Wanting Health and Happiness for Daughter

By Annie Lane

January 3, 2021 4 min read

Dear Annie: I've noticed in the past several months that my 15-year-old daughter has been steadily gaining weight. I have struggled with my weight most of my adult life and absolutely do not want my daughter to have the insecurities and low self-esteem that I have.

She is not active at all, and remote learning isn't helping the situation. I encourage her to make healthier choices but have to be very careful with what I say, especially because weight and self-image are such a touchy subject with any girl or woman. Is this something my daughter will have to figure out on her own? — Hoping You Can Help

Dear Hoping: The answer to your question — if this is something she has to figure out on her own — is yes and no. Take the focus off the numbers on the scale and move it onto feeling good in your body. If you start to walk and do a form of exercise that makes your body feel good, then she will follow you. Self-esteem is created from within; it's not something we gain by looking a certain way.

Find a sport or activity that she might enjoy. Fifteen-year-olds have lots of energy, and she can channel some of that by being part of a sports team. It doesn't matter if she is a good athlete; what counts is that she is having fun. I know that many sports are on hold for now because of lockdowns. By the spring, perhaps she can join a new team. In the meanwhile, the two of you could go for walks together, try yoga classes online or find time to dance to the latest TikTok craze.

Continue to focus on your own health and happiness, remembering that more is caught than taught. If she sees you exercising, making healthy food choices and being kind to your body, then she is more likely to make the same choices.

Dear Annie: This is addressed to "Confused About Cellphones." A partial fix would be to take data off the phones. Our kids have cellphones that text and call only. They have internet usage at home on other devices, and this solution really helps! — A Different Way

Dear Different Way: That sounds very clever. Thanks for sharing.

Dear Annie: I met this guy on a dating app. He seems to be pretty nice, but he's moving too fast. We have only been talking for three days, and he has told me he loves me several times. He seems to be genuine, but I have to protect my heart in case he's not. I want to hang in there because I don't want to miss out on a good guy. But he doesn't want to take things slow. I'm not sure what to do. Please help! — Totally Confused

Dear Totally Confused: Part of a healthy relationship is respecting the other person's personal boundaries. Saying, "I love you" after only three days of talking does seem fast, but you are the only one who knows in your heart if it feels genuine or if it could be reciprocated with time. These are questions for you to ask yourself. And while you're discovering this, clearly communicate that you would like to slow down as you get to know each other more. If he doesn't respect that, then you have to move on. The best guy is the one who respects your boundaries.

"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]

Photo credit: silviarita at Pixabay

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