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Kids' eating disorders?

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135

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  • SLLRunner
    SLLRunner Posts: 12,942 Member
    edited May 2015
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    I shouldn't have posted something so personal here. Sorry about that.

    I don't think it's too personal to post, but it can be an opportunity for you. I mean this kindly, but is it possible you are projecting your own issues about weight and food? Maybe this is something in yourself you need to explore. :)
  • atypicalsmith
    atypicalsmith Posts: 2,742 Member
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    SLLRunner wrote: »
    I shouldn't have posted something so personal here. Sorry about that.

    I don't think it's too personal to post, but it can be an opportunity for you. I mean this kindly, but is it possible you are projecting your own issues about weight and food? Maybe this is something in yourself you need to explore. :)

    No, it's not personal. At her age I was a skinny minny. So were her mom and dad. She eats entirely too much junk food because her mom and stepdad want to make up everything to her. But I'm not her parent, just her aunt, so this was really just a moot point post after all.
  • pollypocket1021
    pollypocket1021 Posts: 533 Member
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    People who know the most about parenting never seem to have kids of their own.
  • LAWoman72
    LAWoman72 Posts: 2,846 Member
    edited May 2015
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    Geez. Stay out of it. If there's any way to GIVE a kid an eating disorder, this is how to do it: "educate" a perfectly normal adolescent with normal pre-first period pudge about "calories" and then worry about the one who's already thin.

    If you want to be able to fully wreck a child's psyche, then you're going to have to give birth to one yourself and do it to him/her. (Be sure to try to hide this from the school, naturally. That could be a problem.) Have your own child and you can eyeball her (again perfectly normal) developing-into-a-woman stretch marks suspiciously and harass her whether she's skinny and picky about food, or developing and loving food, or whatever the case may be. And just think, that way you won't have to try to figure out a way to kidnap the kid from school to "feed" it in the way you deem correct.

    But. Your niece and nephew? Not your business, frankly.
  • LAWoman72
    LAWoman72 Posts: 2,846 Member
    edited May 2015
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    People who know the most about parenting never seem to have kids of their own.

    Yup, LOL.

    "If I had my own kid, I'd do it all perfectly...and I'd NEVER let (insert_random_specific_personal_pet_peeve_here) happen."

    Is it a coincidence that all us parents said it too, right down to the birth? We wizened up approximately five minutes afterward, though. Now when someone else says it...we can only shake our heads and laugh a li'l.

    But when it comes down to said person actively attempting to screw up a perfectly happy childhood by injecting a little self-loathing based on quite normal processes...well, that's where some sort of a line has to be drawn.

  • maidentl
    maidentl Posts: 3,203 Member
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    mathjulz wrote: »
    I don't think that you need to worry much about them. They both sound like normal, typical kids.

    For your niece, at 11, she is hitting puberty (if she hasn't already) and adjusting to all the hormone changes and body shape changes that go with that. There is a good chance she is still growing (height wise), but as someone who is 5' tall, I can tell you that 132 is an okay weight. (Stretch marks are very normal with the rapid growth girls go through at this age). My daughter was also about the same height and weight and build at 11, and still is now at 16 and she has a lovely hourglass shape and is very healthy. It's good to model eating appropriate foods for your body, but be very careful that you don't give her a message that she has to count calories all the time, because that CAN develop into an eating disorder.

    As for the 9 year old, boys can often be small and skinny through childhood. Both my sons were small for their age at 9 (one quite a bit so), and quite picky eaters (a lot of it is texture for one). They grow out of it. One of my boys is now 14 and growing like a weed, though still super skinny. That's how boys are.

    There's nothing wrong with kids liking sweets. And you really don't know what they eat at home ... it might be far better than you make it sound ("anything he can get his hands on"). When they are with you, model healthy eating behaviors -- fruits and vegetables and lean meats especially, but not counting calories -- and an active lifestyle. If you think it may help your sister out to pick them up a couple of days a week and feed them dinner, offer it, but only as a way to help her out with the difficult schedule she and her husband seem to have. (I know I would/have been upset when a family member suggested I was doing something wrong in raising my kids, even just in how I fed them, and I even lost trust in family members for a while because of that sort of thing, so be very careful to avoid any sort of insinuation)

