to shove my MIL's diet down her throat? my 11 yo is proud of how little she has eaten!!!

(80 Posts)
sausagesandwich34 Mon 31-Dec-12 18:57:12

ok so AIBU to shove anything down anyone's throat but...

MIL is always on one diet or another

DD has spent a few days there while I worked so unavoidable and option of not sending her to MIL is unrealistic her dad is too busy to see his dcs over christmas, too busy hanging out with his friends

DD is coming home telling me that she is doing MIL's latest diet with her and has apparently 'only' eaten 800-1000 calories per day and will I buy her a bikini for our summer holidays if she sticks to it?


dd is like any other child -rounds off then shoots up and slims down

she is currently at the high end of the normal BMI but is still normal and is due a spurt

what the bloody hell is my MIL playing at???

dds dad not interested and MIL always right so I am venting

shock That's awful. Did your MIL encourage DD or could she have just picked it up on her own?

WorraLorraTurkey Mon 31-Dec-12 19:00:32

It sounds as though she's very haphazardly trying to help.

Your DD obviously wants to lose weight and so she's turned to her gran for help.

If I were you I'd calm down and quietly speak to your DD about helping her to get trim, if that's what she wants to do.

Coconutty Mon 31-Dec-12 19:01:09

What did your MIL say when you told her this?

forgetmenots Mon 31-Dec-12 19:01:32

YANBU. Not fair on your dd who is at an age where she will start feeling self conscious. Healthy eating and exercise I'm all for, but calorie counting at 11 is not healthy and your MIL deserves a bit of a shake tbh.

MrsHavisham Mon 31-Dec-12 19:02:08

YANBU I think this attitude is extremely unhealthy. You might want to have a firm word with MIL to NEVER mention diets or weight again.

sausagesandwich34 Mon 31-Dec-12 19:02:38

MIL thinks it's important for girls to know how to manage their weight as so many turn into fat teens


Pantofino Mon 31-Dec-12 19:03:28

Get trim? At 11? I would speak to her about healthy eating and explain that what your body needs aged 11 is totally different from what it needs when you are old. And that is true.

sausagesandwich34 Mon 31-Dec-12 19:03:51

if she said to her gran she thought she was fat, gran should have told her she is lovely

she is a normal weight

Ah. So it's likely that she's encouraging this then? In that case I would definitely have a calm but firm chat with her.

quoteunquote Mon 31-Dec-12 19:04:09

Find alternative childcare, that is dangerous.

BOFingSanta Mon 31-Dec-12 19:04:16

Dieting wrecks your metabolism over time, and your MIL is very misguided if she thinks she's helping: it's more likely to set her on a path to obesity. I agree that you need to tell her firmly to butt out.

forgetmenots Mon 31-Dec-12 19:04:30

So many teens develop eating disorders or body issues, too. What a twat.

By all means speak to your dd gently about a healthy eating plan and exercise, but show her that none of MIL's diets work, ridicule it as silly behaviour if you have to.

If my mum pulled this I would be utterly furious.

Pantofino Mon 31-Dec-12 19:04:33

Hence what you MIL eats is not necessarily the best thing.

WorraLorraTurkey Mon 31-Dec-12 19:07:08

What is important is that you're honest with yourself about your DD's weight and about how your DD feels about it.

There's no point in getting angry with your MIL...although encouraging calorie counting was stupid of her.

You may see your DD as 'rounding off' and given how generous BMI is, being at the high end of it can still mean she's overweight.

Either way your DD should be turning to you about these just make sure she can and that you won't over react.

HecatePropolos Mon 31-Dec-12 19:09:11

Well done to your mother in law. She's taken your daughter one step down the road to a bloody eating disorder.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Mon 31-Dec-12 19:10:37

Worra - can you seriously not see how unhealthy it is to encourage an 11-YEAR-OLD to eat 800 calories a day?! Both physically and mentally.

sausagesandwich34 Mon 31-Dec-12 19:11:29

worra I am honest with myself about her weight, most of the time she bumbles about at the bottom end of normal and then every so often gets a little belly and then grows about a foot slight exaggeration

she always stays within normal

I use elmo's theory of sometimes food and anytime food -got to love sesame street!

she cooks, has a balanced diet and is active

she does get a little bit sad about her changing body and we do talk about puberty & changing body shape etc

but I feel like all my messages to her have been undone in 2 days

TidyDancer Mon 31-Dec-12 19:11:34

Oh gosh that is dangerous.

