I came across this article on MSN a few days ago: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/03/moms-diet-for-7-year-old-d… (the original article in Vogue is not accessible online without a subscription)
I’m curious to see your reactions to this story. I was appalled by some of the methods this mother used, but it’s also bringing a renewed focus to the Childhood Obesity Epidemic. Have any of you experienced clients or friends that project their own issues onto their children? Do you have any suggestions in dealing with situations such as these? How could the new ACE Integrated Fitness Model be applied to the psychological/behavioral science aspect that this article addresses?
Personally, I believe it boils down to education.
There are some communities that as a consequence of lack of education and resources make it difficult for many who live in those communities to make sound health decisions because of a variety of circumstances (poverty, lack of quality supermarkets, fast food restaurants on practically every corner etc.). However, it is clear in this article that the mother and daughter are not of the above-mentioned demographic.
From my perspective, what went wrong between the mother and daughter is that the mother was never taught how to make healthy food choices nor the importance of engaging in physical activity.
I was surprised that the reward that the little girl received in the end was more clothing. I would have thought that a person of means would have the education to introduce activities like bike riding, dancing, skiing, swimming, horseback riding, skating at a very young age.
Being a mom, I was under the impression that you don’t have to tell children to play. It is something that they want to do naturally. Mom got some real issues here.
However, to address your question regarding approaching things utilizing the ACE IFT approach, I would question, whether it fits when the focus of the mother and not the daughter is not fitness. Let us not forget that it is called the Integrated FITNESS training.
For me it appears that the mom has an unhealthy relationship with food and she needs to learn first about nutrition and healthy eating so that she can educate her family and be in a position to lead by example.