How To Talk With Your Child About Weight Loss Surgery
If you’re a parent who’s planning on having gastric bypass, gastric sleeve surgery, or a LAP-BAND procedure, it’s important to speak with your kids about the surgery and the changes they’ll be seeing in you in the upcoming weeks and months. We’ve prepared a quick list of tips on how to talk with your child about weight loss surgery.
Why Your Children Need To Know
While it’s not uncommon for parents to refrain from discussing medical issues with their kids, the dramatic physical changes that you’ll experience after a weight loss procedure means that your children will know that something is very different. Unless you provide them with an explanation that’s easy for them to understand, they might think that you are sick, which can be scary for your kids.
By talking with your children about your weight loss surgery, you’ll help minimize any fears they might have, and create an open line of communication about health and wellness in your home.
Start The Conversation
Chances are good that your kids are well aware of your struggle with your weight – they’ve seen you try different diets, support groups, and exercise programs. Use this as a starting point when you speak with them about your weight loss surgery – explain that you’re having an operation on your stomach so that you can be healthy.
If you’re kids are younger, be sure to talk in terms they can understand. For example, after you are feeling better, you’ll be able to do more fun activities with them, like playing in the park and going for bike rides.
Older children might want to hear about the details of your surgery – they may ask questions about why you need an operation to help you achieve your goal weight, or what the actual procedure does to your body.
Discuss The Plan
Your kids will want to know how long you’ll be in the hospital, and who will be looking after them while you are recovering. Let them know when your surgery is scheduled, and whether or not they can visit you in the hospital. If you need older children to take on extra responsibilities after your procedure, discuss this with them ahead of time to avoid any conflicts over household chores.
Keep The Conversation Going
Children process information differently than adults do, so it’s important to keep an open-door policy when it comes to talking about your bariatric surgery. Don’t be surprised if at first your kids seem uninterested, then later come back to you with questions about your weight loss procedure. They might ask about what kinds of foods you can eat while you’re at the grocery store, or bring up the topic during the ride to school.
Remember that weight loss surgery impacts everyone in your family, and you can be a role model for your kids by practicing open, honest communication about your struggles with obesity.
To learn more about how to talk with your child about weight loss surgery, contact us here at Olde Del Mar Surgical. We understand that bariatric surgery can be a complex, and often confusing issue for children, and we’re here to help you through every step of your weight loss journey.