My DP had an eating disorder when he was a teenager, these things can be triggered by something really small. Your MIL is not something really small. Disgusting attitudes and ideas are being put on your DD and it's not right or acceptable.

Seriously find someone else to look after her. This woman is not fit to do it.

Iggly Mon 31-Dec-12 19:11:53

What do you mean by the high end of BMI?

Id say now is your chance to teach your dd healthy food habits and what isn't good (calorie counting for example as you can eat shit food and be within the calorie limit).

Sit down with your dd and ask her about it. No accusation just ask.

Tell your MIL to back off but maybe she's hit a sore spot here?

Feelingdetached Mon 31-Dec-12 19:14:06

Figuratively you can shove it down her throat.

EMS23 Mon 31-Dec-12 19:15:10

That's bloody terrible! Like someone else said, if my Mum did that to one of my DD's there would be nuclear fallout.
It's hard enough being a teenage girl and that kind of yo yo dieting could set her on a crappy path of lifelong fad diets and unnecessary worrying over her body image.

Presumably you told your DD she can have the bikini without needing to do the diet? I guess you could encourage healthy eating and exercise with the holiday in mind but even then, I think it's better not to focus on one event as a time to have a nice body by. Better its just the normal way she lives than think she has to change herself to be seen on a beach.

I'm not normally one for confrontation, especially with MIL's but I think you need to pull your MIL up on this. Call her or arrange to see her and firmly tell her it's not ok.

My MIL is a terrible fattist and I dread the day but know it is coming, when she tells one of my DD's they are fat (they're just babies right now so this is hypothetical). She will get both barrels from me on that day.

SirBoobAlot Mon 31-Dec-12 19:15:10

That's terrible sad My exP had an eating disorder for years, mainly due to his mother constantly worrying aloud about food. Unfortunately, she herself is like that because of her own mother.

800-1000 calories for an 11 year old growing, developing girl is really dangerous.

sausagesandwich34 Mon 31-Dec-12 19:17:22

high end of BMI

5ft 3

7st 10

according to the NHS BMI calculator this is a healthy weight, slidy bar thing is on the heavier side of the middle but still healthy

WorraLorraTurkey Mon 31-Dec-12 19:18:26

Worra - can you seriously not see how unhealthy it is to encourage an 11-YEAR-OLD to eat 800 calories a day?! Both physically and mentally

Huh? confused

I only made a couple of small posts, how on earth did you get that from reading them?

Of course it's seriously unhealthy!

My point to the OP (which she has since answered) was is she really being honest about her DD's weight?

If she wasn't, then getting annoyed at her MIL wouldn't be the answer.

Speaking to her DD, understanding how she feels and helping her to get fit and trim would have been the best way imo.

AfterEightMintyy Mon 31-Dec-12 19:19:29

Yanbu! What a stupid, irresponsible, dangerous thing to encourage in an 11 year old girl. I despair at just how fucking ignorant some people are. You MUST speak to your mil about it, when you are calmer.

Iggly Mon 31-Dec-12 19:20:57

Ok just wondering. Do talk to your dd - don't make it taboo and certainly don't make it a "special thing" between her and dd by dismissing it.

Maybe tell her she can have a bikini/somsthing nice regardless of her weight but ask if she is genuinely worried about it?

Iggly Mon 31-Dec-12 19:21:26

*between her and MIL

Northernlebkuchen Mon 31-Dec-12 19:22:22

I would hit the roof if this were my dd.

sausagesandwich34 Mon 31-Dec-12 19:23:35

she can't have a bikini because she is 11, but she seems to have got it into her head that if she has a bikini body she can have one

going to be interesting conversation about bikinis now!

WorraLorraTurkey Mon 31-Dec-12 19:25:18

I would definitely have a word with her about the 'bikini body' thing...ask her what that even means in her mind?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 31-Dec-12 19:25:44

I don't think Worra is wrong, not at all actually.

Your daughter needs to know about healthy eating so that she can start getting involved in cooking/food preparation and having some control over what she puts into her body. Yes, it's difficult knowing what's a growth spurt and what needs some intervention - and there are lots of steps in between that too.

