Please Tell Me What You Would Do!!!! This Is Long Sorry!

Updated on July 28, 2015
A.N. asks from San Antonio, TX
42 answers

I currently live with my parents till the summer. My daughter is 6 and I honestly feel like she is addicted to food, she is (edit*)25 lbs overweight (shes on a weight plan with her pediatrician) I don't allow her to have soda, candy, ice cream, basically any junk food because of this. She is currently seeing a counselor also. I tell her she shouldn't have junk because its bad for her, and she's okay with that. I always allowed her these things until it became a problem.

Our longtime family friend had a birthday today and my daughter was only concerned with going so she could eat cake. Maybe its because I know her and you guys kids are different, but I can tell its a problem thats the only reason she wanted to go. To me parties are for being with family and friends, having fun, and supporting the person whose party it is.

I mentioned to my mom what she said and not to allow her to have any. They left before I did to the party and when I arrived I was informed that she had cupcakes and a lot of soda. I confronted my mother who accused me of being "abusive" and said "but its a party, that's what party's are for". She argued and is even trying to kick me out of "her" house. She raced home before I could and told my dad who then also yelled saying "thats what a party is. Cake and ice cream, how can you tell her she can go to a party and not feed her that!" (my parents are obese if that matters to your pov)

My main issue is I said no cake and no soda and my daughter even told my mom she wasn't allowed to eat cake and my mom begged her to eat it anyway. BEGGED. Are you guys not reading right? She DIDN'T WANT THE CAKE! My mom begged her to eat it. Am I being harsh? And should it even matter because I told her no either way! I feel like she should respect my word. Please give me your opinion!!!

*I don't have issues with food & she does have a problem we are seeing someone who agrees, she sneaks food and eats when she is no longer hungry till she throws up. No one has EVER known I have an issue with food! I have no control of what else is in the house since its not my house. I don't "forbid" foods I simply tell her that they are not good for her and ask her to have fruit and drink juice or milk. She is about 3-4 sizes bigger than other kids her age enough for her pediatrician to be concerned also. She does get sweets, soda, etc OCCASIONALLY just not every day. I bought a cake for Easter for her and she has had candy at easter egg hunts. The party btw was an adult party so the cake wasn't made a big deal. I know its hard for some to think that a 6 year old can have a problem but THEY CAN! My daughter doesn't mind not eating junk food.

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So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone that had manners :) Yes, I see now that I should have let her have cake, but honestly I think I would have any way and my frustration was just that my mom didn't listen to me. Which has been a 6 year battle now. I always let her have cake before and it really was just an issue between my mother and I. I really do let her have not so healthy food just not every day. I never make her feel that she is anything but perfect but my mom does tell her shes fat. :(

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answers from San Francisco on

Just a bit of perspective:
My son would also say Yay! I get to have cake! if we were going to a birthday party. He loves to eat and lives for junk food much to my chagrin... he'd eat it to excess if I let him. I've always chalked it up to him being a kid or being a boy. I don't think he has an issue that requires medical intervention.

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answers from Milwaukee on

When it comes to health matters, I think it's a battle worth fighting. However, to say at a birthday party she still can't have cake isn't right, in my opinion. Even a dietician will tell you that no food should be off limits, it will only make it wanted more. But it should be in moderation.

Begging her to have the cake is wrong.

My daughter is 5. Even going to a friend's birthday party, she is more excited about the cake than seeing everyone. That's just part of being a kid. That's where we teach them about how we are also excited about being w/ friends and family. But at their age, really.....they just want cake!!

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answers from Los Angeles on

I am just gonna throw this out there...

She is ONLY 6!

Is it possible that you are putting your *own* food issues on your daughter?

Lots of 6 year olds associate b-day parties with Cake and Ice cream!

If your daughter has ever felt deprived of food I could see how 'every aspect of her life is surrounded by food'! Do you think you have deprived your daughter of food because you are worried she would have an un-healthy relationship with it, just like you?

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answers from Austin on

First of all not allowing your daughter certain foods is making her want them more.

Eating the healthiest food to have the healthiest body is important. Being upset because your daughter is a little overweight is different.

You are sending her the message, you are fat and so something is not right about you. You are a failure because you like junky food.
I can control you by not allowing you to eat junk. "I don't allow her to have soda, candy, ice cream, basically any junk food because of this. "
This makes it all seem like forbidden fruit.

Has she had a full physical to make sure she falls in the normal range, height and weight? Remember, some kids bulk up before they are about to go through ta growing spurt. This summer the day school lets out, measure her on a doorway with the date. The first fay of school in the fall, measure her again and see how much taller she is.

