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9 yr old son, picked on.. "skinny".."bony" .. bit more to it though... stealing food at night!

(38 Posts)
chartmc Thu 30-Jun-16 22:40:36

so worried about my 9 yr old son. sports day tomorrow.. he loves sports but he is so worried because yet again like on a p.e day he has to get dressed/undressed in front of his class. he is a tall boy... but very very thin.. lanky perhaps some people would say? he eats like a horse.. its his build. i have took him to the doctors twice and they have reassured me.. but it is really upsetting him now that people in his class are calling him bony, bone, starved and skinny.. ?! he said to me the other day theycall him names ad that he wouldnt say stuff to a fat person cuz its the same. (bless him!!!) he is stealing/helping himself to food at night.. im finding the wrappers in his room he will hide them anywhere he can.. im not talking one or two i mean 6/7 wrappers a night.. ceral bars crisps.. chocolate bars.. raisins you name it literally anything. im SURE he is trying to put on weight.. he has so much for tea.. sometimes seconds.. cant feed him enough.. he eats more that me and my partner put together sometimes.. i dunno how his little tummy takes it!! before he said about how he felt about being so skinny etc i was telling him off thinking he was just being naughty. this is literally a call for help. it seems like the opposite of annorexia. i have locked all crisps, sweet stuff away in our bedroom so he cant get it. but then he has been eating bread and butter.. i cant lock everything away!!. sad desparate mum. do you think its a trip to the doctors?? what r ur suggestion?? i feel like ive tried everything. help..??

BabyGanoush Thu 30-Jun-16 22:42:54

Really? Locking away food?

Just let him eat more do he doesn't have to "steal" food.

Poor kid. Let him eat.

BombadierFritz Thu 30-Jun-16 22:45:11

Have healthy food in the house
Let him eat what he wants
Tell school he is being bullied

chartmc Thu 30-Jun-16 22:49:10

he eats so much.. its not that hes stealing it.. more helping himself but when hes brushed his teeth and gone to bed i dont really want him coming down eating food in bed and rotting his teeth. he eats so much its not the fact that hes hungry. do you think im being unreasonable really? x

janethegirl2 Thu 30-Jun-16 22:51:01

Feed the poor kid more in his main meals. Teenage boys can eat loads. Is he getting enough calories in his 3 main meals?

Canyouforgiveher Thu 30-Jun-16 22:53:12

There are two things going on here in my view

1. your son is being bullied. It doesn't matter that he is being bullied about being skinny (which is generally seen as being a good thing in our society). Kids are calling him names and making him feel bad about himself and you need to go into the school and talk to them about this in a very serious way.

2. your son is developing some disordered eating and you need to nip this in the bud right now. Go to your GP and ask for help.

rainytea Thu 30-Jun-16 22:56:08

I don't think locking food away is a good thing because it makes it seem like there's something wrong with what he's doing on top of feeling there's something wrong with his body.

How about a) talking to him about it so it's no longer secret eating b) getting rid of all the crisps etc and having only healthy snacks (or things like almond butter instead of plain butter as it's healthier) c) suggestion v he gave a supper before bed because you're worried about his teeth. But if he does that he has to agree to no more night time eating.

Also discuss with him that what these kids are saying is wrong and not true. And have a look at Tour de France cyclists as an example of skinny guys who are fit. Often their thighs are a bit muscly, but the rest of them isn't.

And definitely speak to the school and don't be fobbed off because it's about him being skinny, rather than fat.

Canyouforgiveher Thu 30-Jun-16 22:56:29

Also meant to say that some skinny children can literally eat anything. I had a friend (still the same slim weight at 50) who would literally have a steak and an egg for a snack if she was hungry. Her brothers and her and her parents were all the same - could eat what they wanted. They would eat chocolate bars with tea in the evening with no effect.

But your son seems to be eating not out of hunger - although you need to check this - but out of a desire to gain weight. If he just wants to gain weight or muscle then a trip to the GP is still the best way to start. He could increase protein, increase good fats etc.

The bullying would still bother me more.

rainytea Thu 30-Jun-16 22:58:11

*the almond butter suggestion is kind of an example rather than a command ;) it's also more a replacement for things like peanut butter than dairy butter, but for snacking can be a healthier alternative to dairy butter.

Lucked Thu 30-Jun-16 23:00:28

I think the OPs point is she doesn't think he is hungry but deliberately trying to change his physique. Also possibly developing an unhealthy attitude to food and problems with body image. That is heartbreaking in a 9 year old.

Have you as him down with the wrappers and had a heart to heart? i think you need to talk before asking for help.

chartmc Thu 30-Jun-16 23:04:59

yeah, he eats loads.. 3 weetabix for breakfast.. bagel for snack at lunch.. cooked school dinner.. snack when hes home.. tea obviously varies, but there are 5 of us and he always eats a proper plate full, some times he will have seconds.. then dessert if he wants? sometimes he is too full. trust me he is far from starved. i knew it was a bad idea posting anything on here. everyone so judgmental. i feed him enough!! that is without a doubt. perhaps im wrong locking food away. but he doesnt need to eat it. if he asked i wouldnt mind. and ive told him this. its the whole "secret eating" thing thats worrying me. cuz even when i catch him with food in his bed or find wrappers he denies it and apparently doesnt even know how they get there. sad

MeMySonAndl Thu 30-Jun-16 23:08:29

I disagree, saying let him eat is the same as saying let her stop eating to a parent concerned about anorexia.