Being 'lovely' has nothing to do with her weight. Take away that silly distinction because a person's weight is no measure whatsoever of their worth.

I would certainly have a word with your MIL though and tell her how you're doing things, and ask her to encourage the healthy lifestyle you're already working on with your daughter. There is no need for a child to know it's on a 'diet' or that there's anything wrong with their physique, just that all people need a good and healthy lifestyle to be well.

I think there are lot of parents (mothers, particularly) who can be oblivious of the weight their children are - saying that it's big bones or puppy fat, and this isn't helped by seeing their child's peers as children are generally much larger than they were compared to previous years. What's often deemed as normal can just as easily be described as fat or chunky, plump etc.

I wish the mystique and secrecy would be removed from the concept of a healthy lifestyle, it's THAT that screws people up. I know this from sad experience.

WorraLorraTurkey Mon 31-Dec-12 19:31:58

I wish the mystique and secrecy would be removed from the concept of a healthy lifestyle, it's THAT that screws people up. I know this from sad experience.

This definitely ^^

I truly feel (well I certainly hope) that there will come a time when gaining/losing weight will stop being a dirty little taboo...and that parents will stop automatically assuming that if they help their child to lose weight, that child will suddenly develop an eating disorder.

Obesity is a massive eating disorder that's becoming more and more widespread.

I can see a time when parents will be as open about it as we've become about sex and other subjects that were once damagingly taboo.

manicbmc Mon 31-Dec-12 19:35:52

All well and good, but the OP has already said her dd is involved in food prep and eats a healthy diet.

WorraLorraTurkey Mon 31-Dec-12 19:40:00

I know manic, I went off on a tangent but it's something I feel strongly about - sorry blush

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 31-Dec-12 19:45:12

That was acknowledged, manic. MIL needs to know what OPs arrangements are. Bikini-talk is not relevant to a child either, so I'd add that one to the conversation too.

BOFingSanta Mon 31-Dec-12 19:59:14

But diets make you fat, Worra. It's been proven time and again. Healthy eating and exercise, of course, are valuable life skills. But this doesn't sound remotely what the MIL in question is 'helping' with.

Trekkie Mon 31-Dec-12 20:04:39

YANBU at all

Inculcating an 11 year old with the concept of a "bikini body" and encouraging pride on undereating is just appalling.

You need to have serious words with your MIL and if she won't have it then really I think you need to see if you can find alternative childcare. It's just not on and could easily fuck your DD up.

Trekkie Mon 31-Dec-12 20:07:24

5'3 and 7st10 isn't an unhealthy weight surely? I was slim when I was that height and age (albeit I was older than 11).

Sounds like she is going to be tall op! And you need calories to get there... Maybe there is an angle there somewhere you can use to counteract some of what your MIL has said.

Narked Mon 31-Dec-12 20:12:18

Now would be a good time to start learning about food together.

For example, an 11 year old needs Xg of calcium a day to ensure they grow healthy bones. If they don't get enough the effects can cause problems later in life. What foods are high in calcium? Gentle resistance exercise eg swimming combined with this helps improve bone density, which is something it is important to keep an eye on as our skeleton degrades from when we hit 30 shock

We need all sorts of vitamins and minerals in our diet. They help us grow healthy skin, teeth, hair etc. What vitamins do what? What foods are high in them?

We need fats. Why? Protein? Etc etc etc

Take the opportunity to talk about overall health and well being and how low calorie does not = healthy. Calories are not a measure of goodness. Nuts and seeds are full of things our bodies need but high in calories. <insert junk food here> has fewer calories than nuts and seeds but must less nutritional value. It's a bad way to measure food.

I'd focus on strength and health.

Then I'd throttle your fuckwit MIL talk to your ex about what your DD has said and explain why she won't be going to visit alone anymore.

pointedlynoresolutions Mon 31-Dec-12 20:13:45

My DD1 is the same height and 7st 12 - she is coming up as 74th centile. So the OP's DD is not overweight.

800 to 1000 calories a day is dangerous for an 11yo and actually not brilliant for an adult female either.

