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Kids' eating disorders?

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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?
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Replies

  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,488 Member
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    Best advice I can say with what was posted, back off, this is not your job to entertain fixing this... This problem starts and ends in their home..

    You can make suggestions while they are in your direct care, but this will not carry over to them practicing any new behaviors and they will continue with the learned behavior of their own parents.

    Give them love and attention.
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,626 Member
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    its not your kid

    stay out of it
  • slaite1
    slaite1 Posts: 1,307 Member
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    Don't mean this in a rude way but in my opinion it's not really your place. Can you talk to the mom about your concerns? Tell her the reason you want to pick them up? If not, you are treading in dangerous territory.
  • Liftng4Lis
    Liftng4Lis Posts: 15,151 Member
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    It's not your place and other than to lead by example, there is nothing you should be doing.
  • girlviernes
    girlviernes Posts: 2,402 Member
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    Good news, nothing here suggests eating disorder. Just model good habits, home cooking, etc.
    they both sound totally normal. skinny kid who is a picky eater, but eats things he likes. girl at puberty age. She isn't obese, it's normal for girls to put on some weight around puberty. Unless she's a binge eater, she's probably fine. She most likely will lose the weight naturally as she gets taller/older. An 11 year old should not be thinking about calories. Don't project your issues onto her.

  • SkinnyWannabeGal
    SkinnyWannabeGal Posts: 143 Member
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    Perhaps you could have a conversation with their mother and casually bring up the topic of the kids and what they like to eat when they're at your house. If she's open to it and not defensive about her kid's diets, then you might want to gently let her know that you may have some concerns about their nutritional needs. Hopefully she'll listen with an open mind and take your advice or at least sincerely address your concerns. I think it's nice of you to love your niece and nephew enough to care about their health. But at the end of the day, it's always up to the parents to make decisions regarding their children. Perhaps they're a bit naive about health and nutrition and maybe you can help educate them about it. If this doesn't work out as you hoped, you can at least know that you tried.
  • Ninkyou
    Ninkyou Posts: 6,666 Member
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    It's not your place. So you niece is a little overweight right now... she's a kid... she's still growing. Just because she's chubby now doesn't mean she will be later. For example, my BIL (who is much much younger and only 17), when he was like 10-14 he was chubby. Around 15-16 he started really leaning out. Now he's into Rugby and he's definitely not chubby anymore and getting some muscle growth going on. I think it's premature to assume your niece is going to remain 'bigger'. She hasn't even hit puberty yet, give her a chance. As for your nephew, again, he's a kid. Kids are picky. Leave it alone.

    IMO, if it were me and my SIL 'suggested' my kids eat at her house for dinner everyday, not only would I question it, but if I found out the reasoning, I would be offended as hell, and you could bet those few visits that are in place... wouldn't be happening at all.

    That's a mighty fine and dangerous line you're walking.
  • PeachyPlum
    PeachyPlum Posts: 1,243 Member
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    Neither of these say "eating disorder" to me, but obviously I've only got your description to go by, you actually know these kids.

    Please be careful about suggesting to a parent that their child has an eating disorder. When I was 16, a family friend told my parents she thought I was bulimic because - get this - I ate three slices of pizza and then went right to the bathroom and left the water in the sink running "too long." It took months of having people all in my business before people realized that was normal teenage girl behavior and not an eating disorder.

    I think it's a good discussion though, in terms of how we can model good eating habits for the children we are entrusted to raise or help raise.
  • booksandchocolate12
    booksandchocolate12 Posts: 1,741 Member
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    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?

    Family time around the dinner table is often when parents catch up with their kids, what they did at school, etc.

    You want to take that away from this family?

    I'm sure your intentions are good, but think about it for a minute.
  • atypicalsmith
    atypicalsmith Posts: 2,742 Member
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    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?

    Family time around the dinner table is often when parents catch up with their kids, what they did at school, etc.

    You want to take that away from this family?

    I'm sure your intentions are good, but think about it for a minute.

    They don't have family time. She works until 7:00 or 8:00 at night, and her husband, their stepfather, usually feeds them whatever he can get his hands on until he goes to work after their mother gets home.
  • atypicalsmith
    atypicalsmith Posts: 2,742 Member
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    I guess I should have mentioned that at the beginning.
  • atypicalsmith
    atypicalsmith Posts: 2,742 Member
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    slaite1 wrote: »
    Don't mean this in a rude way but in my opinion it's not really your place. Can you talk to the mom about your concerns? Tell her the reason you want to pick them up? If not, you are treading in dangerous territory.