    This post is spot on. I get so frustrated when people come on here worrying about a kid just starting puberty. Plenty of kids grow out before they shoot up, unless she's massively overweight (and she's not) it's too soon to worry. We're so freaked out about weight now that we're projecting it onto children. Both of my kids were chubby when they started middle school. Both shot up several inches and thinned right out. Conversely, the other kid is skinny and that's not good enough either. No wonder so many of us grow up to have body image issues.
  • jorinya
    jorinya Posts: 933 Member
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    See what else you can do to help. Sounds like she has a lot on her plate already. I don't think she would need any more stress than she already has. Could you possibly take them for a while every day after school?? I don't know what else to say.
    Oh, my mum used to call my husband when we were living in Ireland and he in Nigeria (getting things ready for us to move), she would tell him that I'm not feeding the kids well, that I'm getting them takeaway every night and that I don't spend time with my three boys, I only spend time with my little girl. All lies. I cooked Nigerian, Mexican, Irish, Spanish, Indian and Chinese for them every day to ensure they had a variety. Also I spent time with my little girl cos she was one and the only one that states in the house cos my three boys go to school. She caused a lot to f problems for me and has been interfering since she found out I was married. That another story!!! She's not my birth mum, I'm adopted, and since she had her own daughter she has had mental issues. I've not spoken to her in over 6 months and don't want to speak to her cos she has said too many horrible things to anyone that would listen to her. She even called social services on me twice. Both times they said that my kids are not neglected.
    Why did I share this......to show you what could happen if you get too involved. She actually told social services that I starve my kids. This is from someone who would make them eat their food until the plate empty and if they vomited she still would get them to eat. She did the same to me.
    Be careful!!! You don't want to spoil the relationship between you and your sister do you??
  • LAWoman72
    LAWoman72 Posts: 2,846 Member
    edited May 2015
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    Let's also not forget that kids often "let drop" (oh oops!) things that really don't happen at home, in an attempt to get Auntie, a friend's parent, etc. to allow them things they actually don't get to do at home. "Oh yeah, Mom ALWAYS lets us have Twinkies for breakfast!" Kind of like the whole "Mom ALWAYS lets us stay up until 10PM playing video games" thing they always seem to try to feed Grandma.

    Yeah, not so much, LOL.

    So the whole "accidentally" overhearing of what/how they eat at home could just be slight, shall we say, exaggeration. Not saying this is definitely happening here, but it wouldn't exactly be the first time in the history of children, let's just say. Kids know they don't call the shots, so even the nicest of kids may attempt to manipulate in this way, and frankly, perfectly normal, healthy kids do.

    (I'll never forget my husband bringing KFC to a family gathering...seriously, if we have KFC twice a year it's a lot. A real lot. My son cheerfully announced to my brother-in-law's girlfriend that we get KFC ALL the time - WTF kind of fantasy was he living out there...? - and the girlfriend proceeded to show her concern my sending me multiple emails about how I'm poisoning my children and sending me Mercola link after Mercola link about how to "get my son back" from the multiple issues I was obviously giving him by the poison I was feeding him. That was fun.)

    As for Stepdad just literally throwing whatever he can "get his hands on" to them to eat, you know this for a fact? Do you live there? That's quite a judgment. You're not a part of their nuclear family. You really don't know.

    They sound like healthy kids to me...just based on the brief description. Preference for sweets: check. (Pretty common.) One hitting puberty and putting on a little puppy fat, check. Stretch marks from going basically from an up-and-down shape to something that might produce children in the future, check. Niece not having exactly the same (i.e. "skinny minny" as described) physiology as the aunt who didn't actually produce her biologically, nor even as the mother since the child does after all have a father, unless some miracle has occurred, not to mention about a gajillion other ancestors, check. Blaming sh *t on a step-parent, check. Skinny little boy who eats masses of one food one minute and refuses foods the next and worries everyone even though he's entirely healthy, check.

    Normal stuff.
  • BlueSkyShoal
    BlueSkyShoal Posts: 325 Member
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    Do not bother an 11 year old about calories. Worries about weight at a young age are how a lot of eating disorders start.
  • jorinya
    jorinya Posts: 933 Member
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    Right now my little girl refuses to eat breakfast for me because its not sweeties. I'm gonna leave it there, if she wants it fine, if she doesn't fine. She'll eat when she is hungry. Before I would give in and give her the sweeties but since I started getting my act together and taking care of my health I don't allow her. LAWoman72 you are completely 100% accurate, children do tell stories all the time, they have no idea the damage they cause for us mums but I don't think they have the sense to know what they are doing is wrong. My cousin would only eat gravy and mash for dinner at home, go to his girlfriend's house and tell her mum he didn't eat at home and eat there, then go to his best friends house and do the same thing. He had Down Syndrome and died at 15, heart issues. But it wasn't until after he died that we found out what he was up to. Crafty Christopher, lol.