AfterEightMintyy Mon 31-Dec-12 20:16:31

In what way exactly does eating 800 calories a day at 11 years old constitute a healthy lifestyle? Op needs to keep her dd away from mil.

sausagesandwich34 Mon 31-Dec-12 20:16:57

trekkie I'm 6ft so she's never going to be short grin

remember a friend of mine doing weightwatchers and eating freddos because they were lower points than fresh pineapple!

it's nonsense and has really wound me up

AfterEightMintyy Mon 31-Dec-12 20:19:24

My almost 12 year old dd is nearly 5ft 3" and still well under 7 stone, but she talks about having fat thighs sad. It can only have come from weight-obsessed children at school.

Oldandcobwebby Mon 31-Dec-12 20:26:20

Your MIL needs her jaw wired up. She would lose weight, but more importantly it would stop her poisonous tongue warping your DDs mind. What a fucking stupid woman.

HildaOgden Mon 31-Dec-12 20:28:20

Have a word with Gran,she probably means well.If needs be,tell her the school have been on to all parents expressing concerns about some girls getting eating disorders,and advising that all diet related conversations only happen in school.

If dd seems to be getting too hung up on Gran being right...explain to her that the main reason Gran yo-yo's and has to keep dieting is because she does these ridiculous diets which damage her metabolism.Get her some literature on the food pyramid and stress how important it is to eat proper 'fuel' for her body.

Try not to stress too much,if it wasn't Gran who mentioned diets,it would have been one of her pals.With a bit of luck,she will get fed up of it with a week or 2 anyway and revert back to normal.

Lancrehotpot Mon 31-Dec-12 20:29:49

I was a chubby 11 year old. My grandmother is a serial dieter and to 'help' me she encouraged me to follow her weight watchers plan. The praise she gave me when I slimmed down was fantastic. A year later, I was struggling with anorexia with bulimic episodes. There were other factors that may have influenced me, but the seeds were definitely planted by my Grandma. Your MIL needs to be told what an idiot she's being and she needs to shut up about anything to do with weight. Perhaps not using those words, but she needs to be made aware how dangerous this talk is.

Darkesteyes Mon 31-Dec-12 20:46:12

sausagesandwich34Mon 31-Dec-12 19:02:38

MIL thinks it's important for girls to know how to manage their weight as so many turn into fat teens


Only girls? Not boys then. Bad enough that shes put your DD on the first step to an eating disorder. But shes also teaching your DD that females should be valued based on their looks. If shes saying its just girls that need to do this then its nothing to do with health and more to do with sexism and mysogyny.

WorraLorraTurkey Mon 31-Dec-12 21:02:53

BOF I know they do...I wasn't advocating diets.

Just open honesty.

Trekkie Mon 31-Dec-12 21:20:11

oldandcobwebby has the right idea grin

sausages I hope (and am sure) that you can counteract your silly MILs words. 11+ is a tricky time for children and they don't need this sort of nonsense. I really think you need to have a serious conversation with your MIL and if she won't agree to put a sock in it then you will have to have a think.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Mon 31-Dec-12 21:52:30

5 foot 3 and 7 stone 10! That sounds very slim or is the BMI calculator done by age? I'm 5'3 and would be very thin if I was that weight.

sausagesandwich34 Mon 31-Dec-12 21:54:08

BMI calculator is a children's one

MrsMushroom Mon 31-Dec-12 22:03:42

worra like others, I am shock at you. "Get trim" indeed! What are you on? A 1950's commercial!

The kid's 11 and her BMI is normal!

KenLeeeeeeeInnaSantaHat Mon 31-Dec-12 22:03:51

An 11yo child worrying about having a bikini body makes me feel very sad and angry. By all means instill a proper understanding of a balanced diet & keeping active, but to start projecting issues of body image onto such a young girl is just disgraceful.

A diet of 800-1000 cals/day is not healthy on any level. I would be beyond livid.

yousmell Mon 31-Dec-12 22:08:40

I think you need to show her the healthy range BMI and explain that she is well within the lines and not to bother with dieting.

PimpMyHippo Mon 31-Dec-12 22:15:19

YANBU. My serial-dieting mother started taking me to WeightWatchers with her when I was 11 (I thought I was enormous, but looking at pictures I can see I was an ordinary sized child), and throughout my teenage years she would regularly compete with me and my sister to see who could lose half a stone the fastest, with a cash prize for the winner, or offer to spend £200 on new clothes for me if I could get down to a certain weight. In between diets we'd binge on chocolate and cakes together.