    You are absolutely right.
  • PeachyPlum
    PeachyPlum Posts: 1,243 Member
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    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?

    Family time around the dinner table is often when parents catch up with their kids, what they did at school, etc.

    You want to take that away from this family?

    I'm sure your intentions are good, but think about it for a minute.

    They don't have family time. She works until 7:00 or 8:00 at night, and her husband, their stepfather, usually feeds them whatever he can get his hands on until he goes to work after their mother gets home.

    Well that's an opportunity, you can just offer to pick them up and feed them a few times a week to give stepdad a break. Then you can teach them to cook some of the healthy things they like.
  • fallenoaks4
    fallenoaks4 Posts: 63 Member
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    they both sound totally normal. skinny kid who is a picky eater, but eats things he likes. girl at puberty age. She isn't obese, it's normal for girls to put on some weight around puberty. Unless she's a binge eater, she's probably fine. She most likely will lose the weight naturally as she gets taller/older. An 11 year old should not be thinking about calories. Don't project your issues onto her.

    Agree. They sound like normal kids. I had approx. the same stats when I was that age, and I had stretch marks on my legs from a growth spurt. When I joined jr high sports teams in 7th grade, I slimmed down some.

  • atypicalsmith
    atypicalsmith Posts: 2,742 Member
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    MrM27 wrote: »
    I have 2 views on a topic like this.

    I think this is a really tough subject and it's more than likely a losing battle for you since they are not your kids. If they were not family, immediate family then I would say that you should mind your business. It can only lead to trouble.

    These being your niece and nephew I would say you need to consider what the parents reaction would be if you brought it up to them. Then that should tell you what's the right move. Families don't operate the same and I don't know yours.

    My brother has a 22 year old daughter who is my god daughter as well and he has 2 sons ages 19 and 16. We are a tight family and we have no boundaries as far as what we address towards each other. I have free reign to say what I please with the kids and I have when it comes to school, hanging out with their friends, dating, drugs, etc. Obviously off limits would be hitting them, that would be wrong and I would never do it.

    Thanks, Mr. M27!
  • atypicalsmith
    atypicalsmith Posts: 2,742 Member
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    PeachyPlum wrote: »
    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?

    Family time around the dinner table is often when parents catch up with their kids, what they did at school, etc.

    You want to take that away from this family?

    I'm sure your intentions are good, but think about it for a minute.

    They don't have family time. She works until 7:00 or 8:00 at night, and her husband, their stepfather, usually feeds them whatever he can get his hands on until he goes to work after their mother gets home.

    Well that's an opportunity, you can just offer to pick them up and feed them a few times a week to give stepdad a break. Then you can teach them to cook some of the healthy things they like.

    That's what I was thinking, too, Peachy Plum. Thanks for the support.
  • fallenoaks4
    fallenoaks4 Posts: 63 Member
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    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?

    Family time around the dinner table is often when parents catch up with their kids, what they did at school, etc.

    You want to take that away from this family?

    I'm sure your intentions are good, but think about it for a minute.

    They don't have family time. She works until 7:00 or 8:00 at night, and her husband, their stepfather, usually feeds them whatever he can get his hands on until he goes to work after their mother gets home.

    Perhaps that is their family time with their stepfather.

    I am sure their mother is fully aware of what they are eating since she lives in the same house and presumably buys the groceries.

    If my sister tried to tell me how to raise my kids, it would not end well.
  • atypicalsmith
    atypicalsmith Posts: 2,742 Member
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    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?

    Family time around the dinner table is often when parents catch up with their kids, what they did at school, etc.

    You want to take that away from this family?

    I'm sure your intentions are good, but think about it for a minute.

    They don't have family time. She works until 7:00 or 8:00 at night, and her husband, their stepfather, usually feeds them whatever he can get his hands on until he goes to work after their mother gets home.

    Perhaps that is their family time with their stepfather.

    I am sure their mother is fully aware of what they are eating since she lives in the same house and presumably buys the groceries.

    If my sister tried to tell me how to raise my kids, it would not end well.

    This has nothing to do with me trying to tell them how to raise their kids. Where did you get that from?
This discussion has been closed.