By Samantha Bellerose, B.Ed, Dip.Dance (Performing Arts)
Your child loves to dance. They love ballet or they might be into hip hop, jazz, tap or even ballroom dancing. The thing is the baby fat you always hoped would shift with all this extra activity they are doing is not moving.
Now as a parent, female and mother I know – you would have no problem with that, you love your kid just the way they are – every type of body is ok!
But your child loves to dance -they are starting to take it more seriously than a hobby.
And the basic fact of the whole matter is that although the dance world is creative, exciting, wonderful and becoming more inclusive towards everybody being a dance body you are still finding that in the “dance world” if your body doesn’t fit the mold of what a dancer ‘should‘ stereotypically look like then the world of dance can be a cruel world of exclusivity that doesn’t always easily include your child.
1. Your First Point of Action Should Be To Visit Your Doctor.
You want to help your child achieve their dreams and so naturally you would go to your family doctor and exclude any sort of underlying medical condition before you tried anything else.
2. Reviewing Medical Results
And so after a full examination, you are advised that apart from your child’s or teens body mass index (how the doctor measured your child’s weight compared to their height) which places them into the category of being overweight or obese they are perfectly healthy and that your kid or teen just needs to eat healthier and do more exercise.
3. Your Reaction and Action to Your Child’s Medical Results
You defend your child to your doctor telling them they are active, they do three dance classes a week among other things and that they eat just like any other teenager or child you know.
They give you a whole heap of pamphlets with advice, websites and phone numbers on them and send you out the door. You get home browse the information but then get on the web and start searching for things like ‘how to lose belly fat for kids or how to lose weight fast for teens and you are hit with a ton of information about the best diet for fast teen weight loss or how to lose thigh fat for 12-year-olds and all you want to know is how on earth you are going to get YOUR kid to lose weight?
4. Assigning Blame – Whose Fault is it??
And here is the thing in the back of your mind if it they haven’t already surfaced are thoughts of blame and shame. Blaming yourself for what your child is eating, blaming your grandmother for the big-boned genetics, blaming your partner for their weekly fast food habit, blaming your parents for all the treats they give your kids, and how this has caused them to pester and pester and pester you at home for them until you cave.
You are ashamed, I mean how did you let your child become overweight or obese? I mean seriously how dare the doctor even say that about your kid!
5. Letting go of the Blame and Shame!
So let it all out be angry, feel ashamed, get all that blame out.
Have a good cry… release it all…. because you need to! You need to feel this stuff so that you can get back to the truth of the situation and own your power and your choices from this point forward because from this point you now know and you can never go back from knowing.
Of course, as the parent of your child, you are not blind and you could see that your child had a little extra baby weight hanging around.
But like most parents we hope that they ‘will grow out of it’. Maya Angelou said ‘do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better’.
She also said ‘if you are trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be’ and so to make it really clear the point of this article is not to body shame and say you need to be skinny and thin to dance.
We here at danceparent101 are of the opinion that absolutely anyone of any size and ability has the right to perform and dance, but the thing is you wouldn’t be here reading this if you weren’t looking for answers right?
6. Begin to Work on a Solution
What we are about to tell you is controversial and you are not going to want to hear it! It is the best and the most successful way to give your child or teen who is living in your home the biggest chance to be healthier, to be fitter and to possibly lower their BMI.
We are about to give you the number one absolute top tip that will help your child or teen (who has no medical conditions) lose weight.
Are we building it up enough???
Because once you read it you can’t go back from knowing!!!