Unsurprisingly, I've had eating disorders all my adult life - never anorexia, but bulimia and over-eating issues. Much to my mum's disgust, my BMI is now firmly in the obese range. I'm sure she'd much rather I'd become anorexic instead - I'd still be just as unhappy, but at least I'd be the thin daughter she wanted. angry sad

So yeah, putting too much emphasis on dieting (as opposed to sensible healthy eating) is a really really unhealthy thing to do to a child and if I were you I'd be using all my restraint not to resort to violence against MIL!

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Mon 31-Dec-12 22:24:12

I remember being on a low calorie diet (with mother's approval) when I was 11. I looked fine then. Thirty years and about 3zillion diets later, I remain obese. I would try to stop this, OP, if you can.

WorraLorraTurkey Mon 31-Dec-12 23:01:55

You're shocked that a child might need to 'get trim'?

Really MrsMushroom??

When my DS2 was in year 6 he took part in the national weights and measurment programme.

He had a fairly big flabby belly which both I and my DH had already decided we needed to help him do something about, as he was the least mobile of our 3 DCs...preferring to read, play the violin and guitar rather than playing in the park/swimming/bike riding etc...

His results were that he had a healthy BMI.

Now despite the fact my DS and everyone else with eyesight could see he and an unhealthy amount of abdominal fat, are you suggesting he didn't need to get trim and that he should have continued with all that fat clinging to his internal organs? confused

I'd like to say I'm shocked that you're shocked, but actually I'm not because there's a lot of ignorance about these issues...that's why I'm hoping things will change in the future.

Less 'shock' and more action will lead to a healthier and longer life for our kids.

WorraLorraTurkey Mon 31-Dec-12 23:02:45

and = had

pointedlynoresolutions Mon 31-Dec-12 23:08:55

Worra I would not use the word 'trim' as that is linked to visual appearance - I would prefer to use 'fit' as in, having good stamina, strength, speed and agility. A healthy diet plays a part in that, but so does exercise. You were of course absolutely right to intervene with your DD2, BMI or not, but I do think with teenagers you need to think carefully about the terminology you use.

DD1 is in Yr7, she is on the 74th centile on the NHS child BMI calculator. That has not changed since September. However, she has changed a lot in other ways - all her clothes are loose and she is visibly more muscled and toned, because instead of 2 sessions of PE a week she now plays netball and basketball for the school. Between training and fixtures as well as PE, she is doing 7-8 hours of sport a week, plus swimming on weekends. It's this, in combination with a healthy diet, that has made the difference.

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Tue 01-Jan-13 01:09:01

I'd rip MIL's head off and stick it up her arse!
Nobody should be encouraging an 11 yo to go on a 800-1000 calorie diet. She is a child. A child needs encouragement and education to eat the right foods in the right amounts as part of a normal diet.
as for a Bikini body, the poor kid probably hasnt even hit puberty yet! Stupid stupid woman!

brighthair Tue 01-Jan-13 01:55:13

I would be raging. Not saying much as I would have to name change but I have issues with a family member that consistently berates me about my weight. They have never said I look nice, or called me pretty or beautiful just fat and chunky etc
I vow that when I have a daughter I will tell her how beautiful inside and out she is

brighthair Tue 01-Jan-13 02:03:10

Forgot to say I think fitness is one of the most important things. I have a size 4/6 friend. Eats like a horse but never exercises, gets out of breath running for a bus. I'm size 16 with a stupidly broad frame (can't fit fingers around wrists) but I exercise a lot and can easily do an hours spin or circuits
I think pointing out physical effects such as brittle bones, unfitness is maybe more? Important than physical appearance
But as I said in my previous post I am biased, I now have a slight problem with food, I can't eat with people watching. And that's down to my upbringing

lottiegarbanzo Tue 01-Jan-13 04:56:18

I hope you can have a major conversation with your dd about this, discuss what is desirable, healthy, how this is best achieved and why health is more important than appearance. That your MiL is always on a diet says it all really.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 01-Jan-13 05:09:08

I think 11 is a really crucial age, probably pre-puberty but at the point where girls are likely to start taking an interest in teenage things (if they haven't already). Certainly 10/11 was the age when I went from blissful obliviousness about my shape to thinking that losing weight was generally 'a good thing' and obvious slimness desirable. That became a bit unhealthy around 14-16 but the seeds were planted at 11 and included comments from family members implying I was not slim (I grew the way your dd does, so had chubbier phases) and that this was some sort of personal failing. That linked weight to self worth very effectively.

