Children First: Birds, Bees & Weight - KOTA Territory News

Children First: Birds, Bees & Weight

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As parents, we want to see our kids succeed. That often means talking about subjects that make us uncomfortable.

"Sex is probably harder to talk about than anything else."

For father of three, Dan Lewis, weight hasn't been an issue with his kids because from an early age he has actively encouraged them to participate in activities.

"You have to let them go and do it at their own pace but you also have to be that encouraging role model behind them saying, 'okay, we need to do this,'" Lewis said. 

But not every parent can talk with ease about the subject of weight.

"A lot of that is because a lot of adults are struggling with their own weight issues," said Mike Sprung with Behavior Management Systems. 

A national study reveals that parents rank weight as the most difficult topic to broach with kids, beating out sex, drugs, and alcohol. No matter the conversation, Lewis said it starts with listening. "When a young student or kid feels comfortable, they'll talk to you more."

But if they feel stressed or threatened they may clam up. Sprung suggests asking open-ended questions.

"And I think the way to talk to your kid is not to make it an issue. To not directly say, you have a weight issue but try to talk about it in a concerned way. You care and you're concerned about their health," Sprung said. 

Lewis admits, sometimes he has to dig deep for the patience. "We aren't patient enough and we don't listen to them enough. We want them to think how we think."

"And I think kids, a lot of times, respond more to your actions than what you say," said Sprung. "And, if you can set the example or you can work together with your kid, I think that can bring you together."

And, the birds, bees, and weight could even create a better relationship.

"When they're hurting, we're hurting. When they're succeeding, we're succeeding," said Lewis. 

For more resources to get the conversation started, go to http://fit.webmd.com/kids/default.htm

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