How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Weight
- Be mindful of your comments about your own body and health. If you refer to yourself as a fat sloth, your daughter will pick up this outlook. Treat your body respectfully, and the contagious nature of positive thinking will be good for both of you.
- And you can always get her the puppy she's wanted. Is it really so bad if you end up walking it every day? It actually sounds like a good exercise plan! Plus, the puppy will love you no matter what. This is an excellent counterpoint to your daughter telling you that you're the worst person who's ever walked the earth—which you can expect while she's a teen. Consider a puppy an investment in your mental health.
Our first lady has the right idea. And if anyone thinks she was too personal when she talked about her own kid's BMIs, let's not overreact. Michelle Obama is just one of many concerned mothers who would like to help her children avoid the problems associated with obesity. The teasing all by itself can make life a living hell, affecting a child's emotional health for the worse. Add to this the dramatic increase in health risks, and you're looking at a real mess and what often ends up being a lifelong battle that gets harder to manage with age. I say a round of applause for the first lady, and may her ounce of prevention platform become nice and sturdy for the benefit of American kids!
Evelyn Resh is director of sexuality and relationships programming for Miraval Resorts in Tucson. She is a certified sexuality counselor and nurse-midwife and continues her practice in both fields in Tucson and western Massachusetts. She has taken care of teens and women of all ages in the OB-GYN and primary care settings for more than 20 years and specializes in working with women 25 and under. She is also the mother of a 19-year-old daughter. Evelyn speaks all over the nation on topics related to women's health and sexual satisfaction and is the author of the new book The Secret Lives of Teen Girls: What Your Mother Wouldn't Talk About but Your Daughter Needs to Know published by Hay House Publishers.