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Old 12-16-2007, 10:47 AM   #1
Bryant A Buchanan
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I need advice from a parent

I am going to be watching my nephew and niece for awhile until winter break is over. So my sister can go on a cruise and also she thinks that I can instill some sort of discipline in them which I highly doubt I can. Dealing with Soldiers is one thing dealing with kids is another especially when the aren't yours. She tell's them stories that makes me seem mean lol.


One thing to say is both of them are very overweight for there age and I am sure are teased about it. I was also over weight when I was younger so I know the teasing they go through.My family is real big on fried and fatty food and preach that good ole gospel of you ain't fat you are big boned.


Ok problem is last night I made them chicken breast and veggies. Do you know they had the nerve to tell me they aren't going to eat it unless they have some french fries and bbq sause or ketchup? So I was kind of irritated by this and called my sister and told them I didn't like that disrespect and she said whip them. I'm not going to do that. So I told my nephew to do pushups until I was tired and my niece proceeded to eat her veggies when I did that.

Fast forward to this morning I got them up early to go to the park I thought all kids loved the park I used to. Well they had enough nerves to say it was cold outside and that they didn't want to go. So I let them stay in and watch tv.

My question is how do you get kids active, and how do you get them to eat there veggies? Also what are some good forms of corrective training to use? I'm one more I'm not doing this or no away from having them both do burpees. My nephew is 8 and niece is 6btw.

Last edited by Bryant A Buchanan : 12-16-2007 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:02 AM   #2
Michelle Cole
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Re: I need advice from a parent

I grew up with the "three bite" rule. I always had to eat three bites of whatever I didn't like before I could leave the table. Meat was allways the easy part, it was the brocolli and cauliflower I had an issue with.

As far as activity, what about telling them they cannot stay inside and have to go out to play(acompanied, of course). Not like they can bring the video games and t.v. with them. Even if they do nothing, it's a start. They may eventually get bored and come up with something to do. Even whining gets boring... Patience is the key, though. Baby steps...
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:30 AM   #3
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: I need advice from a parent

A couple of things to think about:

First, in one week you aren't going to change these kids in any kind of essential way no matter what you do.

Second, you're the uncle, not the parent. As the adult in charge, you have the temporary responsibility for their well-being, and the right to set your household rules and have them respected.

Kids do best when their points of view are understood, even when you have to frustrate them. They also do best when they know what to expect, because a predictable environment helps them feel less helpless, and that's a good thing. They also do well when they have some choices.

If these kids are used to crappy food and sedentary activities....it's not their fault. It is, sadly, up the parents to raise healthy children. So remember, they are laboring under a handicap of their upbringing to date.

If it were me, here's what I'd do:

I'd have a long talk with them about having a good week together. I would share with them my wish that we have some fun. I would acknowledge to them that it can be hard to be a guest in someone else's house, and tell them to let you know if they are feeling upset.

I would go on to tell them that every household is different, and that in your house, there are some rules they may not be used to. First of all, if you are serving good food, the rule is "take it or leave it." They don't have to eat what you serve (they won't starve) but the only alternative to eating what you serve is one PB&J sandwich.

Second, I think you can acknowledge that not everything you have for them to do will be fun, but that you want them to try new things. Then, if you take them to the park, make it fun for them. Get cardboard boxes and go sleddding..do it with them. The best antidote for electronic-centered kids is adult attention, the fun and good kind.

When you can offer them choices, do so. "We can go to the park or we can go take a walk tonight and look at Christmas lights, which would you prefer?" Play cards with them in the evening, or board games. Have fun making something healthy for dinner together---teach them how to cook!

Make sure they know what the limits are. I find it helps to be specific. I have teenagers. Today I told them, "I am vacuuming at 11:30am. Any bedroom not tidied and picked up and ready to be vacuumed at 11:30 nets its owner an extra chore." (They did their regular chores.) Believe me, the rooms were ready at 11:30am, 'cause they know I will follow through, nobody wants an extra chore!

Be patient, be kind, be firm.

Good luck!
Susie
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:37 AM   #4
Garrett Bartholme
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Re: I need advice from a parent

It's not the kids that need to change it's their parents, the kids will follow on. Sorry to be so harsh.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:45 AM   #5
Bryant A Buchanan
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Re: I need advice from a parent

I know. And I hate to say it until I left home I was falling down the same traps and it took me awhile to break those habits. Fried Chicken, Soda, Burgers, are in my opinion about as addictive as any drug. And it's hard to shake the monkey because it's an accepted habit.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:57 AM   #6
Craig Brown
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Re: I need advice from a parent

Personally, all the above are right on. I would be working on coming up with ANY fun active play you can...really anything. Best thing we ever did was raise kids without a TV in the house.

