"But what can we do? We tell parents constantly that their children need to lose weight. We tell them their kids are fat. And parents look around, look at other kids and tell us: "No, they are ok? They are just like other kids".
In your opinion Olga, what shall we tell the parents? Many of whom are fat themselves."
... From a conversation with teachers.
Teachers tell parents it's their job to keep their kids slim.
Or: how to explore 50 shades of grey with your darlings.
For us whom live in London, a hard fitness regime is paramount as such as in New York, do forget about the rest of England, where average folk look... healthy. Like they actually have had something to eat.
They don't look skinny or anorexic, like the 'wifies' of the hedge-funds' managers. They don't wear skinny trousers to show off their latest plastic surgery achievements. In London, where the guys beyond 50s have the body of a 20 year old (sadly the faces and more don't catch up)... we're obsessed with keeping the image we want to be that states our Bio to passers-by.
The rest of England? They want to be the image they want to be, but they're busy living a life... of a hamster that is stuck on the wheel. Kids to school, work, kids, dinner, TV..., some sleep. And off to the next wheel-cycle we go. Where the next door neighbour lives a carbon-copy lifestyle, where do you expect the motivation to come from? TV? Nooooo. That TV, the window to entertainment, it's what we look at or through, whichever way you prefer, during or after the dinner.
I am not saying that in London we don't have to put up with the same issues, I am just saying we're more under peer pressure to look the status we want to project.
And then, how do you think parents who feel trapped already across England, and who are genuinely trying to do everything for their kids (even if wrongly) are able to cope with yet another accusation? From teachers!
If you tell a parent, their child is fat they'll instantly jump to the defensive. I'm not certain why teachers suddenly are onto parents, perhaps there is some sort schools initiative lets-grow-a-healthier-nation going on. But it's just not going to work. Besides, given the kids are spending most of their waking life at school, perhaps, the teachers can do something about it?
But let's not argue who's right or wrong.
Here's four tips that parents or teachers could apply. Because it's everyone's responsibility.
1. Go French.
You come home, kids are screaming. You give them something to keep them quiet. They snack in front of TV, so that you can get on with your cooking and, by the time dinner's ready, they're more likely to bugger off to see their friends.
Time to be French, where dinner time means family time. Time for your kids to learn that you're also hungry when you come home.
A little snack in a form of a carrot or something light isn't going to ruin their appetite before dinner but stave off any hunger pangs.
When the dinner comes, that's family time. Forget about TV. Listen to your kids and they need to listen to you too. Because adults in their lives are also important. And parents especially.
2. Play games with teachers.
Kids are never as stimulated as when under peer pressure and here teachers could be invaluable. Instead of regular homework, kids could be given an activity involving some sort of research, for example, how many birds will you spot on a walk at the weekend. Or, how long would it take for you to jump on one foot non-stop. These are just random suggestions. You need to work out what works best for you and the children.
3. Be Selfish.
Look after your health too. Find an activity, be that trampoline classes, jogging, or even dog walking. Get your kids involved too. Don't give them a choice, take them with you. It's difficult for kids to follow what parents tell them, when their actions are exactly opposite. They do copy you, they will pick up your habits even if they disagree with you at first.
4. Explore 50 shades of grey.
Parents and teachers love telling kids what's right or wrong, what's black and white. But life is never that simple. Stop telling your kids or pupils, they've got it right or wrong. You're killing their creativity and any motivation that's left on the root. Not everything is about being right or wrong. Explore the other opportunities, let kids come up with their own solutions. Let them learn, there are other colours to life, not just white and black.
Ps: You see it's not so much about the overweight kids being fat, as not providing them with other stimulus to life... apart from snacks.