How Weight Can Interfere with Socialization
Updated: Nov 13
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Has your child cried because they didn’t make the sports team?
Are they unable to do activities that all their friends are doing?
Do they have a hard time finding confidence to go shopping or hang-out with friends?
Socialization is a HUGE part of any child’s, teen’s, or college student’s life. It is where they learn the rules of society, learn how to make friends, and find their sense of self.
When I complete an evaluation with a child who struggles with their weight, socialization is usually one of their driving forces. They usually want to work on “keeping up with their friends” or “not feeling ashamed.”
Whether it’s being picked last for the kickball team, sweating too much on their way to school, or being last to cross the finish line in gym class, weight can hold children back from socializing.
In college, it may impact the student’s desire to go meet friends, date, participate in social clubs, or join fraternities and sororities. In high school, a child may not want to do after school activities, may sit alone at lunch, or have difficulty making friends. As a little kid, they may not want to play outside with their friends or on the playground.
Ultimately, this could lead to mental health difficulties.
1. Body Confidence – we want your child to be confident in their body, no matter the shape or size! In our one-to-one sessions we work on ways to inspire children to appreciate their unique body.
2. Building Skills – many people don’t realize that there may be some underlying skills that could be making it difficult for a child to run with their friends, or play sports. There has actually been some research showing a link between Developmental Coordination Disorder and Childhood Obesity. We work on improving their strength, coordination, and balance so that they can be more confident being physically active!
3. Practicing Meal Independence – we work on navigating the cafeteria/restaurants and cooking to make sure your child feels comfortable picking out or preparing a healthy meal.
4. Sensory Processing – I once worked with a child who threw up anytime her friends ate fruit at the table with her. Of course, this impacted her ability to eat with her family and friends. During occupational therapy sessions, we work on a gentle approach to getting children used to new foods! This can also be just as helpful for the college student who gags when they take a bite of yogurt (me as a college junior).
OT 4 ME offers Telehealth (online video) sessions so that kids can learn healthy lifestyles from the comfort of your own home.
If this sounds good to you, contact us for a FREE lifestyle consult!
If you want to get started on getting your child eating vegetables RIGHT now check out our free E-book!
Let’s make healthy fun,
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OT 4 ME
PO Box 273965
Boca Raton, FL 33427