Child Bodybuilder

by james18007 on September 18, 2013 - 7:12pm

I chose this article about a young bodybuilder because I regularly workout at the gym and often see young teenagers there simply because they want to be with their friends. They don't really have a clue how to workout. In the article however, the child that is working out clearly knows how to workout. At the same time, I have never seen anyone this young doing any bodybuilding before. The boy is only nine years old, and has been trained by his father since the age of two years old. This article led me to ask myself the question: Should any parent be putting their pre-pubescent child through such intense workouts?

 

Personally, I don't think that parents should be forcing their children to work out at any age, the child should be able to choose what he wants  to do with his own body. As the father started training his son at the age of two years old, the little boy was clearly not free to choose if he wanted to do this or not. Now that the boy is nine years old, he seems to be ok with his intense workouts. However, he still may be too young to fully understand what he is doing and why he is doing it. The father could simply be training his son for his own personal benefit as his son is becoming more and more popular and may make a lot of money in the future.

 

Some may argue that the father is helping his son. He is educating his son on how to properly train his body and he is making sure that he is living an active lifestyle. He is also raising the self-confidence of his son, as he is probably stronger than just about any nine year old. With doing these workouts, the boy can easily perform demanding physical activities and feel proud of himself.

 

Let me finish by asking this question: at what age do you think children can make truly informed decisions?

 

http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/the-nine-year-old-romanian-strongman-and-his-pissed-off-dad-000300-v20n8

 

Comments

I am also thinking that the children should themselves decide when they want to work out. Personally, I think that like most of the gyms in Québec, the age should be 16 or 18 years old. I think this subject is directly in link with the fact that frequently, parents forced their child to play a sport and often, this is an un-accomplish dream of the parent, who try to "transmit" it at their child. The most of the time, the child will love it on the start but when he will grow up, he will find it uninteresting and will stop play sport/work out. That’s why I agree with you when you say the children/teenagers should decide by themselves.

I was interested in this blog spot because bodybuilders always chocked me and thinking that a child could be one astonished me completely. I wondered if society’s influence became so strong that it now turns kids into bodybuilders…

I do not think that an age at which children can make truly informed decisions can be decided upon. Mainly because many variables affect the level of knowledge of people particularly at a young age. In general, every individual’s knowledge is influenced by his political, environmental, cultural and financial situation. Before going to school, the only means by which children learn is their parents. Therefore, their thoughts are based more on their parent’s point of view rather than on their own life experiences. Many children take a long time before discovering who they are. Also, to take a truly informed decision, children need information about the subject in question. However, not every kid has access to such information, knows how to look for it or can distinguish unbiased sources. I think that all children become capable of taking their own decisions at different ages, because in the end, every child is different.

I also believe that parents should not be putting their pre-pubescent child through such intense workouts because it can affect their child’s natural development. Every parent one day makes their kid go to dance, hockey, gymnastic, swimming or karate lesson. But all of this is for them to discover new passions, make friends and learn to stay healthy; not to turn them into machines. I feel that it is important that parents do not pursue their lost dreams or passions through their children. A child should be able to discover on his own and take his own decision on rather or not he likes something. Therefore, it is unconceivable for me to put a child through intense workouts. At a young age, children are not aware of what they are doing and the affect it can have on them. Intense workouts at a young age can make growth, muscles, bones and articulation problems develop more easily. Intense workouts in whatever sport should be pursued only by someone who is fully aware of all that it implies. Most of young children cannot take that decision and in order to respect their child, parents should not take that decision for them.

I totally reject the view that parents help their children raise their self-esteem and have a healthy lifestyle by putting them through intense workouts. At a young age, children do not have any concern of their self-esteem. They are still at a time where they just have fun and learn new things. Therefore, I don’t think that raising children's self-esteem is a valuable argument for putting them through intense workouts since children at that age did not develop this concept. Moreover, teaching your kid how to live a healthy lifestyle does not mean turning him into a professional athlete. There is a difference between teaching your child how to train his body and forcing him into intense workouts. I think that it is great that parents teach these things to their children because it is important to be healthy. However, I believe that it is the individual’s right to decide with which intensity he will follow these advices.

