Scale at home vs. scale at doctor's office

Watch Video: Scale at home vs. scale at doctor's office by Cara Natterson, MD, ...
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Scale at home vs. scale at doctor's office

It is really common for girls, in particular, to make comments about their body. Especially as their body is starting to change, they notice the changes. They are very aware of them. As a parent, you want to strike this balance. You want to help keep your kid's self-esteem high, but you want to be honest with them and recognize if there is an issue with weight, so you can do something about it. The first thing I tell parents to do is to check in with their pediatrician. There shouldn't be a scale at home. There should only be a scale at the doctor's office because weight should not be a number that kids are following regularly. What's important is that a child weighs the right amount for how tall they are. When you go to the pediatrician, your child should know that it is their doctors job to let them know if their weight is appropriate for their height. If it is not, if they weigh too much, come up with a plan with the pediatrician right there. The plan should be something for the entire family. You can't ask a child to do one thing and have all the people in the family doing it another way. It is not fair to the child. The other piece is about what your child wants to wear and how they want to show their body. That's really personal. Different kids handle it differently. I see children who are overweight who like to wear skimpy clothes. I've seen children who are underweight and they feel very self-aware and they don't want to show any of their body. I've seen everywhere in between. The reality is that it is your job, as a parent, to help boost your child's confidence and self-esteem in a healthy way. I would honor your child's privacy in wanting to cover up their body a little bit, without allowing your child to feel bad about herself. If there is a problem, solve the problem as a family. Use your pediatrician as your lynch pen so that can be on a team with your child, so that you are not fighting with your child over weight issues or body issues.

Watch Video: Scale at home vs. scale at doctor's office by Cara Natterson, MD, ...


Expert Bio

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Cara Natterson, MD

Pediatrician & Author

Cara Natterson, MD has treated thousands of children and guided their parents as well. She was a partner at Tenth Street Pediatrics in Santa Monica, California, a large group practice serving infants, children and teenagers. She now runs Worry Proof Consulting, the first of its kind pediatric practice that offers parents open-ended time to review everything from medical questions and biology basics to child development and parenting issues. Cara is also the author of several books on parenting and child health. She has a unique ability to translate cutting edge research into understandable terms for parents and their kids. More recently, Cara’s consulting has extended beyond individual families to include fortune 500 companies seeking expert advice on safety issues, child health, and crisis management.

Cara has appeared on television, in print, and on the web. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and she trained in pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco. Cara is a Board certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. And anyone who knows her knows that Cara is, by nature, one of the most risk-averse people on earth. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

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