Lavenderhoney Tue 01-Jan-13 05:17:03

I don't have any teens (yet!) but this would fill me with rage.
If your dd has balanced diet, and gets plenty of exercise even just walking the dog that should be fine.
Can you talk to someone at school and see if they are doing healthy eating in any subjects and explain that you feel with coming up to being a teenager it might be useful? And your dd has had some mixed messages from mil? As I feel children will often listen to a teacher as well as a parent.

Also, it might be time to point out about air brushing and being lovely as a whole, looking at what she might like to achieve when a bit older and how that is extremely unlikely to come about if her main concern is what she looks like in a bikini for 2 weeks of the year. What was your mil thinking?
Has your dd got any role models that arent celebs? They seem hard to find to me, starts with that wretched Barbie and Disney princesses...

mathanxiety Tue 01-Jan-13 05:18:18

'The Care and Keeping of You' is a sensible book published by American Girl Press that addresses healthy lifestyle, explains about periods, body changes, etc -- I highly recommend it for an 11 year old. It has a positive and healthy message about the body and what a girl needs to have as her priorities.

Please do your utmost to keep your DD away from your MIL. I grew up around someone who had (and still has) bulimia and massive body image and food control issues. This kind of issue is not something that is a part of someone's life -- it is their life and it colours every aspect of their day to day living and every relationship they have.

Impressionable young people who are in frequent contact with an authority figure who has a body image/ food control problem learn very soon what aspect of themselves the adult will focus in on in any relationship they want to have with that adult, and will learn what the adult expects of them and comply in order to avoid criticism or in order to be accepted, and because it feels exciting and flattering to be treated as an 'adult', initiated into the world of 'sophisticated adult concerns' by someone who is in fact pretty sick. It is a toxic situation and no good can come of it. Your MIL has been doing this to herself for years, engaging in sick thinking and letting this take over her life. It's a serious problem that won't go away by itself or in response to pleas for sanity from you. It will express itself in every glance she throws your DD's way even if she does agree not to say a word.

I am 44 and have had food issues all my life, mostly manifesting as comfort eating. I can trace this directly to my mum's weird issues about food. If she didn't need to eat to live, she wouldn't bother. We always have trouble when we go out with her, she spends ages looking at the menu and whatever she picks there's always something wrong. She hates fruit and veg and has a very narrow range of food she will eat.

It's only now, in the last year that I've really been able to see the web of effects these issues created. I've begun to try new foods, and slowly I'm beginning to shake off the old habits. It won't surprise anyone who's read this far that I am obese.

I agree with those who have said to concentrate on the fitness aspect towards encouraging a healthy diet, and healthy attitude to food. I have decided to concentrate on getting fit myself and just try to eat sensibly, rather than to go on a diet. I began shortly before xmas on the couch to 5k programme, and although I had to quit for a while I did notice that I was getting fitter and my trousers a little less tight grin I don't have scales in the house, but I am around 16 stone and I will know if I've lost weight. (So, if you see me blundering along on the fitness programme, a smile of support wouldn't go amiss grin)

Another thing I thought of is to maybe get your DD involved in the preparation and cooking of food.

Knowing I had these issues, I have done my best not to pass them on to the DCs. DD is 12.5 and does cook dinner with me and we discuss menus. I discuss what would be a balanced menu and how we can vary our diets. So far, she looks reasonably fit and toned, walks a lot and will try most food.

DS is almost 9 and wants to cook as well.

elizaregina Tue 01-Jan-13 11:35:46

I have whole list of why i dont want my mil to have miuch to do with my DD and my mils OBSESSION with her weight is also one reason, i also think its very irresponsible and dangerous to push such things onto young impressionsable children

Moominsarehippos Tue 01-Jan-13 11:47:15

I'd find the whole 'slim to get into a bikini' more worrying than slimming down.