How much exercise and fun running around is she getting? This is where kids today fall behind. They are not always enough time for them to ride their bikes, jump rope.. etc, because of school work and parents not wanting their kids outside alone.

Start making sure she is outside playing and running around as much as possible, you could join her. Walk trails, tide bikes together, get 2 jump ropes. skating, skate board.. This is a more positive way of getting her healthy.

Teash her how to respect all foods. And for goodness sakes, allow her to have a piece of cake at the birthday party. A small cup of ice cream or frozen yogurt 1 or 2 nights a week. Just because you feel a little out of control in your own life, do not use that energy on your daughter, That is not her responsibility.

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answers from Chicago on

YOU are making her feel her life is surrounded by food. It seems you're putting your food issues on her.

You say she's slightly overweight. Here's what you do: You stock your home only with healthy things. Make sure she gets exercise (how about a walk every evening with you?) And allow her to be a little girl and enjoy life.

I cannot imagine telling either of my kids they could go to a party but not enjoy the food. I have two girls - one was always underweight and the other slightly overweight. I get your concern. But I think you're making a huge deal over some cake and pop at a party. You do sound too harsh, sorry. On the flip side, your mom sounds a little crazy as well. You could all stand to take a chill pill.

And... movies are for popcorn and parties are for cake and pop. And at home we eat healthy. Life's too short not to enjoy it a little bit.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I think it's cruel to tell a 6 yo that she cannot have cake at a birthday party. This sounds more like YOUR issue than hers.

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answers from Dallas on

First, you are right. Your mom SHOULD respect your authority, and honor your wishes regarding your daughter. I agree that she overstepped her bounds.

Moving on from that, many food issues come from extremes. Never being able to have something, can make people (Especially, children) obsess over it. You can't really completely deprive and forbid something from a child. That is actually a bad lesson, and not preparing them for the real world. Moderation, is fine. People can drink and eat junk, in moderation. In the real world (Like at school, and at friend's houses) she will not know moderation...and this could cause her to binge. I am going to say my next advice as sensitively as possible, as I am in no way trying to offend/blame you. I think you are possibly projecting your issues on to your daughter. You are being extreme in your refusal of junk, because of your own struggles...and by doing that, creating struggles in her. Children need to be taught that having something bad in small amounts as a treat, is appropriate. They can NOT be taught this when they are refused. I think you are creating a problem, instead of helping to prevent one.

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answers from Provo on

I don't think it was right for your mom and dad to butt in and take over. My mother does the same thing because it gives her control over me and makes her think that my children will love her more.

I don't think that telling her that she can't have things is going to do anything except drive her to doing that certain activity more. I can understand just giving her healthy foods and letting her cheat once in a while for special occasions. My son is a big guy (300 lbs.) and I also deal with this. I think I would try to get her interested in different things. I think that her eating is not the "real" problem. I think she needs to get involved in other things and find pride in herself. I think you should try to teach her to appreciate family and friends and the importance of spending special times with them. I know this is very hard to do. Above all, tell her that you are very proud of her. She is still young and gains so much of her self esteem from you.

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answers from Dover on

It does sound like food has been an issue for you and maybe you have unintentionally transferred that problem on to your daughter. It is reasonable to restrict sweets and junk food but know that a small piece of cake at a party is not a problem. I don't allow my daughter to drink soda and I try to limit sweets (her dad and grandparents make that hard).

It is also reasonable to expect your wishes to be honored (although you should have allowed your daughter a small piece).

ADDED *** You originally indicated that you did have issues with food/eating. Then you added that you don't but further stated that no one has ever known about them. Seems contradictory to me.

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answers from San Francisco on

You said your daughter is "slightly" overweight.

That's not very much. I've known lots of kids who were "slightly" overweight who lost it at puberty. As far as I know, none of those kids binged and purged.

If you turn food into a forbidden fruit, she is much more likely to get an eating disorder.

I think she should be able to go to a party and eat cake. If she's the only one at a party who can't eat cake, you are guaranteed to have some kind of problems with her later on. If not eating disorders, then something else.

Stock healthy food in your house, feed her appropriate portions (the size of a fist), and let her have some treats, for pete's sake!

And yes, you are putting your own food issues on your daughter.

Your mom is correct.

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answers from Hartford on

Okay... I'm an adult that suffers from disordered eating and I have ever since high school. I am anorexic and I'm positive that my disordered eating as a teen is related to my continuous health problems. It was all about control. I'm a control freak. I admit it.

So in your situation with your daughter, I see a few things that bother me that need to be addressed.

