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aibu to ask you how to deal with my 15 year old dd deciding she's fat and refusing to eat dinner?

(32 Posts)
carpieharp Sun 09-Feb-14 17:35:30

Today dd was meant to be leaving to go to the theatre with friends, about 10 mins before she stomped into my room on the verge of tears saying she's not going because shes gone really spotty overnight, her hair is greasy and her thighs are fat. She's a size 10 jeans so when she declared that her 'thighs look like they belong on a morbidly obese woman' I nearly laughed. In the end she stomped out the house late and went. Now she's gotten back and headed to her room in a strop and saying how she doesn't want any dinner. How do I react to this? My mother would always just tell me ' well stop eating so much rubbish then' if I told her I was fat, which didn't help and acknowledged I was fat. So how does correctly react to this?

AwfulMaureen Sun 09-Feb-14 17:38:00

Don't react at all but leave her dinner available for later. I was like Mum and Dad ignored me.

innisglas Sun 09-Feb-14 17:41:32

Maybe you could tell her that the only way to have good skin and good hair is to eat healthily.

A few years ago I saw a photo of my class and myself at 15 and was so surprised to see that I was one of the prettiest in the class, as at the time I was convinced I was ugly.

SirChenjin Sun 09-Feb-14 17:44:07

Tell her that she is beautiful and not eating is not an option, as she will need to eat a good, balanced diet in order to keep her body in good working order - but if she feels like she would like to control what she's eating then she is welcome to menu plan for you for the next month.

harriet247 Sun 09-Feb-14 17:45:17

Sounds like hormone crazed rage to me- i would leave her dinner in the oven and let her creep dOwn later. If she does seem down i might treat her to nice hair cut/perfume so she feels a bit more confident.
Is there a possibility of a crush going on too?

CeliaFate Sun 09-Feb-14 17:45:24

Tell her that the body stores more fat if it's starved instead of burning calories. The only way to remain healthy (and stress healthy, not fat/thin) is to eat a good range of foods from each food group and drink plenty of water/milk.
Have a look at the NHS website. It's hard to argue with a third party giving her facts.

phantomnamechanger Sun 09-Feb-14 17:46:45

eating lots of good healthy foods is a) what her body needs to grow and b) will keep her skin/hair etc in good nick

IF she needed to lose weight at all, which it sounds like she doesn't, I would suggest moderate exercise and the cutting out of snacks and fizzy drinks as a very easy option.

If she starves herself there is a real danger of snacking on unhealthy things or overeating at the next meal and also the body goes into famine mode and stores food as fat more readily just in case food is going to be in short supply

cory Sun 09-Feb-14 17:48:22

I would point out that it is normal to feel this way from time to time while your body is growing and changing and you are awash with hormones, but that doesn't mean your feelings are any reflection on reality. Point out that not eating a balanced diet is more likely to lead to weight problems.

I too felt fat and uncomfortable during puberty. Photographs show a slim and rather pretty looking girl.

carpieharp Sun 09-Feb-14 17:54:42

Thanks everyone, I'm just concerned because a few months ago she started eating vert little and lost a load of weight, she's put nearly all of it back on now but I'm scared she's slipping back into that and it may be more extreme than last time

specialsubject Sun 09-Feb-14 17:58:11

although clothing sizes are random, if she wears a size 10 then unless she is six inches tall she isn't fat. 10 is skinny in the real world.

so - tantrums? Stupidity? attention seeking? Or something more serious?

can you catch her at a calm moment and find out a) what is behind this and b) have a calm chat about the importance of not wrecking good health, the importance of not being fooled by media fakery and that intelligent people know that the right weight for height is a range, not a fixed number.

good luck.

lljkk Sun 09-Feb-14 18:00:23

It might be good to talk to her about real things, ask her what's bothering her in her life. Don't get distracted by talk of fat or ugly. Hint at real things like school pressure or unhelpful friends. When she feels that she can fix those things, the odds are that the body image stuff will sort itself.

Xenadog Sun 09-Feb-14 18:05:06

As someone who has taught children with eating disorders please can I ask that you take her to one side and ask what's really going on. Try not to give any opinions but just ask what's going on and why she thinks she feels as she does.