Craig
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:20 PM   #7
Brad Davis
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Re: I need advice from a parent

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Originally Posted by Bryant A Buchanan View Post
...My question is how do you get kids active, and how do you get them to eat there veggies? Also what are some good forms of corrective training to use? I'm one more I'm not doing this or no away from having them both do burpees. My nephew is 8 and niece is 6btw.
Good luck. A kid must *want* to be more active or they'll do it when forced, but that'll be the last time.

I think you're smart for not wanting to delve too deeply into disciplining them. That's hard enough for a parent. Besides, if you're 1% too rough on them by her standards, your sister will likely jump all over you. Besides, they're not going to "get disciplined" during a few days.

I'd say just have a good time with them and show them the example of being happy because you're healthy and active. That might leave an impression or plant a seed.

Edit: and oh yeah, Susie just absolutely nailed the entire subject!!

Last edited by Brad Davis : 12-16-2007 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:20 PM   #8
Juan Cantu
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Re: I need advice from a parent

So far, everything that everyone has said has been correct, and yes, as harsh as it is ... your sister let them be this way.

In my opinion, make the food you want to cook, and thats what they eat. If they refuse to eat, say something along the lines as " Well, thats all I made, so you can either eat or not, your choice ". So either they eat healthy, or not at all. Either way, its better then eating unhealthy or fast food. And within a day, they will eat ... dont worry about it. I can guarantee they arent stubborn or strong willed enough in their ways to starve for more then a day.

As far as activites .. probably simple things as cleaning up and moving around the house, is obviously better then sitting on a couch all day or in front of a computer. Put them to good use and have them clean. If the house is already clean, clean the garage. Garage is already clean ? Got an empty room, or a room that doesnt have much stuff ? Have them empty it and paint it. HA. Seems cruel, but it does NO harm.

And eventually with this, they will be glad to go out into the 'cold' and do something. Dont they have sweaters or jackets ?

I literally walked 2miles to school back and forth in Alaska.

Anywho ... thats all I can suggest.

P.S. Evacuate ANYTHING they would prefer as food over your cooking, ie: chips, dip, soda, whatever ..... but I doubt u have that stuff, RIGHT ??!!!

p.s.s "taking someone" to the park , is well, like a dog. Once you get there, what the F are you suppose to do ? Maybe have a activity setup before dropping an idea like that ... rent some bikes ? go paintballing ? heck, get them some cheap rollerblades and have at it on the street with a little street hockey and since its cold ...it is fitting.
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:27 PM   #9
Elliot Fuller
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Re: I need advice from a parent

There's another thread in the Fitness forum right now about how to motivate someone's younger brother to take interest in exercise.

As kids, these are habits that aren't going to go anywhere in a week. If you want to help them change, then you need to have a word with the parents. If they're not willing to do it, and you're really interested in making a difference, you could always suggest that every other weekend they come over to stay at your place, and do like an "Uncle Bryant A. Buchanan Weekend" type thing. Don't make it something for them to dread, but rather something for them to look forward to. Replacing junk food is going to be a punishment for them. You need to do it gradually. "If you eat the vegetables, you get a Reese's cup."

Kids have lots of energy, it just sounds like these don't know how to use it correctly. This is the age of the video game, so you can't just pretend they don't exist.

Get a hold of a Wii (good luck finding one at this time of year for under $500 though, heh), and make the video game playing something active, at least. Then, make it into a competition. "If John wins, Susie is it. If Susie wins, John is it." Play a 5 minute video game, then go outside and play tag. Do something active WITH them as a reward instead of as a punishment.

You want to INTEGRATE the activity into the sedentary lifestyle, you don't want to just REPLACE it all together.

You have a little bit of a tough job since you're dealing with 1 boy and 1 girl, whose interests are probably very different. I'd suggest you go play catch, but the girl might not like that. Tag was always fun for me, and looking back I think having a physical challenge integrated into all of that sedentary video gaming would have been a welcome deviation. Like the junk food, don't over-exert them right off the bat. You don't want to make Tag into something they dread. Play games for 5 minutes, then Tag for 5 minutes. The last person who is "it" in tag, gets to play 2nd on the games when you come back in. Something to that effect.

They're young kids, so they won't understand the logic behind any of this. You can try to reinforce it anyways, but don't expect them to grasp it. Just make yourself a part of it, and make it a fun experience for them. You don't want the kids to grow up thinking of exercise, proper nutrition, and physical activity as punishment for not eating their veggies... otherwise with that association they'll NEVER be active.
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:29 PM   #10
Elliot Fuller
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Re: I need advice from a parent

Quote:
teach them how to cook!
Excellent suggestion, by the way. Kids love to get dirty with the cooking
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