Can a ten year old child be a fitness freak?
Can you imagine a ten year old kid going to a gym regularly and running on a treadmill? Yes, I witnessed the scene. Few days back, I bumped into my neighbor and his ten year old kid in the vegetable market. They were just out of the gym. Tired, yet filled with positive energy. As I we walked back to our home, the child stated, ‘Aunty, today I ran 200 times on the treadmill. Slowly I will increase and compete with dad. Then I will become thin’. I was speechless. I was smiling from outside and astonished from inside. I asked the child, why do you go to the gym? She stated, ‘I am fat. I will reduce, become thin and be able to wear all types of clothes and look beautiful’. The reply dazed me. We reached our respective homes and walked into our path. Such conversations always end up lingering with abrupt questions. The question that popped my heart was, ‘Can a ten year old child be a fitness freak?’
Long before I overlooked this thought, I desired to pen down my views about the same. After college and especially post wedding, I have put on weight like leaps and bounds. The idea of reducing of weight still rests inside me. Forget going to a gym, the systematic zeal and zest to go for an hour of walking or practice some basic exercises at home daily, seems to be missing within me. Kudos to the kid’s drive to achieve her health goals at such young age. Absolutely inspiring.
The idea of staying fit is undoubtedly appreciative. However, the idea of staying slim and trim so that she could wear all kinds of clothes and look beautiful is definitely questionable. When I was ten, I did not know the concept of ‘looking beautiful’. Howsoever, my mother dressed me up, I believed I looked very pretty and beautiful. Now, times have changed, and the perception of ‘looking beautiful’ has also been altered. Today a ten year old kid goes to gym to reduce herself, so that she can wear all types of clothes and look beautiful.
I am not shocked at the kid. I am upset with the parents. I am sad about the kind of conversations that child must have had with her near and dear ones, that led her to such thoughts in her mind. I am dismayed with the kind of statements, we as a society, must have voiced, looking at the size and shape of the small child. I am unable to come to terms with the mental state of the small child.
We live in a generation where our food habit is obsessed with fast food and a lot of junk. The constant fear of all kinds of infections worries us. Hence it is essential to have a constant check on our child’s health. Yes, it is vital to groom a healthy child. Nonetheless, it must be a constructive way of grooming, without any kind of criticisms that would hurt the child’s self-esteem. Never have the conversations of beauty and figure with the child.
If you feel your child is getting plumper and unhealthy, indulge them into some kind of sports or physical activity which they prefer, in the most fun filled fashion. Sports will not only help the child to stay fit and healthy, but also develop a positive attitude and higher self-esteem towards herself. Sports will make her look beautiful not just outside, but also from inside, boosting their confidence towards life. Do not turn the thought of being a fitness freak into fitness fanaticism by sending children to the gym.
A food for thought for all the parents and everyone who handles children. It is a wake-up call. Go have a healthy, happy and helpful conversations with your child. Watch your words when you speak to those tiny tots. Your words are the mirror into their life. Above all, no matter what, it’s your blood. Do not deprive your child from its childhood, for the forged worries of the world.