My dad always tells me to lose weight. Every time he sees me he says that it looks like I've gained a few pounds. I already hate my body and my looks, and it doesn't help that my mom doesn't care. I asked my mom straight-up: "Do you think I'm fat?" She answered, "I know that you're going to cry but yes. Just face the facts."


As your comments illustrate, being overweight as a youngster is a symptom of a much bigger problem. It's not a kid issue; it's a family issue. Unfortunately, when parents are busy, they often ignore the deeper, more complex reasons for the weight gain. They see the solution as being easy and not requiring any involvement on their part, but that's not the case.

In their minds, it just takes you eating less and moving more. Unfortunately, it's not that simple as you probably already know. There are a lot of hurt feelings that need to be addressed. There's dysfunction in the family unit that needs to be resolved. They are communication skills that need to be improved. If you and your parents only look at the weight issue, you're missing a wonderful opportunity to get to the heart of the problem.

If you were cutting yourself, for example, the solution wouldn't be for you to no longer have access to sharp objects. No, the solution would be for the family to figure out why you're engaging in this harmful behavior and confront the root problem. The same is true with weight issues, whether it's gaining too much, losing too much or having anorexia or bulimia.

The first step is to get your mom or dad to take you to the pediatrician for a check-up. Your doctor can then explain the changes taking place in your body and why they may be leading to weight gain. Your doctor can advise you on how to best maintain a healthy weight and improve your body image. Your doctor will probably urge your parents to buy more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, prepare healthier meals, and purge the kitchen of snack foods, sodas, and such. Your doctor will probably recommend that technology use be reduced and outdoor time be increased.

The next step is to explore the underlying reasons for the weight gain: things you mentioned such as not feeling good about your appearance and thinking that your mom doesn't care. You could be suffering from depression, which can most definitely result in extra pounds. This, too, is something to discuss with your pediatrician who may then refer you to a psychologist or therapist.

Family counseling would be a wonderful way for you, your parents, and any siblings to talk about tough subjects with the help of a professional. It provides a safe space to explore the dysfunction in the family and figure out workable solutions. You definitely shouldn't be in this alone.

You may want to read my article entitled, “How to Help Your Child Lose Weight: Advice From a Former Fat Kid.” Your parents love you but aren't seeing the bigger picture. Please reach out to them for help so all of you can get the support you need. Take care!

Updated on March 7, 2020

Original Article:

5 Reasons Parental Verbal Abuse Is Far More Damaging Than We Thought
By McKenna Meyers

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