The Effects of a Dieting Young Adult on 11-Year-Olds
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how my recent focus on getting healthy has affected my brothers. Since I live at home, they see me cooking the healthier option at dinner, bringing home sprouted bread and asking my mom to cook my broccoli without butter on it. I’ve noticed that they seem to be picking up on it, but not in a good way. One of them has started counting calories and doing situps to impress a girl in his class. The other has decided he’s not going to eat anything unhealthy. Ever.
It makes me wonder the kind of impact a dieting mom could have on a young daughter. I know Tyra has talked about that stuff before, but I think it’s not being talked about enough. I was a little girl once, and I know how hard it can be to be even a little bit overweight. Add a parental figure, especially a mom, who’s constantly dieting, and you could have a recipe for disaster.
My mom has dieted on and off throughout the course of my life, but I don’t think that really had an impact on me as far as my weight. A lot of my motivation came from the treatment I got from friends and classmates. If anything, it was empowering to have her as an ally (we did Weight Watchers together my freshman year of high school).
I’m not saying moms shouldn’t diet when they have kids. I just think we need to be mindful of how our own choices affect the younger ones in our family. I never thought twice about talking about calories or watching my weight around my brothers. But it’s obviously made an impression on them.
Children are already vulnerable enough. I know kids can have weight problems (which I’ve solved), but as parents and siblings I think it’s our job to just be more mindful of how our actions impact others.
Has anyone else had similar experiences with the children in their families?