Thursday, October 15, 2009
400 Pound 13 Year Old . . .
I just read this heartbreaking story about a very young man on the verge of a very sad and steep downward slope.
It seems there is a 13 year old boy in Florida that tips the scales at 400 pounds. People in the medical community are, understandably, concerned about the young man's health and - of course (that is more a nod to the assumption not the appropriate action) - blaming the parents, specifically his mother for this problem.
Their solution? Remove him from the home.
Yeah, uh, about that . . . I'm not so sure that pulling the kid out of the home is going to help at all. It might hurt, actually. The story I read indicates that the mother is concerned and that she is aware that something has to change in her diabetic and high-blood pressure having son's lifestyle. She seems on the right page with trying to get him to help himself but she raises a great point . . . he's got to be part of it. He's going to have to help himself.
Pull a kid at that stage of life out of the home and see what happens . . . and it is NOT going to be him waking up at 6:00 AM and doing aerobics until the sun comes up followed by a sensible breakfast and some light conditioning exercises. It is likely going to lead to further acting out, issues of reverse-abandonment and food becoming even more of an emotional crutch than it might already be.
I have fielded questions in my life about my parents maybe being "responsible" for my obesity and weight struggles. NO. They are not. They may have bought the food and they may have let me eat the food but they never force fed me and they CERTAINLY encouraged me to eat less, to exercise more and to take better care of myself in general.
Here's the thing, people. SELF RESPONSIBILITY. I totally get it when an 18 month old weighs 90 pounds. We ALL agree parents are at fault. At 13 though . . . grey area. LOTS of grey area.
BEST that the state of Florida empowers the mom. Tries to scare the kid a little bit. Keeps him at home and watches him, as appropriate.
Even then - at some point he's going to have to WANT to be healthy for it to stick.
I wish you luck, little buddy. I hope you find the want to be healthy and happy and to grow well past your teens, 20s, 50s and 80s. At this rate though . . . only YOU can help you!