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To NOT go storming around to 13 year old dd's friend's mum's house

(123 Posts)
Shagmundfreud Fri 28-Dec-12 19:01:06

... bang on the door, and shout 'Why on earth did you give my dd diet pills? Are you insane woman?' Because a) she's MUCH bigger than me and b) she is insane?

background: dd has been friends with girl since they were 3. They were at nursery together. Have never communicated that well with mum or felt I know her well - her Mum's English isn't great (she's French Algerian), and her life is quite chaotic - six kids, one of whom is brain damaged from a fall from a window a few years ago. Mum has physical and mental health problems.

DD came home from their house last week with 12 diet tablets in a blister pack. God knows what they contain - googled them and found very little information. I think they're the ones which absorb fat from food. But could be more than that. Whatever, they've gone in the bin, and we had to endure an evening of screaming and shouting from dd, who is slightly overweight (allergic to exercise and fond of eating crap), who had been persuaded by the friend's mum that these tablets could be the answer to her problems.

I mean really - it's bonkers isn't it? But I'm afraid of this girl's mum as she's a bit unstable and VERY outspoken. I was once witness to her screaming at another mother in the street over something to do with comments which had passed between their daughters. So I won't be saying anything to her. Just binning the tablets and telling dd she's NEVER to take anything without our say so, and that diet pills don't work.

Pictureperfect Sat 29-Dec-12 14:37:50

One of the side effects from those don't absorb fat pills can be 'anal leakage', we all know they can cause worse than that but I wonder if the treat of the unpredicted leakage happening (especially at school) might help scare her away from them while you support her with the other issues

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 29-Dec-12 06:46:11

Shag and Mary and anyone else dealing with tricky teens for whatever reason, you have my sympathy, and a hmm at anyone here who thinks that it's easy to make a teen obey if you are draconic or sneaky enough.
I usually post about DS, but in these sorts of situations, he's easy. DD is the tricky one, but I'd rather cope and compromise and pick my fights than have her suicidal.
Or self-harming.
She's not overweight, but we have other issues to deal with that have been very challenging over the last couple of years. And glib, simplistic answers make me want to break things over heads sometimes.

FellatioNelson Sat 29-Dec-12 05:07:40

raid, not radio obviously. That would be weird. grin

FellatioNelson Sat 29-Dec-12 05:06:02

Just wanted to lend a supportive ear/shoulder to MaryZ and Shag as I am also the mother of one rather plump teenager and two whippet young adults. These things are never as simplistic as they seem to people who have no experience of it, and you need to tread extremely carefully for fear of giving a fat child a complex and making things worse.

DS3 (13) - very chubby. We struggle to get trousers in his age that do up at the middle. Started off as a very skinny child and then became inexplicably chubby aged nine, and has got fatter and fatter each year he has got older. He hates sport and does very little exercise out of choice, and certain lifestyle restrictions make it hard for him to walk much unless walking for the sheer sake of walking, iyswim. He would always eat junk food and pizza given the option, is a fruit and veg refusnik, but he does not over-eat in terms of quantity as far as I can see. He does do a feast and famine thing though - can go all day without food then has his evening meal and is hungry again in an hour and will come downstairs at midnight and radio the cupboards for crap. I have all but given up buying anything remotely 'treat-like' for this reason, but then DH and the other two moan because there is no food in. hmm Luckily the other two do not live with me all the time.

DS2 (17) - very thin, always has been. Very active, likes sport but doesn't really play any these days so he can hardly feel smug on that count, but always full of nervous energy, can't stay still in one place for long. He's always hungry, but a grazer - needs to eat little and often, gets full very easily and will vomit if he gets too full. (not intentionally) He will eat lots of salad and veg, and LOADS of high carb bland food like pasta, rice and bread, and covers everything in mayonnaise or cream, puts three or four sugars in his coffee. A combination that would ordinarily would make someone fat - but not him. Can take or leave meat. He still eats loads of takeaways and junk though.

DS1 (20) - Pretty much leads a sedentary and slug-like existence, hates sport and eats mostly crap. Will eat fruit and veg, to a point, but like most young men his age he has a massive appetite and would always choose meat, chips, fry-ups, takeaways etc. Is not a big fan of sugary things though. He is built like Tarzan; extremely muscular and lean. He likes to walk a lot, but that is it.

