Jul 13, 2011

When should the government step in with children?

I just read this article and have some very strong opinions: Should parents lose custody of super obese kids?

My answer to the question is no!  I wonder if any one of those researchers have had an overweight child and have had to deal with how society deals with them.  I also wonder if all tests have been done on the children in question.

Here is a link where you can see where your child is on his or her growth chart.

Photo from http://www.sxc.hu
What would give the state the right to take away these children unless they were being abused or neglected?  Awhile ago I wrote a post on a mother at a grocery store that was yelling at her children.  Most people agreed that it was best to stay out of that situation.  Now I wonder what people think about staying out of the situation with an obese child.

I believe the people that think it is okay to take a child away for being super obese may not think it is alright when children start getting taken out of a home with a parent that smokes.  A couple of years ago, part of NY wanted to pass a law that made it illegal to smoke with children in the car. 

Instead of trying to take the children out of the home, teach the parents what healthy food is.  Some parents don't know what healthy food is.  Some people cannot afford the healthy food. Seven dollars will buy a pound of spaghetti, hamburger meat and sauce.  Seven dollars will also buy one pound of fish.  With $7, you can buy two cans of tuns and a loaf of bread.  I didn't know until more recently that potatoes and bananas were not the best choice for my son. 

Another thing is exercise.  Exercise will offset a lot of bad food choices.  If you live in a cold climate, it is hard to get enough exercise.  My son, husband and I always lose weight in the summer because we can actually go outside and enjoy playing ball, swimming, or just getting out of the house.  Exercise has to be fun for a child.  How fun is it to walk around a track 4 times?  Children need friends to play with, but some overweight children have been bullied and made fun of so many times that they don't have the self-confidence to get out there and make friends.

I know it isn't healthy for children to be overweight.  However, I don't feel like the state should be taking these children away unless the parents have been given a warning and a chance to help the child.  The parents should get training on how to feed the child.  The child needs to know what will happen if they don't lose weight.  The parents need to know how to deal with the heartbreak when a child says he or she is still hungry and they have already ate all the food they are allowed to eat.

There is also a correct way to handle the situation.  Never tell a mother or father with the child in a room that the child is fat.  Trust me, we know our children are overweight.  We are the ones that get to wipe their tears.  They know they are overweight.  Help the child know what good food choices are versus bad food choices.  If you tell a child that they should have an apple instead of a bag of chips, they will listen.  Tell a child that they can have a small bag of chips once a week as a reward.  They are like us... they want to know they can still have food they enjoy.  Make it so they can have one can of soda on a free day. 

What do you think?  Do you think a super obese child should be put into a foster care program? Feel free to follow me on facebook


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