    The kids are totally normal and they will grow out of it, you'll see.
  • atypicalsmith
    atypicalsmith Posts: 2,742 Member
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    People who know the most about parenting never seem to have kids of their own.

    I have two children, thank you.
  • atypicalsmith
    atypicalsmith Posts: 2,742 Member
    edited May 2015
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    I agree with all of you that I am probably overreacting. My 32 year old autistic daughter is gaining weight in leaps and bounds, as well. She is 5'1" and very small boned, and is almost at the 140 mark because she eats a lot of candy and chips and pizza and other junk. My son has also gained a ton of weight. All as I am trying to lose it. When they were kids, there wasn't a weight problem with either of them, or me for that matter. Maybe I'm projecting myself on them. Maybe I'm thinking of another niece I have who was chubby all her life and is now, at age 32, is morbidly obese - nearly 400 pounds. So I'll just look the other way.
  • kpodaru
    kpodaru Posts: 133 Member
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    doesn't sound like an eating disorder but poor eating habits passed on by the parents. it's not your place to say anything or feed them (unfortunately) but that doesn't mean you can't be a great aunt and take them out for activities to get them moving!
  • chubbard9
    chubbard9 Posts: 565 Member
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    Many have stated this, but seriously it's not your place. And it just seems like kids are being kids!

    When I used to visit my aunt on weekends/summers, I just enjoyed my time with them. I do know, though, if my aunt had tried to talk to me about gaining weight/lack of eating, I would've been peeved. My mother raised me, and always fed me home cooked meals, and I was happy with that! My mom knew what she was doing, and if anything needed to change. I know that if my aunt had mentioned the same types of concerns you have mentioned, I would not have had much of a chance to spend more time with my aunt and cousins...

    Just enjoy the time with them, and don't try to change their life. When they get older, they will develop their own healthy habits, and with time they may even look to you for help. But for now, let them be kids, and let their parents do what they've been doing!

    But as others have said as well, taking them for day trips, just to get a little exercise and enjoy the day, talk to their parents. Do not tell them you think their kids have eating problems!!! Enjoy it.
  • atypicalsmith
    atypicalsmith Posts: 2,742 Member
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    kpodaru wrote: »
    doesn't sound like an eating disorder but poor eating habits passed on by the parents. it's not your place to say anything or feed them (unfortunately) but that doesn't mean you can't be a great aunt and take them out for activities to get them moving!

    Thanks, kpodaru, you made me smile!
  • sofaking6
    sofaking6 Posts: 4,589 Member
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    Started to write this on another thread, but didn't want to "hijack" it. But it made me think about my niece and nephew.

    I worry about my niece. She's 11 years old, weighs 132 pounds, and is about 5' tall and big boned. She has stretch marks on her inner thighs. I've educated her about calories (using ME, not her, as an example), but of course I have no control over what she eats except at my house once a week. Meanwhile, her brother, age 9, is short and skinny, but has an aversion to most food. When I fix him something he likes, he wolfs it down. They, as their mother does, love sweets more than anything. I usually only get to see them once a week as I pick them up from after-school day care, feed them dinner, then take them to scouts at church. Once every month or two, they might spend a night or two with me over the weekend, but the older they get, the more rarely that happens.

    There's nothing I can do about what they eat at home. But I'm thinking of offering to pick them up from day care and feeding them dinner at my house during the week. I doubt their mom will agree, but I suppose it's worth a try. Any suggestions?

    I suggest you stop finding excuses to pick at other people's children and indulge in hysteria. Eating disorders? Really? It seems to me like you're trying to hurt their parents with that language instead of that you have any real concerns for or desire to help these kids.
  • atypicalsmith
    atypicalsmith Posts: 2,742 Member
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    sofaking6 wrote: »
    Started to write this on another thread, but didn't want to "hijack" it. But it made me think about my niece and nephew.