How do I explain to DS3 where he is going wrong when he looks at the other two and and sees little or no exercise going on, loads of junk food and takeaways (they buy them, not me) and a very mixed bag of both good and bad eating habits and preferences, and yet they are both thin?

That is a rhetorical question, btw, but just wanted to say it is not as simple as it sounds to change it, and it is not a simple as saying 'he eats crap so he is fat, he eats well so he is thin.'

anyway, back to the mad Algerian......

Shagmundfreud Fri 28-Dec-12 23:28:40

Thanks all.

<glugs wine>

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Fri 28-Dec-12 23:08:38

Shag wine... just that really wine

Good idea about the note etc - probably the best way to let her know you know & not put yourself in harms way.

<love the people saying 'don't let her go there then' - clearly they haven't had/known 'difficult or any teenagers!>

EnjoyResponsibly Fri 28-Dec-12 22:58:26

Man alive. I rue wrinkles, bingo wings and the onset if menopause, but I would never want to be a teenage girl again.

Sympathies OP.

Hassled Fri 28-Dec-12 22:47:23

How are things at school/with friendships? Is she going through the teenage-girl-hell? My DD comfort-ate like it was going out of fashion, and although I was the punching-bag and it seemed like it was home that made her unhappy, it was pretty much girls being cows to each other (she dealt it out as well as took it) and the ridiculous academic pressure she put on herself. I wish now that I'd understood that then.

WorraLorraTurkey Fri 28-Dec-12 22:41:49

What an awful situation OP.

I know it's probably too late now to suggest this, but we've always had a rule in this house that the kids have to ask if they want something to eat...just so we can keep track of what they're eating (and so they don't snaffle the packed lunch stuff!)

So DS might say, "Mum can I have a bag of crisps please?" and I might say, "No darling, you've just had some jaffa cakes and earlier on you had an ice cream...have some fruit this time".

My parents did the same with us and it really helps to keep track of who's eating what and when.

MaryChristmaZEverybody Fri 28-Dec-12 22:34:15

Yes exactly.

I have introduced dd to my fitness pal, and I think she is beginning to see that she will have to change.

But me saying anything at all definitely makes it worse.

I do feel sorry for her though, because the boys are bottomless pits and haven't a pick. But they do use up loads of energy, which she doesn't do.

Shagmundfreud Fri 28-Dec-12 22:31:03

I think trying to stop someone over eating when their eating is driven by an emotional compulsion is like trying to stop an alcoholic drinking.

Obviously you don't fill the house with fattening sugary snacks, but beyond that they have to learn to manage their eating - not have it managed for them.

MaryChristmaZEverybody Fri 28-Dec-12 22:21:41

And I think nob is polite grin

MaryChristmaZEverybody Fri 28-Dec-12 22:21:26

I can't empty my house of food, because we have to eat.

And I have two teenage sons, one of whom is seriously underweight, and the other who plays sport seven days a week. Both need a lot of food.

And there is usually no junk food so she will make tuna and sweetcorn sandwiches, with loads of butter and mayo (or should I not have those in the house either) or eat soup, or baked beans or raid the freezer.

Or sit down and eat a loaf of bread. Or start baking. Shall I chuck out the flour?

When she is feeling sorry for herself she eats. Otherwise, she is absolutely lovely. But me trying to stop her eating makes her unhappy, so she eats more.

It's a vicious circle.

Sorry, Shag, this isn't really on topic.

But is in reply to the people who seem to think that permanently taking a phone and pocket money from a teenager is a suitable punishment for them being overweight hmm. If you did that, it would surely lead to an eating disorder of some type.

mrsjay Fri 28-Dec-12 22:08:21

I'm glad I started this thread though, because I'm going to take the tablets to a pharmacist tomorrow. I'm then going to return them to the mum with a letter - "returning your tablets. I've asked the advice of a pharmacist who said these are not safe for children so please don't give her any more. Apologies if dd took the tablets without asking."

good for you , you need to stand up for your dd she will thank you eventually,

Shagmundfreud Fri 28-Dec-12 22:06:32

Mrsjay - it's probably more than a stone tbh. She's 5ft 3 and weighs 10 stone.