It may just be a typical teenage strop but it may be something more. You may or may not be able to get to the bottom of what's going on but regardless I would keep an eye on what she is eating for the next few weeks and listen to any comments she makes about size, body image, weight etc.

carpieharp Sun 09-Feb-14 18:13:20

Okay, I've left out some of her favorite(low calorie) food to tempt her but she's still refusing and claiming she's going to watch a dvd and go to bed. Shall I push her on having something or just leave her be and hope she wakes up tomorrow deciding to eat?

carpieharp Sun 09-Feb-14 18:19:32


JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 09-Feb-14 18:22:46

I have NO idea if this is a good idea, so feel free to disagree... but the one thing I saw that really opened my eyes about anorexia was a documentary where the woman had completely destroyed her body to the point that she could only eat these little pots of brown sludge - her body couldn't cope with anything else. She was also in a wheelchair and infertile.

I'm not suggesting your DD has anorexia, but obviously she's at that point where it's going to be good to have that discussion with her. If I'd ever been in that position as a teenager, that documentary would have done it for me. Maybe some people might say that scare tactics are a bad idea though.

drudgetrudy Sun 09-Feb-14 18:25:30

I'd leave it for now and just leave food available for her but would definitely make the opportunity for her to talk to you about her feelings and friendships as soon as possible. I would also keep a subtle eye on what she is eating over the next couple of weeks without making it too obvious to her. Then if you think a problem is developing you can take advice.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 09-Feb-14 18:28:53

Here she is... sorry, Daily Mail, but if you're looking for a scare story I suppose they're your first stop.

MoreSkyThanWeNeed Sun 09-Feb-14 18:33:03

Difficult one and stressful for you, I'm sure.
I had an ED as a teenager and never spoke about my appearance with my mum. Perhaps if I had and she had talked to me about my good attributes, it may have helped (not that she didn't pay me compliments, it's just my figure was only discussed when discussing the ED).
Keep lines of communication open, stress that everyone has insecurities but taking drastic unhealthy action is dangerous and doesn't work.
All the best - being a teenager was shit at times, being a mother of a teenager must be doubly hard!

carpieharp Sun 09-Feb-14 18:44:16

Thanks,just don't know if making a big deal out of this may just be the idea in her head of continuing to not eat to make a point or something, but as I said she did previously lose a lot of weight after eating as little as possible so I don't know what to do with her, she doesn't care about her health, she figures she'd rather live a short life filled with doing what she wants than a long boring one :s

Littleen Sun 09-Feb-14 18:59:21

If it continues, you got to have her talk to someone. It's a high risk to take to ignore it, my parents ignored me and I ended up near-death with heart issues at 16, and eventually getting help (from someone outside the family) because they refused to see it as anything unusual. My mother also stopped including me for dinner and so I didn't actually have anything to eat unless I bought it myself. Don't fall in that trap because she won't eat or complains about it.

NearTheWindmill Sun 09-Feb-14 18:59:31

You boost her confidence. You tell her she's gorgeous. You help and encourage her. You get her counselling if required. It's all about confidence and self perception. You never ever criticise her appearance.

From the heart of a recovered anorexic. My dd at 12 had a phase of this; we got her a counsellor and she turned around. She lost a stone in three months. She is a size 10, 5.4, and very happy and sound at 15 although I always keep an eye out and I continually boost. x

Littleen Sun 09-Feb-14 19:00:51

Oh and don't push her to eat, in that age its more likely to reaffirm her decision not to eat.

NearTheWindmill Sun 09-Feb-14 19:03:27

Oh, and carpie it's not your fault. To post here and ask for help is all the evidence all the world needs that you are a brilliant mum >>hugs<< . It's flipping hard. x

carpieharp Sun 09-Feb-14 19:06:11

Thanks near, apart from her weight loss thing a few months ago its so out of character, she had always gotten angry at me if I wouldn't let her eat loads of chocolate and junk food instead of healthy stuff. But lately she has been having more sad days than usual

NearTheWindmill Sun 09-Feb-14 19:50:34

Something I put together ages afterwards carpie was that dd's "crisis" hit about 18 months after starting her periods (she was very early at 10.5). I think I might have taken my eye off the ball and lots of my friends have said their dd's have had a huge wobble about 12 - 24 months after that. Does that ring true at all? I'm convinced with dd some of it was hormonal and because she seemed to cope so well at the time, at least with the mechanics, I think we took our eye off the ball.

Was your dd possibly a bit of a late developer who is noticing significant body changes a bit later.

My apols if I'm overthinking this for you.

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