Friday, January 3, 2014

Farm Kings Q&A: Lisa King on Motivating Children with Down Syndrome

On tonight’s all-new episode of Farm Kings at 9/8c, Joe tasks his mom Lisa and sister Bitty with running a fitness competition to inspire Freedom Farms’ loyal customers to buy local, eat healthy and get fit. The King family practices what they preach. The hardworking farm lifestyle comes naturally to them — but Lisa admits it’s sometimes a bit of a challenge to keep her youngest son, Ben, who has Down syndrome, active.
“Sometimes it’s very difficult to motivate children with Down syndrome,” says Lisa. “You give birth to nine other children who are very athletic, and then you have this child that you have to push and encourage. It’s a struggle for Ben.”
To make exercise fun, Lisa and Bitty started walking Ben down to the family pond with the incentive of feeding their ducks.
“Since we’ve started taking these walks with Ben, he’s lost about five pounds,” adds Lisa.”That just shows me that if I can inspire Ben to lose weight, I can inspire a whole group.” With Ben as her motivation, Lisa aims to inspire her family of customers to eat right and exercise. And she continues to find ways to challenge Ben to stay fit.
“I want to see [Ben] active,” says Lisa. “I want to see him healthy. I want him to outlive me.”
Over the past couple seasons of Farm Kings, we’ve received many questions from viewers regarding Lisa and Ben. This week we gave them the opportunity to ask some of those questions themselves! Here’s our Q&A with Lisa:
From Temperance Winfield via Facebook:
I have a 37-year-old Down syndrome brother who is the light of our lives. What do you do to keep Ben active and involved outside of the house & how do you manage that with such a busy work schedule?
Lisa: One of my hardest tasks is getting Ben outside, but he does simple things like taking the trash out and walking to the mail box. I manage with such a busy work schedule because whenever I’m busy he’s busy.
From Jane McClurg via Facebook:
Lisa, do you and your family ever receive negative reactions while in public, and if so, how have you found it’s best to deal with that?
Lisa: No, I haven’t received negative reactions in public but if I would’ve just stay positive because I know I can’t make everyone happy.
From Jamie Barker via Facebook:
Does Ben struggle in front of the camera?
Lisa: Haha, He actually  loves being in front of the camera, sometimes we actually have to tell him that’s enough.
From From Jamie Barker via Facebook:
What’s his (Ben’s) favorite thing to do?
Lisa: Ben’s favorite thing to do is to sing and dance to Big Time Rush.

From iMomma_B via Twitter:
Lisa, where or when did you develop your “can do” positive attitude and never say “I can’” spirit?
Lisa: I always had the “can do” attitude. “Can’t” hasn’t done anything good for me.
From Gail Atkinson via Facebook:
Seeing shows where your family does events for Special Olympics, is Ben involved in any sports with SO?
Lisa: Ben has just joined hockey this year and is very excited. Also, he seems interested  in bowling, so I’m looking into that sport more.
From Anthony Park via Facebook:I know that you love Ben a lot. What has been the biggest challenge of raising a son with special needs, or do you find it challenging at all?
Lisa: The most challenging thing for me would be going through medical procedures with Ben but it is gradually getting better. It is hard to complain about the icing on nine layered cake.
From Gloria Harvell via Facebook:
How do you handle your children’s disagreements?
Lisa: I listen to their disagreements and I try to show the other side of the story. I always say this too will pass.
From Lorye Sholes via Facebook:
Your children are ALL so polite and well mannered. How did you do it?
Lisa: I expect them to be that way, I always told them to BE POLITE OR I’M GOING TO BITE.
To coincide with tonight’s episode, we’ve teamed up with the National Down Syndrome Society to provide you with facts regarding Down syndrome. Follow along with us tonight on Twitter — @gactv. Also, don’t forget to check in to tonight’s sticker, featuring Lisa & Ben!

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