1. You're trying to correct your daughter's eating habits with the help of a pediatrician, but I believe you would be much better off with a Pediatric Nutritionist. You need a strong support system with a clear plan for how to handle food issues and lifestyle changes for your household, not just your daughter. She should not be on a diet. She should be able to eat whatever others in her home are eating. That's why I say that this needs to be a lifestyle change for your household.

2. Forbidding certain foods, even junk foods, leads to the worst cravings ever. The longer you resist a craving the worse it gets and the worse the crash will be when you indulge. It's like eating only a bite of a chocolate bar, feeling satisfied, and wrapping up the rest for another day versus inhaling the entire thing in one sitting and feeling horrible about it. And there's nothing wrong with indulging sometimes on special occasions if she feels like it, and it's in her plan with a nutritionist.

3. Food should not be about guilt.

4. Eat to live. Do not live to eat. It sounds like your parents are taking the live to eat approach, and they're sabotaging your attempts to teach your daughter healthier eating and moderation. You weren't being abusive to your daughter; they were being overbearing. And clearly when it comes to food issues and your daughter, they can't be trusted. They should never be put in a position again to be responsible for moderating your daughter's food intake.

5. Teach your daughter alternative ways to fill her time. If she's eating because she's bored or because she's emotionally hurting or whatever the reason, she needs to learn alternative habits that are healthier to engage in. It's not about saying "NO" to cupcakes and soda but redirecting her from the junk food to healthier alternatives when she's hungry and activities like reading or physical play when she's not hungry.

Also, when she's in emotional pain don't try to satisfy her emotions with food. Don't reward her with food or punish her with food. Use alternative methods of reward/discipline. Stickers, hugs, an afternoon at the park playing, a hike in the woods, a Saturday morning riding bikes together... endless options for rewards.

6. If she makes a food mistake, let her know she didn't screw up. She's still lovable and it's perfectly all right, and that she'll have the chance to make some healthier choices for the rest of the day and week.

7. Don't put your daughter in a position where she, as a 6 year old little girl with questionable self control, must choose between peer pressure, grandparent pressure, and the lovely scent of chocolate and sugar, and her willpower. Guess what will win every time? She was put into an impossible situation and I'm not surprised at all that she had cupcakes and soda.

8. Try not to blame your daughter. She's just a little girl who isn't to blame at all. It's not her fault.

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answers from Chicago on

Ok, so I am in a simmilar situation, I live with MIL and she lets the kids eat what they want and drink soda etc. My son is 4 and my family has food issues as well ... I am morbidly obese and battleing that personally and all of my family battles weight issues. I would like to break the cycle with my son especially seeing that one of the boys on my hunny's side of the fam is overweight (32" waist at 10). I think it is a reasonable request to say at the party no soda but she can have a cupcake or small peice of cake take off most of the frosting (that's what I do). However, I agree with you that what you say goes especially what she eats. Grandmas have a way about them where they like to win small battles like gma here likes to pump my Adhd son (she is in denial) with sugar like marshmellow ropes! Everyone KNOWS my son does NOT drink soda and death will come to those who give it to him. So, for the sweets issue Cook Yourself Thin books have WONDERFUL healthier options for sweets that are WONDERFUL if you bake at all. I think the best way to resolve this is to say, "mom, I understand that you wanted to give her something you see me deprive her of and I hope you understand that I feel betrayed that it was given to her behind my back. In the future I think it would be fair to agree to compromise ie no x but yes z so we have a good balance on the situation. I hope we can come to an understanding on how I am treating food for us and I think we all overreacted to the situation." Or something along those dipolmatic lines. Yes, part of a party is cake and those wonderful finger foods, but there are also the aspects of family, fun and memories, but let's be honest for a kid, esp 6yr old it's about the cake and gifts. I hope this helps, and I hope you are able to work this thing out.

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answers from Fayetteville on

Your daughter is only 6. She is going to want treats more if you keep them from her. She is most likely going to grow up with eating disorders because you dont allow her to have them. It sounds like you are pushing your issue with food onto a very young girl. No I am not her mom but I believe that with children you just need to teach them what the appropriate amount of treats would be and how not to over eat those sweets. Please be careful she is so young you don't want her to think that she is fat at that age and you did say that she is slightly overweight. I hope that you can take a step back and look at what might happen in the long run if you continue to stop her from having all sweets. I have known people who deprive their children of all sweets then when they do have them they go crazy with them and over eat them because they don't understand moderation.

