "runs across" them...

    Beyond that, I'd just tell him if he's ever interested in going to something like that, to let you know and you'll get him enrolled. My guess is that in 2 or 3 years (maybe 4 or 5, since he's a boy and an aspie), he'll be interested in more ways to watch his weight.
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks ladies, I am going to lay low for now and just concentrate on the healthy eating.

    Smallworld, that's part of the problem. Manster is an avid indoorsman lol. His activities of choice are screens of all variety. That is why I force him to go to Westernaires. He is learning how to groom and ride horses. Not exactly full on exercise but it is outdoors. The therapist is helping me encourage him to increase his comfort zone and overcome anxiety in these situations. Also we're getting the WI fit for Christmas. When the weather is good we encourage/insist upon family bike rides.

    One GREAT thing is that he told gramma he wants inline skates for Christmas. So she is getting him all the safety gear and skates. This is the first ever outdoor thing he's showed enthusiasm about. Wish us luck.

  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I had another thought- but you are probably already doing this. Whenever my difficult child expressed interest in anything that would burn calories, I encouraged it and pursued it. That included buying him a weight set one year for his b-day.

    I just read your last post- the skates are a great idea. Also, just getting him out for walking- take him to the grocery store with you without even bringing up walking or exercising.
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I vote for taking him anyway...

    Most likely, this program is DESIGNED not to let anybody feel like the "fat kid"....

    Why not check out the clinic and see what you think? At the fitness center I used to go to, they offered mostly adult classes until they noticed that Moms were bringing their kids and the kids would just sit and play video games while Mom worked out. They started offering kids fitness programs and they were a HIT!

    The kids had a good time. They did not feel like they were "exercising" as much as they had something fun to do while Mom was working out in the adult class. And they kids learned healthy eating and nutrition almost as a "by the way, while you are having fun...remember to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables".

    If this program you are considering is at all similar....I think it would be a GREAT experience....especially if Mom and Dad could also get involved with an exercise and fitness program.

  10. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I am leaning towards letting it go. If he's that sensitive about it, it may be more trouble than it's worth getting him there, Know what I mean?? Besides...if he's not huge and seems to be growing into his weight, I would let it be for now. I know a lot of kids who are husky as pre-teens and teens but hit a growth spurt and grow into it.

    However, I would do what you are doing and encourage healthy eating and activity. I'm sure the horse grooming is doing him good....he's outside as you said, moving around and I would imagine he would have to move saddles/equipment around somewhat so that can help too.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I STRONGLY encourage you to not force him to go to this. While my parents rarely focused on my weight, my aunt and grandmother were positive I had an eating disorder and was either anorexic or bulimic. They hassled my parents and I, dragged my uncle into it, and I just flat out refused to eat anything around them. Period.

    I still ate, and ate quite a lot. I DID have some problem the docs couldn't figure out and I rarely ever felt hungry. THose signals got lost somewhere.

    As sensitive as Manster is to how you perceive him, it won't matter that this is designed to help him get healthy. It will still be perceived as "They think I am fat." . This is how he has reacted to other discussions about weight, or it is as far as I can recall from past posts. You could leave a brochure around, but don't bring it up. I would not leave too many brochures around because he will assume that you are trying to hint that he is fat.

    Just concentrate on having healthy food around in reasonable quantities.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The difference here is, this kid has AS. That tells me that the "I'm the Mom and I said so," will backfire badly. If he says he's good at reading labels and using the information, then accept this.

    You're getting Wii Fit? Great! It will do a great deal of what you're trying to do, but trough the medium he's already obsessed with. It's what difficult child 3 does, he gets me onto the thing too. But if you can upgrade, get Wii Fit Plus. As an u[grde it's not much but it gives you a lot of the stuff unlocked immediately, plus there are other sophistications. Also, get Wii Sports in various forms, they also get you up and active. It's huge fun as spectator sport, so it boosts social skills. Sit down as a family to play it, take turns with everyone doing their daily check-in and fitness test, then get out the Wii Sports and everyone go ten pin bowling together! Or have a game of tennis.

    I like the balance games on the Wii Fit, but be aware, they are more tiring than you would think. Watching novices try to head the ball in soccer is hilarious fun!


  13. ML

    ML Guest

    Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts on this topic with me. It helped confirm what I had basically decided which is to let it go and focus on the healthy eating and encouragement of more activities. Also, I already force him to do enough things he doesn't want to do and there has to be a balance or he'll have a terrible time of it. Manster was THRILLED with my decision.

    We all have to make so many touch decisions on a daily basis and most of the time there's no right or wrong black or white to guide us. We're very fortunate to have this collective wisdom here. Thank you :)
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Manster is an avid indoorsman lol. His activities of choice are screens of all variety.

    LOL! I'm going to steal that one. :)

    I want to ride your horses!!!
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I would probably drop the issue. You might find out if they would let you bring him one time for free and then let him make the final decision to go or not go after the apt.

    Is there a sport he likes? Do any of his friends or any of the neighbors take karate or something similar? Activity, esp. frequent activity, might be of great help.
  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Just FYI, grooming and riding aren't as...lax...as one might think. I was suprised to find both activities on a calories-burned chart. According to the chart, riding, even fairly passive and just at a walk, burns about as many calories as actually walking.