If Your Kid Feels Too Self-Conscious

When your kid approaches puberty it is not unusual for him or her to feel very self-conscious. They sometimes become very concerned and unhappy about their appearance. Your daughter may spend a lot of time looking at herself in the mirror. Your son may be flexing his muscles to see how manly and strong he can be.

You can tell your kids that looks don't matter but that is not going to impress them because they are heavily influenced by the people they see in movies, on television and in magazines. Early adolescence is a time of rapid growth and awkwardness and it is unfair how some children compare themselves to their idols. They don't know that chubbiness and acne is common with adolescents. They just see overweight people as being dirty and unlovable.

Girls as young as six years old can fret about their figures. But typically they begin to worry about their weight between the ages of nine and eleven. I am always astounded by how many teenager I know that think they are too fat!

Some children are born small and others are born naturally large. Large kids do not necessarily eat more than their smaller counterparts. There’s increasing evidence that a certain weight that is genetically determined. Like hair color and height, size is part of our inheritance.

An obese child is obvious. If you are worried that your child is too fat then take him or her to the doctor. Being too skinny has health risks too as it can indicate bulimia or anorexia (especially in a girl.)

One of the worst things you can do is put your kid on a diet. Dieting is only going to reinforce the idea that we judge people on how they look. Putting a child on a diet can also set him or her up for failure. It is not unusual for the dieting teen to start sneaking food because they feel hungry and ashamed of cravings.

If your kid is too fat then you should put him or her on an exercise regimen. Prescribe exercises that makes the heart beat faster but not to the point that the person is huffing and puffing. Your child can reap the most benefit from aerobic exercise, maintain the activity for at least twenty continuous minutes. It’s best not to single out your overweight child by insisting, “You need to exercise.” Chances are that your whole family needs to exercise so make it a family excursion.