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How much advice/help do I give?

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Old 03-16-2012, 10:14 AM   #1
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I have a 15 (almost 16) year old son and a 'foster' boy, my sons best friend, who lives with us. Both boys are overweight by a good 50-60 lbs. They have always joked around about being the fat guys.
Anyway, last night when I got home, they told me about some 15 month goals they made for themselves. They even wrote themout and taped them to their bedroom door, cute.
One of the goals is to lose 60 lbs. I asked them last night what they wanted me to buy them to eat. Do they want me to stop buying the microwave pizzas, muffins, etc? They said yes. They wanted to make sure I got them more frut, veggies, etc and are even talking about taking their lunches to school.
My son does get exercise at school right now. He takes a weight lifting class and then has track practice after school. I have gotten him some Cliff bars to try because I want him to have a healthier snack between school and track. My second son has some physical problems that do limit his ability to do sports and I asked him if he wanted to start exercising with me at home, to my suprise, he said he has been using some of the equpment on his own.
I have started using a protein shake, usually at night, to help me build some muscel and it has helped, I offered to make them each one when I make mine.
I guess my question is should I really not buy the frozen pizza's, these are their regular snack afterschool and on the weekends?
Should I only offer advice when they ask or should I continue to encourage them so they don't give up?
Should I buy them their own scale?
I want them to lose some weight, they really do need to but I also don't want to come off to pushy or make them feel like I don't love them as they are.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEMom View Post
I have a 15 (almost 16) year old son and a 'foster' boy, my sons best friend, who lives with us. Both boys are overweight by a good 50-60 lbs. They have always joked around about being the fat guys.
Anyway, last night when I got home, they told me about some 15 month goals they made for themselves. They even wrote themout and taped them to their bedroom door, cute.
One of the goals is to lose 60 lbs. I asked them last night what they wanted me to buy them to eat. Do they want me to stop buying the microwave pizzas, muffins, etc? They said yes. They wanted to make sure I got them more frut, veggies, etc and are even talking about taking their lunches to school.
My son does get exercise at school right now. He takes a weight lifting class and then has track practice after school. I have gotten him some Cliff bars to try because I want him to have a healthier snack between school and track. My second son has some physical problems that do limit his ability to do sports and I asked him if he wanted to start exercising with me at home, to my suprise, he said he has been using some of the equpment on his own.
I have started using a protein shake, usually at night, to help me build some muscel and it has helped, I offered to make them each one when I make mine.
I guess my question is should I really not buy the frozen pizza's, these are their regular snack afterschool and on the weekends?Should I only offer advice when they ask or should I continue to encourage them so they don't give up?
Should I buy them their own scale?
I want them to lose some weight, they really do need to but I also don't want to come off to pushy or make them feel like I don't love them as they are.
I think they already answered that question for you... And if they ask why there are no pizzas, ask them if they remember asking you to not buy them. Because they, and you, want to be healthier!

And I think it would be cool if my mom went out and got me a scale and started helping me with something she already knows about... Just be all 'this is for you two to use to keep track of your progress."

So awesome. So mature of them too, to write it out. Good job boys!
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:22 AM   #3
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I think you follow their lead and lead by example. Don't bring in junk if they don't want junk. And if you do, swap things out for healthier alternatives.

Like, I make cookies, but I have now added whole grain, flax seed and cut some of the sugar and flour. When I make pizza, I load it with veggies, less cheese and put it on a whole wheat crust (there's also the cawliflower crust pizza which I haven't tried yet). Stuff like that.

Why would they need their own scale? is yours in the master bathroom? If so, get them one. And so on. But, if they want to pig out once in awhile, they will - they are boys and they are teens, but they also sound like they want your support (without pushing).

You've probably inspired them! And that is cool!
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:25 AM   #4
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Treat them as you want to be treated. If you asked someone not to bring some food item in the house, you certainly wouldn't want them bringing it in anyhow, so don't buy the pizza and stuff after they told you not to. If they change their minds, they will let you know.

As you do things for yourself, offer for them to participate, show them what you've bought, etc. Let them know if they have questions, etc that you are there for them.

