It’s not so much a class as an out of school time program, but we definitely chat with the kids about their goals — even if just to say “That’s a great goal this week!”
When I asked R about it, I approached it wrong. I sounded concerned, and told her that I didn’t think she needed to lose weight. But for someone who views themselves as needing to lose weight (especially if they don’t need to), that’s more likely to make them tune out than anything, to view the person saying so as someone that doesn’t understand. I was just so stunned. No matter what I said after that point, no matter how supportive, was in one ear and out the other for R.
So tomorrow I’m going to approach it a different way. I’m going to tell R that being healthy is a really admirable goal, and ask her WHY she feels like she should lose weight, and what her goal is more specifically — if it’s to look a certain way, to feel a certain way, etc. And we’ll go from there, and hopefully in a healthier direction once I know what it is she’s really going for.
And because this has come up before — the dieting thing, the weight thing — I’m going to talk to my supervisor tomorrow about making one of our themed weeks in the summer about nutrition and health. We need to redirect their views of what’s healthy away from negative body image and toward healthy lifestyles.
Over the summer in general, we’re also going to start having them make paper trails of long-term goals, which I’ll do a how-to post and follow-up (once the kids have done it and I can assess how it went) later this month or so.
Thank you for the awesome question, by the way.