Anyway - at the moment it feels like her eating is the least of our worries.

I'm glad I started this thread though, because I'm going to take the tablets to a pharmacist tomorrow. I'm then going to return them to the mum with a letter - "returning your tablets. I've asked the advice of a pharmacist who said these are not safe for children so please don't give her any more. Apologies if dd took the tablets without asking."

HeadfirstForAMistletoeKiss Fri 28-Dec-12 21:49:04

Yep, no cheese, if that's the only way smile. Then only buy it when just about to use it (if you have a local shop). Or at least the half fat stuff.

I know it will only work in the short term though, what needs to tackling is the reason behind the over eating. I can't help much there I'm afraid, I'm 32 and only just working this out for myself confused

It does help though not to have the key binge foods in the house.

mrsjay Fri 28-Dec-12 21:41:56

t lasted a good few years (sorry) but she's lovely now. Hang in there. Just make the most of the few moments of good times, and do what you can to engineer some - it keeps you going through the darkness.

^ ^ this keep at it even if you have to keep repeating the same things then thats what u do

mrsjay Fri 28-Dec-12 21:40:48

a child needs a lot of what she is eating Shag tbh it maybe comforting eating I dont know but a stone over weight isn't that much is it she isn't obese

Hassled Fri 28-Dec-12 21:34:19

Do you have a Wii? The money to get one? Because Wii Fit is good, or those dancey ones are meant to be fun and you do actually shift some flab. That may be a way to get your DD moving.

Having had an overweight monstrous 13 year old DD some years ago I have bucketloads of sympathy. I was in absolute despair at times - it's so easy to say "you should do this, say that" but the reality is different. It lasted a good few years (sorry) but she's lovely now. Hang in there. Just make the most of the few moments of good times, and do what you can to engineer some - it keeps you going through the darkness.

Shagmundfreud Fri 28-Dec-12 21:33:20

Head first - no cheese? Pate? Bacon? Butter?

My fridge has these things in as well as fruit and veg. Sadly it's these things dd eats when she's on the rampage.

I really can't stop buying cheese because she eats it can I?

And even olives make you fat if you eat enough of them!

Shagmundfreud Fri 28-Dec-12 21:30:39

Love the way me calling someone a nob for taking the Daily Wail line that prisons are too soft, is taken as evidence of my poor parenting. hmm

I don't use food as punishment btw. [although dd would disagree - the fact that I don't regularly buy massive multipacks of crisps and fill the shopping trolley with coke is clear evidence for her of my parental neglect of her needs]

HeadfirstForAMistletoeKiss Fri 28-Dec-12 21:26:41

Short of locking the fridge and depriving dd of any pocket money, there is no way to stop her eating between meals.

Well if you only keep healthy stuff in the fridge there's no need to lock it.

And if my dd needed to lose weight and was buying junk with her pocket money, yes I would stop it. I would be happy to buy anything else she needed in place of the pocket money, bar the junk.

I wouldn't go around to the other mums house though, but dd wouldn't be allowed around there!

cumfy Fri 28-Dec-12 21:06:15

I'd fish the "evidence" back out of the bin.

You're right you don't know what these tablets are.

kickassmomma Fri 28-Dec-12 21:02:28

to be honest if it was me I'd be raising welfare concerns for the woman's DC!! sounds harsh but if she saw right to give your did diet pills at 13 can you imagine what she could be like with her own children!? that could very detrimental to there own insecurities about weight as they get older let's face it I bet the majority of girls have wanted to loose weight pre-1. I also speak from experience on this one my my, was anorexic when I was a toddler and I have grown up with am awful view of food. I'm not by no means skinny but my eating habits are awful, just like my mums. I think I'm like that because I witnessed her anorexia. if those DC see there mum dishing diet pills out or even taking them they will think its right and may be taking them younger than your did I would seriously consider flagging this up with someone perhaps gp

Doinmummy Fri 28-Dec-12 20:50:23

I think it's unfair to be so hard on the Op. I am speaking from very bitter experience. Some teens are very very difficult. Oh that it were that easy to dish out discipline and hey presto, perfect kids.

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