A recent article published in the New York Times, attributes teen obesity to problematic mother/child relationships. This article stated that teens who had relationship difficulties with their mothers were more than two times as likely to become obese by the time they were teenagers. This might sound like a simple fix all type of dilemma, but improving relationships between mother and child is anything but an easy task.
So what can we as parents do to improve our relationships with our children, so that they don’t become obese, or develop emotional or behavioral problems later on as a result? Well, enter super mom, super therapist, Mary Moore. Mary is a licensed therapist who specializes in parenting and working with children under the age of thirteen. Mary’s solution is to start simple. “Improving our relationships with our children shouldn’t be viewed as some one step, massive undertaking, but rather as a simple step by step process that begins with improving upon the time spent with each other at home”.
According to Mary, improving our relationships with our children should start with increasing the amount of quality shared time that we spend together. “Build in daily small moments, and make them a habit. It doesn’t have to start all at once, but by playing games, taking walks, sitting down as a family for dinner, reading together, and joining them in their interests, we as mothers can make a significant impact, not only our children’s lives, but ours as well, all the while, improving our relationships we have with our children”. Just a few minutes a day and hours a week that we spend with our children can have a profound influence on how they view us as parents. One of the most important of these connected moments is factoring in child chosen time. “If you have a kid who loves legos, then spend some time building legos with them, or if you have a child who loves sports, spend some time kicking a ball, or at least talking with them about it. These kinds of activities and shared moments can make all the difference in the world.
Mary also is quick to mention some important tips when joining your child in shared time and their activities.
1) Don’t choose interests for them
2) Don’t pressure them into spending more time in these interests
3) Don’t let your own stress and agenda overpower the moments you share with them.
“Don’t choose their interests for them, don’t pressure them to spend more time at any one hobby or activity, and whatever you do try and not let your stress and your agenda overpower the moments that you share with your children. If you can remember these tips, then the time spent with your children should be nothing short of a mutually beneficial, wonderful experience”.
Mary Moore’s Parenting with a Purpose group, starts in a few weeks, and there is still plenty of room to sign up.
For more information on Mary Moore and her upcoming groups and events please visit us at http://www.southeastpsych.com/services_groups.htm