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answers from Lansing on

I don't allow my kids to have cake at parties, or soda or junk food. They know to ask for water. They know they can't have the cake. They know they can't have the junk food. Do some people think I'm too harsh. Absolutely. Do I know my kids better than anyone else? Yes I do. They have harsh milk allergies. They can't have cake and ice cream. They can't have chocolate. They can't have the ranch coating on the chips. Who has to deal with vomiting? me. Let me tell you something. Your mom is the one who has a problem with food. The world is not going to crumble down if your daughter doesn't have cake. It's so important to her that she is kicking you out? This is her problem. You have the right to restrict your child's diet in anyway you want to, for whatever reason you want to. You don't want her to eat meat? She doesn't have the right to sneak meat to your daughter. It's the same thing. I don't get people and their thing about sweets. Why is it so important to give kids tons of it. When we were hunter gatherers did they have sweets on a daily basis? Good luck and don't let anybody make you feel bad for standing up for your right to be a parent to your own child.

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answers from Modesto on

Since you now have your daughter on a healthy diet, allowing the occasional splurge should be okay. Eating cake and icecream for a day shouldnt disrupt your normal routine that you have established.
Hopefully summer gets here soon so you can get your own place and be the only mom. Living with your parents doesnt sound like it's a good thing.
It's unfortunate that they are obese and also in denial of its health repercussions. You might have to be like the moms that dont want their kids around grandparents that smoke. Over eating is just as dangerous.

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answers from New York on

I think you have being dealing not only with your own issue with food but you see some of that pattern in your daughter (probably now more leaving with your parents).
Maybe you were trying to fix the problem from root, you probably are worry and overwhelm and sometimes we can take drastic solutions when we feel that way.
Obesity is a serious and more comun problem, but if not treat it well can make it worst , and hurt somebodies self esteem.
I believe your heart is in the right place, and you already are working with a specialist, I don't know what he has tell you but I think the key in this matters is balance.
The word is full of food, it always will be, is better learn since young how to eat to keep our bodies healthy but also to be able to enjoy some treats, specially when kids. But I am sure your doctor and you are working on this.
Don't get overwhelm, learning how to eat right and make right food decisions and balance a treat here and there take time, have that piece of cake and then dance it off and eat healthy the rest of the week.
I do agree that you are in a difficult position leaving with your parents (obesity wasn't something it was so aware before) , you all need to sit down and compromise and understand that all of you have something in commun and that is the well being of your daughter. You need to be a team, and you need to learn to give and take (let your grand mother give her a treat on weekends, but compromise on the rest of the week).
Let them know this should not become a power fight, you are not the enemy, you appreciate and you are interested and happy they have a good relationship with your daughter.
Maybe bringing them to the doctor can help.

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answers from Detroit on

I think you are expecting a much of a six year old as far as why she would want to go to the party. they don't care about friends and family, they are looking forward to being a chuckie cheese,or the bounce house or wherever the party will be and of course....the candy,cake,ice cream and sweets. what you are looking for in her will only come with time. she still a baby. now as far as her weight, that is understandable and i comend you for seeing a problem and trying to correct it. maybe if you teach her moderation when she does get in the presence of the no-no foods she might be satisfied and so will she. she can be a kid and you will have comfort in knowing that she is not over-induldging. i dont think you are abusing her but just realize that she is still a child and allow her to be that. your mom should not have forced her to eat the cake ESPECIALLY if she didn't want it. I wish you the best of luck.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I didn't read any other response yet, but I want to say I relate! My son, just turned five, has an overly enthusiastic emotional connection with eating. He is a little eater and has been since birth (9lb 11oz at birth and 10lb 2oz checking out of the hospital! 20 pounds by four months on just breast milk!). When we go to parties, it doesn't matter how many kids, games, or fantastic fun is happening. He will spend the whole time at the food table eating. And because he loves it so much, everyone loves to feed him - Stuff his face and provide a steady supply of junk. I think some kids are born this way, and for your childs own good you must moniter and control her diet. Parties are a time for limited cake or goodies, I agree. But there are so many parties when you're a kid that means every other day must be as healthy as possible. Try to get your parents to meet with a specialist so they understand that controlling her nutrition is kinder than stuffing her face. Good luck!

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answers from Lake Charles on

It sounds like you've gotten more advice than you know what to do with so I just want to say it makes me proud to know that there's a mom out there not pretending the problem doesn't exist. It's hard to identify problems with our kids and even harder to take a stand. Kudos to you for standing up for your daughter's health! You're a great mom who will raise a great kid!

