So you’ve made the decision to change- you’re ready to take control of your weight and your life. You’re motivated and inspired to make all the necessary changes, to work hard and learn the skills you need to become fit for life. But your parents on the other hand aren’t so ready to support you in the commitment. This is a little write-up geared to help you talk to your parents about Wellspring and your decision to make healthy lifestyle changes.

At Wellspring we hear this complaint frequently: “I really want to go but my parents won’t let me.”

Possibly your parents have financial concerns over sending you to a weight loss program. Possibly your parents are uncomfortable with the idea of sending you away from home. Or, your parents may simply not see the value in learning healthy lifestyle skills.

Usually the best way to resolve a conflict with your parents is to tell them directly how you’re feeling. Your parents can’t guess what you’re thinking; it’s your job to be up front and honest with them. If you find your parents tuning you out, then try to arrange some alone time with them. Whether it’s going out to dinner, taking a drive, or going for a walk, arranging some activity where you can be alone with your parent or parents is a great opportunity to convey how you feel without any distractions. Setting up a time to speak with your parents about your desire to attend Wellspring can show them how serious you are about making a change.

Establish why you want to attend early in the conversation. For some participants it’s a health issue. They know that as an overweight teen, they have an 89 percent chance of becoming an overweight adult, and that they are at risk for heart disease, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, knee and joint problems, and a life span shortened by as much as 14 years.

For other participants they just want to feel better about themselves. They know that obesity is correlated with low self esteem, depression, and social problems. Let your parents know exactly why you want to attend and what positive effect that might have on you in the future, and what negative affects you might suffer if you don’t address your weight now.

Let your parents know what your present level of commitment is and what you are willing to do if they send you. Jotting this information down before you talk to your parents may help. For example, if your parents send you to Wellspring, would you be willing to do more chores around the house? Would you be willing to get a part time job when you return to help pay? Would you be willing to raise your grades at school? Write down what you are willing to do and try to be as specific as possible.

Understand if financial constraints limit your options. Like everything else in life, the best is often the most expensive, and Wellspring is an expensive program. If your parent’s initial reaction is that they can’t afford it, you may be able to work out an arrangement with them where you can assist with financing the program. A significant number of Wellspring participants finance the program through a loan program arranged with our lending partner and it’s not uncommon for parents to have their child be responsible for part of the payment after treatment, whether that’s through a part-time job or by increasing their responsibilities at home.

Sometimes all it takes is simple communication. Be clear with your parents, respect their input, but don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.

If your parents have any questions about the Wellspring Program, have them call the admissions line at: 866-364-0808.