    I worry about my niece. She's 11 years old, weighs 132 pounds, and is about 5' tall and big boned. She has stretch marks on her inner thighs. I've educated her about calories (using ME, not her, as an example), but of course I have no control over what she eats except at my house once a week. Meanwhile, her brother, age 9, is short and skinny, but has an aversion to most food. When I fix him something he likes, he wolfs it down. They, as their mother does, love sweets more than anything. I usually only get to see them once a week as I pick them up from after-school day care, feed them dinner, then take them to scouts at church. Once every month or two, they might spend a night or two with me over the weekend, but the older they get, the more rarely that happens.

    There's nothing I can do about what they eat at home. But I'm thinking of offering to pick them up from day care and feeding them dinner at my house during the week. I doubt their mom will agree, but I suppose it's worth a try. Any suggestions?

    I suggest you stop finding excuses to pick at other people's children and indulge in hysteria. Eating disorders? Really? It seems to me like you're trying to hurt their parents with that language instead of that you have any real concerns for or desire to help these kids.

    You seem to be a very nice person. So glad I met you on this site. I will take your criticism to heart and try never to upset you again.
  • sofaking6
    sofaking6 Posts: 4,589 Member
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    sofaking6 wrote: »
    Started to write this on another thread, but didn't want to "hijack" it. But it made me think about my niece and nephew.

    I worry about my niece. She's 11 years old, weighs 132 pounds, and is about 5' tall and big boned. She has stretch marks on her inner thighs. I've educated her about calories (using ME, not her, as an example), but of course I have no control over what she eats except at my house once a week. Meanwhile, her brother, age 9, is short and skinny, but has an aversion to most food. When I fix him something he likes, he wolfs it down. They, as their mother does, love sweets more than anything. I usually only get to see them once a week as I pick them up from after-school day care, feed them dinner, then take them to scouts at church. Once every month or two, they might spend a night or two with me over the weekend, but the older they get, the more rarely that happens.

    There's nothing I can do about what they eat at home. But I'm thinking of offering to pick them up from day care and feeding them dinner at my house during the week. I doubt their mom will agree, but I suppose it's worth a try. Any suggestions?

    I suggest you stop finding excuses to pick at other people's children and indulge in hysteria. Eating disorders? Really? It seems to me like you're trying to hurt their parents with that language instead of that you have any real concerns for or desire to help these kids.

    You seem to be a very nice person. So glad I met you on this site. I will take your criticism to heart and try never to upset you again.

    We all really miss the Ignore feature, I know.
  • atypicalsmith
    atypicalsmith Posts: 2,742 Member
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    Oh, but I don't. You have given excellent advice and I thank you for that.
    sofaking6 wrote: »
    sofaking6 wrote: »
    Started to write this on another thread, but didn't want to "hijack" it. But it made me think about my niece and nephew.

    I worry about my niece. She's 11 years old, weighs 132 pounds, and is about 5' tall and big boned. She has stretch marks on her inner thighs. I've educated her about calories (using ME, not her, as an example), but of course I have no control over what she eats except at my house once a week. Meanwhile, her brother, age 9, is short and skinny, but has an aversion to most food. When I fix him something he likes, he wolfs it down. They, as their mother does, love sweets more than anything. I usually only get to see them once a week as I pick them up from after-school day care, feed them dinner, then take them to scouts at church. Once every month or two, they might spend a night or two with me over the weekend, but the older they get, the more rarely that happens.

    There's nothing I can do about what they eat at home. But I'm thinking of offering to pick them up from day care and feeding them dinner at my house during the week. I doubt their mom will agree, but I suppose it's worth a try. Any suggestions?

    I suggest you stop finding excuses to pick at other people's children and indulge in hysteria. Eating disorders? Really? It seems to me like you're trying to hurt their parents with that language instead of that you have any real concerns for or desire to help these kids.

    You seem to be a very nice person. So glad I met you on this site. I will take your criticism to heart and try never to upset you again.

    We all really miss the Ignore feature, I know.

    Oh, but I don't. You have given excellent advice and I thank you for that.
  • elphie754
    elphie754 Posts: 7,574 Member
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    Not your children, so you get no say in how they are raised. No if ands or buts. End of story.

    If you really think there is a problem you would contact CPS, not rant about it on a website. Unless you think the children are being abjsed and you plan on calling CPS stay out of it. How would you like it if someone took it upon themselves to interfer with your parenting?
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