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answers from Atlanta on

What do you mean by "slightly overweight"? I mean, if your daughter is 5 or 10 lbs over or carrying a little baby fat, that's not abnormal really. You should definitely encourage her to eat healthy foods and normally stay away from the sugar, sodas, sweets, junk and fast food, but I don't know a child that age who isn't ALL about the candy or cake or cookies or whatever treat it is that marks holidays and special occasions. She needs to be taught that you go to a party and there's a lot of fun stuff there and one of those things is getting a piece of birthday cake or a cupcake. You eat it. You don't get seconds; you continue playing, etc. There's nothing wrong with a cupcake or an ice cream now and then. I'm afraid by going nuts on a 6 year old who is "slightly overweight" you are BEGGING for a girl with serious eating disorders. I applaud you for wanting your daughter to be healthy and learn to eat healthy, but back off a bit. I would concentrate on pushing more activity and steer clear of ruining birthday parties and holidays for her.

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answers from Denver on

Just a thought to add after your what happened..... It is not loving to give children something that is not healthy for them. There are plenty of good for you snacks and desserts (think fresh popcorn, dark chocolate, organic candy with no dyes in it (tastes the same though), etc.) From what you say she has a problem with food and giving in to what society feels is "nice" or "normal behavior for a party" isn't helping your daughter. There is a reason why so much of our country is obese. Caving to societal norms, while "normal" isn't "healthy". I think you are totally in the right to tell her no cake and I think your mother feels threatened by it--if your daughter can forgo, then she as an adult should be able to forgo the food, and she doesn't want to. She probably won't be supportive of you because if she is then she has to look in the mirror and see that she has a problem, too. I think you're on your own with this one. Continue to set boundaries with both your child and your mother, and don't let your mother guilt you into thinking you are being a bad Mom. You are a good Mom who is trying to set your child up for a healthy life--that is one of the most loving things you could ever do.
Hang in there--setting boundaries is tough stuff!

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answers from Williamsport on

Sounds like your family isn't the best about food. Mine isn't either. My husband and I (under my authoritarian rule) only eat healthy food, and that is what we have ALWAYS fed the kids. My husband used to complain about the diet, but now that he's 40, thin and healthy while his twin brother is obese and has many health issues, he quit complaining and actually prefers healthy meals now. All of our parents and step parents (all the kids grandparents) are old school bad eaters.

Giving your kids junk food when they are tiny is how you TRAIN THEM to like it before they know better and before they do their own shopping. You said yourself, she "used to get that food until it was a problem". She's only 6. If she ate so much of that food she started gaining weight and got hooked on it, then that is 100% your doing. I'm not bashing you, just pointing out that your emphasis in your mind seems to be a little too much on "her having a problem". She definitely does have a problem, but knowing you caused it will give you the strength to stay the course fighting it.

6 year olds don't understand broad notions about responsibility like, "The food is bad so you shouldn't eat it." My one kid has a major sweet tooth. He's been hearing sweets are "bad for your body and only for treats" since he was born, and you know what? He would eat ten tons of chocolate in one sitting if he got a hold of it. He's not old enough to care about health. He's having a good foundation built for him, but it's all about not having the food around. My daughter is 5. She wants to go to a party for whatever reason: someone rented a bouncy castle or whatever. She's too young for, "understanding it's for friends and family and supporting people" My sweet tooth guy would be there for the cake too, and he has polished off like 5 pieces of cake at parties when I wasn't paying attention. And for the record ALL of their grandparents feed them junk food. Which is why I'm glad they live far away and we don't see them much.

The only way to enforce healthy eating is to

A) Only have healthy food in the house. Only serve healthy food, and only have her see you eating healthy food.

B) Don't obsess about treats. When they're at parties, all bets are off, let them eat cake and punch and go into comas. Throw out MOST of the holiday candy that accumulates, but keep some for rare treats. You don't want "forbidden fruit" syndrome. Mom and dad have the rare cocktail, the rare dessert, the rare day off in front of movies in their sweats, let the kids have the rare junk food.

C) Keep the grandparents at a distance if they ALWAYS feed her junk, but sometimes, there is nothing you can do.

After a week with my in laws, the kids have eaten enough preservatives to constipate them for weeks, and have had enough sugar melt downs for me to have to sit through hundreds of descriptions of their alien behavior and how puzzled everyone is about it. They get circles under their eyes and often throw up and spend some nights up late crying with belly aches while everyone "puzzles over it" after a dinner that even my adult body couldn't process. And they are all too happy to get back to our NORMAL eating when the grandparents scram. Thank goodness it only happens a few times per year, and I get to explain what they ate and why they feel that way, so it's a learning thing.

