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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

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.

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