Being a parent or grandparent is difficult but being a child or grandchild, particularly an overweight child, is sometimes even more difficult. The following are seven tips to help your grandchild gain the optimism and resilience necessary whether overweight, normal weight or a beanpole:
- First and foremost – Believe in Your Grandchild. Assure your grandchildren you are on their side, understand their struggles and are there for them. You expect them to be the best person they can be but you do not expect them to be the best in everything. No one is perfect and help them to understand this.
- Find other adults who believe in your grandchild and are able to encourage them rather than criticize them. These other adults may be teachers, aunts, uncles, neighbors, friends or any other adults able to see beyond your grandchild’s weight problems. The adults you choose need to be willing to make a positive difference in your grandchild’s life. They need to be able to help your grandchild take control of his or her life to overcome the weight problem whatever it may be.
- Encourage your grandchild to participate in activities. Being involved in activities will allow your grandchild to focus on interests and less on the weight problem. Show your grandchild activities are valuable and help develop interest in the chosen activity.
- Celebrate your grandchild’s winning experiences no matter how minor while helping him or her accept any defeats graciously. Show your grandchild you appreciate the efforts made along with the positive attitude towards the win or loss. Help them to understand that positive attitude and effort is far more important than an actual victory.
- Encourage upbeat conversations concerning the future. Assume your grandchild is going to college to pursue a higher education which will allow entrance into a good career. Let your grandchild know you believe in his or her capabilities to succeed.
- Be a role model for perseverance for your grandchild. Make sure your grandchild knows you think some tasks are difficult but you are going to tackle them whether they are difficult or easy as you are not a quitter.
Lastly, show your family how to have fun and laugh. Show them a family who is able to joke, laugh, and lighten the day’s trials and troubles with humor is able to prevent negativity and eliminate tension.