Your role here is as a support person. Determine what your perfect support person would be and be that person to them. Be an encourager. It goes along way.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:28 AM   #5
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Smart boys ! Encourage tham any way you can and NO frozen pizzas.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
I guess my question is should I really not buy the frozen pizza's, these are their regular snack afterschool and on the weekends?
They already told you to stop that and up the produce. So up the produce.

Quote:
Should I only offer advice when they ask or should I continue to encourage them so they don't give up?
Ask them what they need from you in terms of support. They are older teens, not children. They can vocalize their needs.
Quote:
Should I buy them their own scale?
Again... if you can afford to do so -- just ask them.

Teens appreciate being treated like teens who can make some of their own decisions rather than babies who need all decided FOR them. It's polite to ask.

I'm sure you won't let them do anything obviously unhealthy. But do let them own what decisions they can own. YKWIM?

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Old 03-16-2012, 10:31 AM   #7
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I agree. My son was the same for a while - about 30lbs over (my daughter was a tiny bit chubby, but she was also 5 at the time). I started limiting their ultra-sugary snacks, swapping with fruit and occasionally pudding made with skim, and buying healthier stuff in general. We now make our own pizza (but only occasionally) and load it up with veggies, and the kids know that they can occasionally have a handful of mini M&M's (for example) but dessert and junk are not "free for all" options.

You are so on the right track - you are their inspiration! And you're a very good one, so keep up the good work!
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:44 AM   #8
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Ok, I'm about 8 or 9 years older than your boys there, but from a child's standpoint it can get very annoying when you set out to do something on your own and you get unsolicited advice from a parent and/or they try to take over whatever you are trying to do.

My mom had a tendency to do that and it derailed all of my previous efforts. I remember when I started to exercise a lot more on my own. She would bug me to make sure I went every day. She would give me advice that I didn't want or need, etc. Eventually I stopped because it became so aggravating. At this point it's easier because I'm in my 20s so I just don't care but when I was a teen it was really discouraging/off-putting.

It sounds like you're already doing a good job if they felt comfortable enough to come to you and ask for help. Just provide them with the good food they want and be there if they want/need help. Obviously if they're in danger of hurting themselves in any way you should step in, but otherwise you're probably just better off being there in case they feel they need to ask for advice.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:17 PM   #9
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with kids, it's so hard to tell.

they get their enthusiasms and then, just as suddenly, they're onto something else.

my two cents (my youngest is 5 but i have a 26yr old and a 23yr old) is by all means, definitely follow the healthy eating habits. but be aware that they may start buying stuff on the way home from school or in the school cafeteria.

something to make them aware of: not all their friends will be fine with their efforts to improve their health. they'll be facing peer pressure and the more they resist, the more some kids will push just for the fun of watching them break. i find the best way to inject knowledge is to just casually tell a story about what happened to me.

f.ex, when i hear my daughter come in, i'll be wearing a pissed-off expression. guaranteed she'll ask "what's wrong?"

"oh, nothing. well - it's not nothing, but it's nothing you did. that idiot friend of mine, blah-blah." and then stop.

"oh? what did she do?" (because my daughters are curious cats)

"well, i told her i wanted to cut back on my spending and she's mad because i don't want to go shopping at costco with her."

"so why not go anyway?"

"because we don't need anything right now and because i always overspend when i'm there. i really need to tighten up my budget and she's not helping. i don't want to lose a friend but every time we talk, she's pushing me to spend money i don't want to. i don't know what to do."

and so on.

it gives her a heads-up on some of the obstacles she can expect as well as "helping" me come up with possible strategies to deal with them.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:53 PM   #10
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I say just provide a lot of options for him - maybe lean lunch meat, high fiber breads, reduced fat dairy, healthier snacks, etc.

That will help him without nagging him.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:42 AM   #11
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I wanted to give you all an update on my boys.
They have been working out just about every day for the past week. Using the treadmill or elliptical. They have been making their own portein shakes and eating more fruit for snacks.
I did not buy them pizzas or muffins this weekend and after double checking with them, gave all our cookies away to the neighbor kids this weekend.
Just really proud of them right now.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:47 AM   #12
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I'm proud of them, too!
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