Get your daughter more active. My 5 year old has been joining me doing my workout DVDs. She's thin and I didn't ask her to, she just thinks it's fun since she always sees me doing them, she wants to do it too. AND she's running around all day and playing outside etc. Keep good food in the house, and stick with it. Don't expect your daughter to naturally want to eat right on her own at this age just because you "told her she should". No kids think that way. She's surrounded by bad food and obese people. Soda should never be in the house. Don't blame her or think she is strange in her behavior, just be sure you are doing everything in your power. Don't worry about occasional birthday parties.

As for her sneaking food and eating until she throws up, this could be depression forming. She likes the food because you formed that habit for her, but she is excessive because she is stressed and seeking comfort. Sounds like the whole living environment needs analyzing, not just her.

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answers from Chicago on

it will get easier when you can move out.....eating disorders are serious especially when it begins as a twin SIL's have battles this at a very young age too & still do in their mid 30's........i am BF with one of my SIL's & whenever she is depressed (a lot of it is made up depressions too) she will go to three local 7 elevens & get cartons of ice cream then head to dunkin donuts for 6 donuts....she doesn't purge just gets a belly ache

your parents are the problem & your daughter cannot get the help she needs till you move out.......keep up the good work you are doing for your daughter

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answers from Houston on

N., I think you are doing your best to help your daughter. I think forbidding any type of food is a bad idea, but you know that. I deal with something similar. My mother-in-law is creating a food problem with my daughter. My MIL is very needy and her poor self esteem has made her happiness almost elusive. With her own children, food was what she did. When she baked, they were happy. My DH and his siblings got cookies everyday, dessert with every meal. If you got in trouble, you didn't get the treats. It created such terrible food problems with my DH. He would hide to eat and he still has problems being honest about what he eats. He also has sugar problems that compound everything.

We don't allow our children to have sweets all the time. We don't deny them, but they get candy and "dessert" on special occasions and we absolutely do not use food as a reward. My MIL takes this as a personal attack and she makes such a big deal about "dessert" and cookies, etc. That my daughter goes overboard about wanting to eat sweets.

You know as well as I do that telling a child that they should eat something because it is better for them will make it that much less appealing. We took the approach with our family that we teach all the good things it does for us. Yes, desserts tastes yummy, but so do peaches and peaches help your brain work hard, spinach salad makes your muscles strong, carrots make your eyes see better. It is working for us. We do still allow the occasional treat, but we are trying to teach our children to make good food choices, so when they are older, they will have an easier time.

And I would suggest doing away (slowly) with the juice. Juice is nothing but sugar calories. Milk and water and even Crystal Light are so much better.

Good luck, I hope you can make your move soon and start building your daughter up!

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answers from Victoria on

i truly hope your getting help for yourself also because that type of mother daughter relationship is unhealthy ( i am refering to you and your mom). your daughter dose not need to be around that either. some people crave sugar and carbs. i hope your daughter is on a great diet plan because if you cut those things back (as much as you can for a six yr old)this should help her be healthy. lots of exercise and get out of your parents house. i was always to understand if your living under that roof those rules apply. and from what you said ... it sounds like a really faulty ground to have crazy house rules and situations that your mom would go tattle tale. also i would not let my mom take my kid to a party or situation as she cannot be trusted. try explaining to your mom its almost like your daughter has a food allergy and she cannot have these foods as it is making her fat...not a rash but fat is an allergic reaction to the junk food. hope this made since. so sorry for this situation.

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answers from Minneapolis on


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answers from College Station on

I have not read your replies, but here is my take with the situation.

Your daughter needs to learn how to eat properly and in moderation. There is a time and a place for cake, soda, ice cream and the like. A party is that place. That being said, if your daughter didn't truly want any cake and was not saying that just because she knew that that was what she should be saying, then your mother should not have forced it on her. But, if she did want it, then there should be no big deal. Limit her to one small piece or one cupcake. That is a reasonable amount for anyone. She is going to be invited to parties all her life and she needs to learn how to deal with these types of situations. Denying her these things is not teaching her anything but to feel bad that she wants them. These feelings will lead to secretive and binge eating in the future. I know you want to avoid that! Sugar (and other junk food) is addictive and it takes a long time to undo that addiction. Good job, Mom!

All that being said, your parents were wrong. No matter what their feelings on the matter are, she is your daughter, you make the rules and they (and she) need to respect your authority and follow those rules. If they do not, then they cannot see their granddaughter. I had to get tough with my parents on this same issue- not respecting my rules for my kids. Should the rules be bent? Sure, on special occasions. But that bending needs to come from you and not them. Stand your ground and talk to your parents about your feelings on this point- not that your mom let/made your daughter have the cake, but that she overrode your authority on the whole subject.

