My 11 DS is seriously over weight - please help(19 Posts)
My 11 DS is seriously over weight, he weighs approx 58kg. I am an intelligent woman who knows how and why he is over weight but I am finding virtually impossible to help him lose weight.
He is over eating, secret eating and not doing enough exercise.
He is at a prep school where they have PE or games daily plus he goes to hockey and rugby at the weekends.
His weight started to increase towards the end of yr 3 (he is now yr 7).
He has always struggled to mix with the majority of the kids in his year and hates playing football at lunch times. He avoids going outside at lunch time and if he does he just sits on a bench. He doesn't know anyone in our village to play with and we dont get home from school until about 7pm.
I have realised that by 11 yrs old some clubs out of school are hard or impossible to join if the child isn't able or very keen.
Im feeling pretty upset about this and
could do with some advice please
You can’t control what he eats out of the home, but are there snacks available within the home?
If so, stop buying them. Exercise alone will not counteract a poor diet.
I get not liking team games- I didn’t, but something like swimming, or cycling might help. Are there any clubs near you?
You might want this to be moved to the pre-teen topic, because this topic is for actual physical weights, the kind you use at a gym! You'll get more answers in the pre-teen topic.
Sorry- I just re-read the part about reluctance to join a club.
Cycling, or even just walking are things you could do together at weekends though.
Often overeating is fuelled by boredom.
Just wondering if you've broached the subject with your DS?
It's not going to be very easy to tackle unless you get some buy in from him.
I haven't had to tackle anything like this with my DCs but when it comes to trying to help them change behaviour my main tip is that doing it together helps. Also, could you go to the GP with him? In my area they had some kind of family healthy eating/ excercise programme - doing an organised thing with others in the same boat might help.
Is he generally unhappy?
You may need to address this first.
You’ll need to get him on board at this age.
Educate him about healthy eating, look on line. The nhs site has some good information.
Look at nutritional value of food and the importance of eating fresh fruit and veg. See if he’ll commit to 5 a day.
If he can eat a piece of fruit for a snack, he may be able to reduce the crap.
Get him to your GP and only consider weight loss for children under medical advice.
If he doesn't get home from school until 7 is the problem eating crap at school? Do you know what he is actually eating there?
How tall is he ? It's only 9 stone ... a lot of boys have growth spurts around puberty .
It sounds like your DS is unhappy, and is comfort eating. Personally I would try to address that, as I don't think any diet will be successful while he's in this mindset.
Is this definitely the right school for him? Some prep schools are v competitive and aren't easy for some children to fit in. Getting home at 7 doesn't sound great either. Would he like to change schools?
Any chance he is being bullied?
How about non sporty after school clubs? Not necessarily to make him lose weight but to help him find friends and start feeling happier. How about scouts or martial arts or coding?
Have you put his weight into a nhs bmi calculator? Just wondering because my ds2 would have weighed that much in y7 but was already 6ft tall and competing in triathlons and very skinny. Firstly, it sounds like emotional overeating so How can you help him and boost his esteem? There are mindfulness apps, workbooks, all sorts of things to help kids, gave you asked him if there's any issues like bullying? Is his school the right school for him? Could school help, our ordinary state school offers counselling, pastoral support and the school nurse for a wide range of issues. Can you build exercise into his morning routine? One of my kids has to walk the dog before school, my friends kid has a paper round, another has a mile walk to the bus stop- it's all exercise. Mine and friends kids have enjoyed things as varied as cadets, trampolining, skating, karate, all later than 7pm. My ds1 would never play with the boys st lunchtime because they're all in professional clubs junior squads, but he loves his out of school club team that is way way down the divisions and very supportive.
At 11, you are still the provider of the vast majority of the calories he consumes, and you have been since the weight gain started.
Check what he has for breakfast: is it balanced? Is he exercising portion control? Set some expectations about how much he eats: a piece of whole meal toast and a bowl of porridge, or two scrambled eggs and a piece of toast, or two weetabix and a banana. What is the routine and is it healthy?
Talk to the school about how they can help your ds exercise portion control during the school day. Prep schools tend to be awful for stuffing kids with carbohydrates at every opportunity but I’m assuming that not all the other kids are obese. They can help you here.
After school and at weekends, think about “snacks”. If your ds is eating between meals when he is not at school, this is something you can change: one snack after school or between lunch and dinner at the weekend, is all a child needs. If you are a family that permits free reign for children to “graze” from the fridge, this needs to change.
At dinner, look at portion size, and your habits with respect to puddings. On a normal day, fruit or yoghurt should be a default dessert. Perhaps once a week offer something more calorific at home.
You have a much better opportunity to influence your ds’s weight now, before he leaves prep school, than you will at senior school, and there is reason to be optimistic that you can fix this, Overestimating portion size and allowing children to “graze” between meals are common significant factors contributing to overweight in children.
If he is not getting home till 7pm is he then eating dinner? I can't imagine this helps his lifestyle. I would be looking at a closer school and getting him some local friends to go outside and play with.
Thank you for your messages. I don't think he is currently being bullied but he is ignore by a lot of the kids in his year.
Adults even pick on him too inc family members. Its really hard. I stuck up for him at Christmas and my MIL told me to stop being over protective and to let him stand up for himself. My BIL was screaming at him for not helping. I feel soo protective of him at the moment and i know friends and family are looking in horror at how big he has suddenly become.
I don't buy snacks but i'm sure he is eating bread and peanut butter. You are right that prep schools feed some kids too many carbs.
I am constantly trying to find new out of school activities. He goes to judo, is about to start riding, as i said, he goes to hockey and rugby at the weekend. He is going to Bush Craft after school. So in theory he does alot.
Oh, i wish i could wave a magic wand
I would say NOT to go the GP. This could, at his age, make it I to such a big thing.
He is entering puberty. Physical and emotional/ psychological changes happen.
Just keep on loving him, don't have snacks in the house, portion advice ( Not control, that will reinforce his feeling that he's not good enough). Talk to him about life, school, his feelings, if you can....and wait,,all may turn out OK.
We get so many messages from health advisors and the media about "overweight children becoming overweight adults". That may be true, but give him a chance. It sounds like you are doing all you can and are alert to the other problems that may be contributing to this.
We can only so much, as parents, we cannot stop eating disorders but we can unconditionally love our children. And in the end, whatever outcome, that is what they need most, from US, their parents.
I so wish you the best.
Oh dear sorry to hear he’s having a tough time. I was overweight as a kid and reluctant to play sports because I wasn’t any good and I found the exercise awfully hard work.
I lost loads of weight just by moving out of home at 18 to go to uni but by then the damage was done and I was a size 20. I recently lost 2 stone using the Joe Wicks plan which was great because it meant I had to cook from scratch but the portions were huge. The exercise is also only 20-25 minutes and can be done at home.
Have a look through everything at home and take away anything he might be eating and replace with healthier options..?
OP - you report your own starting post and ask for it to be moved.
You say in your first post that you know why he is overweight - he is over eating, secret eating and not doing enough exercise. But in your most recent post it sounds to me as if he does a lot of exercise? And you say you don't buy snacks? Is it really just bread and peanut butter?
Grammar. I couldn’t disagree more. If your child had a squint, you’d take the money to a doctor, if a child was failing to thrive you’d take them to a doctor. A significantly overweight child is at risk of developing health problems but kindly intended, ill informed ways of managing it can add to the problems. It’s a healthcare problem and the GP can assess whether a paediatric or dietician referral is necessary. Imagine he had a thyroid insufficiency or an early Cushing? Could be tiredness and insufficient sleep.
It needs proper assessment and management.
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