I own a dojo and I have a student that is 9 years old and he weighs approx. 225lbs. No big surprise his Dad is about 6'2" and over 400lbs. Mom is shaped very much like a ball.
This boy has been a student of mine for about 3 years and I am sincerely concerned for his health. I tried to set his Dad up on a diet and exercise program which started out very slow in hopes that it might trickle down and help out his son. Of course, it didn't.
This boy's belly hangs down to the very top of his thighs. He has a very hard time doing the most simple things in class (like standing up after sitting).
I'm finally at a point where I'm so ugly at his folks that I'm wondering if I can report them for abuse. No, they aren't physically or mentally abusive they are just ruining this boy's life by letting him shovel in all the junk food he possibly can.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to what course of action I might possibly take to help this kid?
Wow, helluva situation you have there bro. It's commendable that you're concerned about him and not just writing he and his folks off as a family of fatties. You need to feel good/proud about that and use that as a postive motivator rather than a distractor.
It seems that your best course of action would be to call a meeting with the parents, in attendance should be you, them, and perhaps a third party mediator so that the conversation won't get too one sided or overly passionate concerning the future of their boy. In the times we live in it's good to have a mediator in these types of situations just in case the parents want to turn into dickheads and sue you for something...
If you're able to achieve this meeting, you should work the angle of the boys health and well being, tactfully explaining the dangers of morbid obesity at such a young age as well as the kind of lifestyle he'll be living as a young teenager/adult. Since you're not a dietary expert you can't officially give them dietary tips, but you can break down what the boy currently eats and make suggestions to get him on the right track...
I know that you're running a business and not a charity, so the dollars and cents of you spending time on this one student might be nagging at you. But you're in a position to really help this whole family and the intervention you make now might change their life for the good. Something you can't put a pricetag upon.
Good luck bro, here's to you doing the right thing.
Try talking to the kid himself, rather than the parents. I don't know if you read it, but there was a link to a story by Henry Rollins in one of the other posts. I have it printed out at my desk here at work.
Here is the link off of the bottom of the printout barnahog.perpetualstroll.org/rollins-iron.htm
This country is getting fatter and dumber and slower. We're falling behind in innovation, intellectual stimulation and scientific revelation.
Sad ass situation, the dismal downfall of this nation.
Im glad to hear someone else out there thinking like me. Fat asshole parents fucking up thier childs chances of getting laid, making friends, getting an eduation, getting a job and living a long prosperous life. Typical family structure. Never realizing the role of image in this country and self-image to person. Fuck the parents. Brain-wash the kid into an active healthy lifestyle. Ive done it. Kids love mentors. Someones gotto lead the way.
America needs more people like you.
Dont let the dumb think for themselves, theyre just too stupid.
I agree that talking to the kid by himself might be the best course of action first. Then if he truely wants to change and get fit, the parents can be brought in with the kid and you and you can let the parents know what the kid is feeling.
On a side note, Social Services has been involved in these types of cases in the past...depending on the situation the Courts can be involved. But that would be the absolute last resort. Having DSS and the courts involved can get ugly real fast.
A very commendable thought but remember that the kid being 9 years old is pretty much in the hands of his parents for support. Be careful with how you approach this situation because in the end you are a third person and nothing more.
Elevationgain is very right with his post. Great insight.
When I was little (until I was put in foster care), this is what I was fed during a typical day:
Breakfast: Sugar laden cereal such as Corn Pops or Honey Comb
Snack: Gummy fruit snack
Lunch: Mr. Noodles, or those tinned ravioli things that I wouldn't feed my dog
Snack: Cookies from a box
Super: Pizza, or Kraft dinner and hot dogs, potato chips were often served as a side dish
Snack: More cookies and Pepsi
Thank goodness I went into foster care and learned how to eat properly at a young age. My two sisters stayed with my parents and today both are quite overweight, I feel sorry for them. This is partially why I don't believe in that "it's my genetics" excuse.
I knew full well at the time that we ate like crap because I learned about it in school. Had some teacher pulled me aside and suggested I bring fruit to school instead of the garbage I was bringing it wouldn't have done me any good. If I had asked for healthier food I would have been slapped. My suggestion would be not to put the extra stress on the kid, it is his parent's responsibility to feed him properly. Hopefully they are reasonable people and will not get too defensive if you try to talk to them.
Anyway, good luck. I think that is really sad what they are doing to that kid.
Have a chat with the kid but you need a game plan that is a bit different from adults. A 9 year old has very different set of drivers and frame of reference. Heart attacks, stroke, diabetes,..etc do not exist in their world. They get colds or the flu. Going on a date... that's still several years over the horizon.
Try relating weight loss in a positive light to an activity he enjoys, martial arts as an example. Maybe there's a weakness in his training that you can use to illustrate the point. Example: Loosing some weight will let him have more energy at the end of a round. Then suggest some small changes to his diet like ditching 1 of the 2 sodas per day. Ordering the 'medium' value meal insted of the large.