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answers from Tampa on

You need to tell your Mother - that regardless how she feels about what you allow your child to eat, unless it is physically harming her - she needs to butt out and support your rules. Looks like your daughter may have gotten her food obsession from your parents.



answers from New York on

It sounds like from your edit that your daughter is overweight to the point you are working with a doctor and not just a little overweight. In my experience eating issues often have an emotional part as well as a learning to eat healthy foods part. But it sounds like you you are working with someone who is familiar with these issues. Maybe you can invoke the doctor or therapist's authority when you talk to your mom. Explain your daughter's diet is by doctor's orders and you want her cooperation to help your daughter stick with it.
I tend to go for the moderation approach with treats, although I seem to have gone overboard with Easter baskets this year. My 5 year old will beg for any candy or junk food he sees but often forgets about it before we get out of the grocery store. I try to limit him to 1 sweet treat a day except for special occasions. So far he is so high energy he burns off what he eats. (I wish that were true for me!) If I were in your situation I would have probably allowed a small piece of cake or small portion of whatever her favorite treat was. I definitely would have steered her away from the soda (I am struggling to break that habit for myself so I try and keep my kids away from it).



answers from San Antonio on

WOW. What a mess. Ok, here's how I see it:

1) Your parents need to respect your wishes for your child's behavior, growth and development. Obviously, they are not. There are some control issues going on here.
Read the book: Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud

2) Your parents are obese and are not good role models for your child.
You already know this. You are going to have to keep your daughter closer to you until you can leave their home. For example, now that you know they cannot be trusted to follow your and the doctor's guidelines, never send your daughter out with them where their is party food again.
Don't do it.

3) Your parents need to understand that the doctor has given your daughter a health plan that she HAS to follow. They are not getting that part.

4) Move out ASAP.

Good luck.



answers from Austin on

I'm sorry you have to have this struggle right now. It is difficult for your parents to see your point of view, since they are obese and food means something different to them than nourishment. It is probably one of the only things in life that brings them a positive feeling. They can't understand how you would "deprive" your daughter of something so crucial to their idea of joy. They didn't see the party as a celebration of someone but an opportunity to get that positive feeling of sugar or food or whatever.

By your change of eating habits with your daughter, they are probably thinking that you think they are bad or wrong or whatever and it is hard.

I would just keep teaching your daughter about healthy eating and try to be there at parties where cake and soda will be served. Don't expect your parents to agree with you. They don't think as you do. Assume your parents will use any opportunity that you aren't there to beg your daughter to eat like them. They want to give her the "gift" of joy that they feel, not understanding why you would take away that joy. I doubt they are trying to disrespect you. They just want to give their granddaughter what they feel is so much fun, even though you and I know differently.

Be sure to teach your daughter that your parents aren't bad. They just don't understand how important healthy eating is right now for your daughter at this age. Or whatever you want to tell her that is positive. You want her to continue to have a good relationship with them. It will help if you also let go of your frustration.

Just lower the expectations and be there as much as you can to supervise. Then they can't disappoint you when they continue to do what you already what they will do. Continue to teach your daughter so that when she is on her own, she can make good decisions no matter what other people will tell her.



