WELL DONE on taking an active role in supporting your child towards health. Reading this article and making the call to the Rites of Passage Obesity, Health and Wellness Camp begins a process in which your involvement is invaluable. You are part of the support system that will help bring about success in your child’s endeavor to lose weight, get in shape and continue on a journey of health.
Due to the nature of the unique wilderness component of our program it may not be possible for parents to see their child for several weeks at a time. They will be busy out on an adventure in the stunning Olympic National Park or the San Juan Islands. However parents will be able to stay in touch through letter communications, and indeed this is a highlight of the child’s week to get letters from home. Additionally we post photos of our students on trail twice a week to keep parents involved with their kid’s experiences.
In this day of technology, the art of letter writing is being pushed out of existence by an influx of ‘C U L8R’ and ‘LOL, TTYL’ and we have found that parents love to get hand-written letters from their children and vice versa. They are an important tool to stay connected, give encouragement and keep updated on the sometimes deep issues that our students are working to overcome.
Parental interaction with the therapist
Weekly telephone discussions with the child’s therapist are an essential component to the overall success of a child’s efforts to live a healthier lifestyle. The therapist will also keep parents abreast of developments and give tailored suggestions on how to best support their child to make positive changes.
This is a tool that we use to enable the parents to prepare for their child’s aftercare, which is crucial for them to stay committed to their healthy lifestyle when they get home. By developing healthy routines and making changes in the home environment, parents are demonstrating their love and support.
Examples of how parents can prepare for a child’s return home include:
- Read up on relevant literature
- Empty the house of junk food or other trigger foods identified by the child
- Address specific family dynamics that may be causing negative reactive eating behaviors
- Arrange other activities as discussed during the program e.g. set up a gym membership, help buy a home workout DVD.
At the Rites of Passage Obesity, Health and Wellness Camp, we passionately believe in the strength of support and team work in supporting a participant’s journey to success. We provide the students and their families with the tools they need to make positive changes and develop new habits.