Is Your Parenting Style Making Your Child Fat?

CBS News recently posted an article: Rigid parenting style linked to obese kids

The article discussed two parenting styles and the possible connection to a child’s weight. Authoritarian parenting style is defined in the article as “inflexibility over rules and a lack of emotional responsiveness.” Alternatively, the Authoritative parents are “generally affectionate, willing to discuss behavior limits and set healthy boundaries.” Scientists studied a group of 37,000 children to determine that obesity rates were approximately 1/3 higher in children on Authoritarian parents. And although the study shows a definite correlation between parenting style and obesity, it fell short of identifying a specific cause and effect relationship.

The fact is obesity rates in the United States have more than doubled in children (to nearly 18 percent) and have quadrupled in adolescents (to almost 21 percent) in the past 30 years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I completely agree that your parenting style can have a positive or negative effect on not only their weight but also a child’s emotions.  Other factors like technology, school PE program budget cuts, and the fast food industry are big contributing factors to the childhood obesity epidemic, BUT it still comes down to the way you parent your child.

bike     run

Don’t blame your child’s school for eliminating the Physical Education programs. It is unfortunate of course, but you, the parent must teach your child about daily exercise. It’s just another daily item like brushing teeth; 30 minutes of exercise a day can keep a child healthy, active, and happy. Be an example to your children! If you aren’t committed to a daily exercise routine as part of a healthy lifestyle, you have no one to blame but yourself. Your children will grow up doing what you do and eating what you eat. It is time for parents to tell their child to turn off the Xbox Madden 25 games and take them outside for a real game of football. Our kids are growing up and  living life through a screen instead of experiencing life.

chef         beans

I have the same views when it comes to food. Get out of the drive-thru and back in the kitchen. Healthy eating should be a DAILY way of life. Fast food can certainly play a part of a busy lifestyle and as a last-minute option a couple of times a month, but problems arise when in becomes more often than that. Healthy eating requires a little bit of planning, but mostly the conscious decision that you will take charge of the health of your family. Empower your children to assist with the planning, the shopping, and the preparing of meals. I have talked to my toddler about all the fresh fruits and vegetables at the grocery store since she was a baby. She now, loves to go to Publix to help pick out what to buy for the week. Her daddy just taught her how to “snap beans” and it made for a fun night preparing dinner together as a family. If your child is a bit older, why not inspire them to help in planning and preparing a healthy meal every night. Each member of the family can have their own night that they are in charge of. The key is to make it fun, encourage their ideas, and make it a routine.

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