I'd chat to her about eating healthy and exercise, and how food for a growing child is very different (if growth and development) than food for an adult (fuel and regeneration). I hope to goodness she's not imagining a diet will turn her into one of those pop stars that are all plastic boobs and fake hair. I'd also have a chat about self image (and image manipulation in magazines) and respect for her self (it doesn't come with a weight loss diet).

freetoanyhome Tue 01-Jan-13 11:58:17

tell your MIL to butt out. My own MIL did this to one of my daughters as the stupid woman is obsessed with being under 8 stone regardless of height. Poor dd still battles anorexia. If she wasnt an adult I'd ban her from going near MIL who when she visits here tells me I'm fat - 6 foot and 10 stone (see, not the magic 8 stone) yet buys us chocolate.
Once the eating disorder starts, they never go away.

ALMOSTMRSG Tue 01-Jan-13 12:09:25

OP - my Dd was 12 a few weeks ago. She has regular appointments with an NHS dietician,as she has coeliac disease, her height and weight are monitored at these appointments. At the last appointment she was 5ft 4in and 7st 10. Dietician said her proportions were excellent, if a little underweight. I don't think your DD is overweight.

Startail Tue 01-Jan-13 13:51:07

My DSIS was big at 11 and is still very overweight at 42.

My DD1 was big at 11 and shot up.

At almost 15 she isn't skinny, she is a very standard size 12 and it suits her.

Therefore I know you have to keep a very careful eye on 11y and their sizes.

I don't subscribe to total paranoia about talking about weight and diets because all DDs are different.

DD1 will never have an eating what ever you say because she has a deep unshakable self confidence and loves food.

DD2 (who fortunately is an exactly average 11y) cares deeply what other people think of her and is stubborn enough to take to an extreme diet.

Only you know your DD well enough to know whether she will listen to you discussing these issues sensibly with her and smile and nod at her Grandmother. Or whether you need to tell MIL to shut up.

I think the pressures to be thin from society are such that even if you have a row with your MIL your DD will still be subject to pressures

LittleBairn Tue 01-Jan-13 14:12:03

WTF I would ban your DD of having any contact with your MIL she is a dangerous influence.

SugarplumMary Tue 01-Jan-13 14:26:05

I'm pretty sure in a few years I will be in this position. I've already had words with MIL but it is still there and with FIL a bit.

ODD thing is the still want the DC to finish everything on thier plates and buy them crap to eat and still sometimes try and hide that from us.

So thanks mathanxiety for the book recomendation.

Worryingly there are many eating disorders in my wider family both under and over eating and at 7 she seems to pick up from other school DC concerns about weight and eating.

OP - find a way to shut your MIL up but expect the problems from her to get more subtle. I can only suggest you teach about nutrition and exercise to counter like many others have.


oldpeculiar Tue 01-Jan-13 14:44:32

My DD is 11.5, 5 ft 0 and and weighs 5 st 7, so your DD is much heavier.I think she is in the range where an eye needs to be kept on things , but with more emphasis on healthy eating and exercise than calorie counting!

whathaveiforgottentoday Tue 01-Jan-13 15:00:21

I would have been furious and YADNBU.
Obsessing about food and worrying about their body shape is a concern for young girls and research is beginning to support this (can find the evidence if you need). In short, your approach was correct and your MIL is wrong.

AfterEightMintyy Tue 01-Jan-13 20:08:13

Thread's probably died now but if anyone is still reading I just want to second the recommendation for The Care And Keeping Of You which I think is an excellent book for young girls. My dd loves it.

GrumpySod Tue 01-Jan-13 20:32:22

I think it's a good chance to talk to the DD about the many misguided images girls and women get about healthy relationships with their bodies & with food. How this permeates society so much that even MIL has been sucked in (despite her best intentions). This whole episode sounds pretty tame compared to stuff she'll hear from peers and pick up from magazines & other media. It doesn't have to be as cerebral as that, just "Granny means best but she's a bit misguided" message.

I wouldn't ban her or stop her going over. If she were my DD I'd tell her to eat what felt right instead of calorie counting, & that as a growing active girl she doesn't have to watch her weight like MIL, there's plenty of time to worry about that when she's (ancient) over 50.

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