This is not about a hungry boy, it is about his perception of himself. I would suggest you book an appointment to talk to the GP about your worries, but leave DS at home for this one. It is about self esteem and learning to deal with the unhelpful comments.

How old is he? will doing some exercise help? My son is really skinny, even when he eats far, really far, more than I do. He started some sports classes a few years ago, which made him more toned and he felt a bit better about himself BUT the real change came when he became very good at the sport and once he felt more confident, he stopped paying attention to the shape of his body. It is about self esteem, honestly, not food.

There are some people that cannot put on weight. When I was young I could eat (and ate) a huge amount of food without putting any weight but I could loose more than a pound if I missed one single meal.

My ex was the same, he was always counting calories because if he ate less than usual he would get thinner.

CodyKing Thu 30-Jun-16 23:14:33

Your priority is the bullying. What are you doing about that?

When that stops you can work on self asteem until then he is trying to solve a perceived problem.

MeMySonAndl Thu 30-Jun-16 23:16:24

Chart, at that age my DS' diet was very similar to yours:
-Cereal for breakfast
- Fruit snack at school
- lunch was normally a huge plate of bolognaise, paella, or 2-3 sandwiches with 2 vegetables and fruit juice.
- He would have a light snack at 3 at the after school club
- full dinner at 5 at the after school club
- full dinner at home at 7 ( normally big portion of protein, carbs and 2 vegetable portions
- cereal before bed time.

And that was when he was not eve concerned about his looks!

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 30-Jun-16 23:17:01

I think you are right to be concerned and I would speak to the school about the bullying (my daughter gets teased about being skinny a lot and it is upsetting because as you say if anyone said similar things to a plump child all hell would break loose but calling a child bony or too skinny seems ok with schools.

I think you need to get advice about the secret eating though, that isn't right and like you say he quite probably isn't hungry.

chartmc Thu 30-Jun-16 23:27:24

yeah hes really active.. football running. he loves his sports and would normally be really looking forward to sports days. loves all sports.. except swimming ... but only till recently. he is very conscious of his body all of a sudden, obviously cuz what people have been saying at school. but he has only told me what theyve said a few days ago so now this "stealing" (which has been going on for weeks/months) seems to be quite a bit more than that.. really quite worried about him. i do think gp is best place and perhaps i should go without him first.. do ya think thats the right thing to do? x

chartmc Thu 30-Jun-16 23:30:21

i know its just his build though. so there isnt really alot a doc can do is there? im sure its just trying to make him feel secure and comfortable in his own body. but i literally have no idea how. perhaps they can help with that.

MeMySonAndl Thu 30-Jun-16 23:50:23

Exactly, that's were the GP can help, by referring him for help if necessary or check that he doesn't have any other health problem that is affecting his weight.

MeMySonAndl Thu 30-Jun-16 23:52:38

But you need to go on your own the first time, you really cannot talk about weight worries in front of a teenager, he will not appreciate it. So better talk to GP freely at first and then bring him back for a check up.

BombadierFritz Fri 01-Jul-16 07:32:00

Why are you not listening and acting on the bullying issue?

MrsMarsch Fri 01-Jul-16 08:08:35

I think people are being unfair OP, you need a 2 pronged approach. The bullying in school needs tackling, healthy body image needs to cover everything and be inclusive, tall, short, fat, thin etc. does his teacher know about this?
Also have you spoken to him 1 to 1 about positive changes he can make? Maybe get him involved in cooking meals and show him the balance of carbs, fats, proteins, explain how his body uses each one. It's a learning experience and gives you some time together flowers

chartmc Fri 01-Jul-16 08:17:24

thankyou. i have spoke to his teacher and she said she would "keep an eye" but i might have to go in again and explain about this eating thing because i didnt link the 2 together until very recently. i might be barking up the complete wrong tree.
hopefully she will take it more seriously if i explain.
i will make an appointment to speak to a doctor.
he understand about healthy food, and wants to eat healthily. he eats big meals. and is fit and well. i took him to the doctors when i was younger, atwice and they had no concerns. i think the worry is his mind set if you know what i mean. i know he does want to put weight on. but i dont think he will no matter how much he eats or what he does. it is just his build. my dad was the same growing up apparently.

chartmc Fri 01-Jul-16 08:18:31

thankyou. i have spoke to his teacher and she said she would "keep an eye" but i might have to go in again and explain about this eating thing because i didnt link the 2 together until very recently. i might be barking up the complete wrong tree.
hopefully she will take it more seriously if i explain.
i will make an appointment to speak to a doctor.
he understand about healthy food, and wants to eat healthily. he eats big meals. and is fit and well. i took him to the doctors when he was younger, twice and they had no concerns. i think the worry is his mind set if you know what i mean. i know he does want to put weight on. but i dont think he will no matter how much he eats or what he does. it is just his build. my dad was the same growing up apparently.

GrimmauldPlace Fri 01-Jul-16 08:19:54

Has the gp tested his thyroid?

chartmc Fri 01-Jul-16 08:27:55

no they did no tests, he was just like "does he eat well? drink well? is he active?" i said yes.. "well you dont need to worry, hes fine.".. the other time i was told.. "hes growing.. UPwards at the moment.. and will more than likely fill out." like i said that was prob 2-3 years ago..

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