Tue | May 30, 2023

My son is overweight

Published:Monday | January 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Q My son is 12 years old and overweight. It is hereditary. His father is built like an American football player. His grandfather is big too and is 86 years old with no health problems. He now wants to go on a diet as he thinks he is too big. What do I do?

A. Children nowadays are largely influenced by a culture that says slim is great. You need to sit him down and talk to him about his hereditary issues. You can also encourage him to eat healthily and exercise. Take him to the paediatrician and have him checked to determine if there are any concerns for his physical health. Encourage him to participate in sporting activities.

Q. I read your column each week. I do not really have a problem but I find that my teenage daughter sticks more to me than to her mother. At 13, I think that is not normal. She complains that her mother is miserable. I am a more laid-back person. How do I handle this situation?

A. It is great that she is talking with you now. This may change in a few weeks, months or years. I am sure she thinks her mom is miserable, as mom is probably firm about the rules at home, school and play. Ensure yourself and her mother have the same consequences for actions taken so she does not try to outsmart you both.

Q. I have a concern about computers for children as young as three years old. Is it okay to have them playing on them so young?

A: It is absolutely OK for a three year old to play with and learn to use a computer. Remember this is the tool that they will use in the future for almost all tasks that they will do. The earlier they learn to master computer skills, the better they will be at many tasks they will have to do. It is going to be important that you monitor your child. Have someone show you how to block inappropriate sites and always sit with your child while he or she is using the computer.

Orlean Brown Earle, PhD, is a child psychologist and family therapist. Dr Brown Earle works with children with learning and behaviour problems throughout the island and in the Caribbean. Email questions to helpline@gleanerjm.com or send to Ask the Doc, c/o The Gleaner Company, 7 North Street, Kingston.