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Anyone ever sent their child to a summer weight loss camp?


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I really need some input here. We are considering sending my 9 year old son to a weight loss camp. The reviews online for many camps range from glowing to absolute hatred. Has anyone done this before? What was your experience? How did your child like it? Did it help with exercise/eating issues?

 

Please PM me with info... thanks!

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I really need some input here. We are considering sending my 9 year old son to a weight loss camp. The reviews online for many camps range from glowing to absolute hatred. Has anyone done this before? What was your experience? How did your child like it? Did it help with exercise/eating issues?

 

Please PM me with info... thanks!

 

 

Not me, personally, but I have a niece who went (I think she was 11 or 12 at the time). It did not help her. Her parents had the best intentions, and I believe they were kind and gentle with her, but she said she felt humiliated that she was sent there at all. Although she talked about the self-esteem building part of the camp a lot, she admits it only worked while she was there at the camp. Once back home, she was too embarrassed to even admit she'd gone there, and old low-self-esteem returned almost as soon as she went back to school. She did lose some weight at camp, but gained it all back again before Christmas break. She is currently 16 and much slimmer, but that has been her own initiative.

 

Overall, it was just not a positive experience for her. I can see her point. At that age, I would have felt very bad about myself if my parents sent me to weight loss camp. I know it's a difficult thing to balance your concern for your kid with their own sense of self-esteem and body issues. Is there anything else you could try first? I'll echo Jean's advice to talk to your pediatrician, too.

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I have no experience and only you, as a parent, can decide if it is the right choice for your child. I can only imagine that it would be a difficult decision and might lead to poor self-esteem for the child. Depending on how overweight your child is, is it possible that you could just find a summer camp that encourages exercise/outdoor activity along with healthy eating habits?

Wishing you the best in your decision. Obviously, you are a caring parent that is seeking to help your child form healthy habits. I hope you find something that will work best for your family.

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I can see the desire to help your child make positive changes but I would strongly caution you to consider how you would feel if your parents sent you there. The end doesn't justify the means, imo. I think just about any kid would feel at least a little unloved and humiliated.

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I can see the desire to help your child make positive changes but I would strongly caution you to consider how you would feel if your parents sent you there. The end doesn't justify the means, imo. I think just about any kid would feel at least a little unloved and humiliated.

This.

 

I wasn't sent to a summer camp, but I *was* put on a diet by my mom when I was 13, and "unloved and humiliated" is exactly how it made me feel. I can only imagine how much more magnified those feelings would have been if they had sent me to a camp. It made me feel as if my parents didn't love me for who I was, and would only completely love me if I got skinny. It back-fired, and I purposely stayed overweight well into my 20's (until I had kids of my own) and used it as a litmus test of sorts, to find out who loved me and who didn't (i.e. who would still accept me treat me right as a fat person. sadly, it wasn't a whole lot of people, but I was blessed to find a few gems, including my husband). It also put a permanent dent in my relationship with my parents.

 

I think the FAMILY fitness camp sounds like a much better idea! I would have thought something like that would be a complete blast when I was a kid.

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children. Ours offers programs that teach good nutrition and are sport specific ( i.e. running, swimming, resistance training) for kids who struggle with weight issues.

 

For such a young kiddo, I'd first look for local resources before commiting to a summer camp.

 

Probably the most beneficial thing you can do for him is change the entire families eating habits. If anyone else struggles with weight in your immediate family, then family dietary changes would not only benefit him but other family members as well.

Good luck.

Edited by Stacy in NJ
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I agree with others' concerns, but also: suppose he loses weight at camp. What happens when he comes home? Anyone can lose weight in an artificial setting where everything you do is strictly controlled, but that doesn't mean that anything will be different in your normal environment.

 

I would instead look for ways to become more active as a family - things that are sustainable for the long term.

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