Not only parents, but the whole society applies a great amount of pressure on teenagers as well. Here is a link to an online article about the pressure teenagers feel in high school. http://www.news.com.au/national-news/nsw-act/teenagers-are-snapping-as-p...

This article caught my attention since I have already argued about this subject with a couple of my friends. I usually train at different locations around the city and whether it’s on the tennis court, inside the boxing ring, in the pool or at the weight lifting room, parents always seem to bring their children with them. Some, I must admit, are more demanding of their children and expect nothing but a full commitment. While others just follow the "monkey see, monkey do” philosophy and hope for the best. As far as fitness and physical activity is concerned, I think that there should be no age barrier to make take the necessary decisions. In fact, sports MUST be pursued at a young age in order to answer to some degree of talent. If we look at the current sports personalities we realize that most of them pursued their respective physical activities at a very young age which allowed them to climb up the ranks and be as gifted as they are today.

That being said, I also believe that the decision is entirely entitled to the child and that parents should not force their children to workout intensely. Consider, however, the opposite…Some children can be very passionate about what they do and will train intensely by themselves. Indeed, I know many children that are willing to surpass their limits and spend most of their time training because they enjoy doing so and ironically, their parents are concerned about them training too much. Often times it is due to fallacies such as "weight training will stunt my child's growth". These are misconceptions and are unsupported by scientific fact! Thus, by the same train of thought, these parents should not force their children to stop training.

As implied by the second set of arguments in the blog post, some might think that the parents are helping their children and that children need someone to "push" them (because of their timidity, laziness, etc.). There is a limit to the amount of "pushing" to be done however. If the parent is trying to live their dream through his child then that is not right because the child has had their own set of experiences and might not appreciate what they're doing. While many of the sports personalities mentioned above enjoy what they're doing, some of them don’t. To them, the sport in question represents pain, sadness and arguments they had with their parents. They continue to do it however, because they have been taught skills that are only related to a particular physical activity.

All and all, when both the parent and the child are involved, it is hard to distinguish between the child’s desire and the parent’s desire. In other terms, it is hard to figure out who is truly passionate and who is committing their time to make the other’s dreams come true. The case explained in the article is similar to one I have previously read about:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/boxing/la-sp-kid-fighter-20130426-dto,0,20...

This post caught my attention because lately, I have been thinking a lot about the influence of parents have on their children. I’ve been thinking about it not only because my last post was about gender selection, but also because I discovered it would be possible in the future to choose the physical traits of IV embryos.

To answer your question, I think that the ability to make informed decisions is not about the age, but about the education. A young adult can be as ignorant as a fourteen years old kid depending on their basic knowledge as well as their desire to learn. Therefore, it’s not possible to determine whether or not a child is capable of taking important decisions at a specific age. Each case is different and has to be studied deeply before a conclusion is drawn.

However, in the case mentioned in your post, I personally don’t think it is right for the father to push his young children to work out every day. The reason why is simple: both the children and the father are not aware of the consequences of intense workout during growth period. All they know is that at this moment, the kids are perfectly healthy, and they don’t seem to care about what could happen in future. Moreover, I agree with what you say about the father maybe doing it only for fame and money. To support this supposition, I may add that according to the article, he brought his son on Romania’s Got Talent, created a YouTube channel for them and even asks for donations from fans. The point I’m trying to make is that if he was doing it for his children to be healthy, he probably wouldn’t be doing all of these things. However, we could still think he is concerned about his sons’ health since he went to see a doctor for an evaluation, but I think he could have done it to prove people that what he is not a wrong person.

The following article called “Pushy parents ‘are chasing lost dreams’ trying to make their children succeed” by Nick McDermott suggests that some parents are trying to live unfulfilled dreams through their children. Do you think it is the case for the father we are talking about?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2344790/Pushy-parents-chasing-lo...