answers from Austin on

It is difficult because you do live with your parents... but you are still the Mom. Your parents need to respect that you are trying to ensure that your daughter is healthy and happy. It really doesn't matter what we say to our kids, actions and behaviors are the largest factor. I grew up in a household where you "HAD TO" finish your plate. Food was used as motivators and rewards. I am not judging my parents, they didn't have a lot of money when we were small, so they didn't want us to waste... and they were just doing what they were taught... Fast forward 30 years later, I am 35 and I still struggle with food issues. I struggle to listen to my body, to tell me when I am full. We do have the occassional "treat" but I do not keep empty calorie foods in the house. If my son is hungry, he can have a healthy snack, but there are not any little debbies or cokes in the pantry to go to. So it isn't like, "you" can't have that..... I think it is great that you are teaching your daughter about what is good to make her body strong and healthy. My son will wake up and say, "Mom, can I have candy?".... and I say, "No, but you can have breakfast... do you want shredded wheat, oatmeal or scrambled eggs?" No fuss, he'll just pick one. He knows candy/sweets are a "sometimes treat", but he is 5... he is still going to try... ; ) It is a struggle in our house because my hubby was raised by parents that worked full-time and attended school-full time while raising 4 kids... they ate a lot of pre-packaged and fast food, he still has the same habits. He was always skinny, so in his mind, you can eat whatever you want when you are skinny.... No, skinny does not equal healthy. Bad eating habits and inactivity lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease... the list goes on. I know many people that think the same way, I guess because I was a chubby kid so I needed to watch what I ate, that I get it. I do have to say that he knows where I stand, and our compromise is that he can eat whatever he wants at work (because he is a grown man, and I can not change what he is going to do), but dinner will be a healthy meal (unless it is a special occassion or we are truly in a pinch and need to get fast food.) Any way, the big thing is to set healthy examples, not just tell him what "he" should be doing. It does make it difficult when family and friends are not on the same page, and I do have family who thinks healthy eating is "punishment"... but you are the Mama, you only have 18 years to teach the right things. You are trying to help your daughter be heathy, if she looses weight in the process great. We are all different body types, I am 5'10" with a large frame, no matter how fit I am, I am still considered overweight. I had to get over the scale and listen to how my clothes fit, how strong I feel and how comfortable I feel in my skin. That took a long time and some days I still struggle with it. I don't want my child to have to go thru that. He is beautiful the way he is. Eat healthy/stay active/make it fun!! Unfortunately, your parents are just making the situation worse by not backing you up, and making you seem like you are the bad guy. I wish I had actual advice to give you, but it is such a tough situation. It is hard enough when you have your own home, and people just "visit"... I can't imagine living with the constant contradiction. Hang in there and stand your ground. Hopefully, you'll be able to live on your own soon before the situation worsens. My heart goes out to you and your beautiful daughter.



answers from Houston on

Regardless of whether she should have had a piece of cake or not, if you said no your mom should have respected that. If I were you I'd be furious at mom! I have these issues constantly with my mother in law and it drives me nuts. If I say no, then that is that!

On a side note my sister and I both have had our share of food issues and they primarily stemmed from my mom restricting so many things. Even though you say you are not "forbidding" her from eating junk, not allowing it and telling her it's not good for her may be the same thing in her mind. Instead if you allow some junk (or what she may think is junk) in healthier portions, like 100 calorie snacks, it may help her not binge.

Most food issues have nothing to do with food, but are a way to control things in your life. Most anorexics/bulemics are that way due to control issues. Have you explored this possibility with your daughters therapist? Is the therapist someone with experience with anorexia/bulemia and food disorders? If not you may want to find a different therapist.

I would also suggest having a long talk with your mom!

Sounds like you are doing all you can, hang in there Ilm sure with some work this will pass!



answers from Austin on

I think your mom was wrong to undermine your authority. Your husband should support you & realize what a problem your daughter has. I'd seriously consider getting her thyroid checked just to rule that out. That can have a great effect on even kids if it's found to be of issue & not treated with. I can tell you that before I was diagnosed, I ate like crazy. I was hungry...stomach growling & everything....just a short time after I ate & got full I was hungry again! I felt like a bottomless pit. Whether or not your daughter exhibits any other symptoms of thyroid issues, have it checked anyway, just to rule it out. Have your husband & even your mom visit a nutritionist or even a pediatrition to go over the facts w/you & your daughter on the bad side of letting this go...letting her eat junk food. While you're doing a great job at curbing what she eats, your mom & husband seem to think otherwise & if they're given info from a 'medical professional', maybe they'll get the picture. Kids are needing to have strong healthy bodies so they can avoid health issues as all starts when we're young. If we're not taught right, it moves in to adulthood. Hope this helps & no, you are not overreacting! Good luck!!


answers from Chicago on

Hi N.,

This sounds like a really tough situation. My 9 yr old daughter is just starting to pack on some pounds, probably because puberty is around the corner. It is so hard to restrict her sweets and her portions. She would eat everything in sight if I let her. I am trying to teach her moderation and to look at the serving size on labels. Instead of banning all sweets, I buy sugar-free Jello and pudding and no sugar added Fudgesicles. She can have that for dessert after dinner. This way she still feels like she's getting dessert. I let her eat the decadent desserts my mom makes for Sunday dinner, and she's allowed to have dessert at restaurants and certainly cake and ice cream at parties. Those are special occasions. Hang in there!



answers from Washington DC on

I know that I am late responding to this, but it hit home.

Yes your mom was wrong for going against you. Yes you knew that there would be cake, blah blah blah. My son has food allergies, so he knows that he has to check with me first, and if I say no cake, he doesn't eat it. I always take a lunch box of snacks and drinks (he doesn't drink soda) that he can have so that when it comes time for the cake he can participate too instead of just sitting there staring at everyone else enjoying the moment.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi N.,

I am sorry that your mom disrespected you this way. She should have listened to your directions and respected it. It doesn't matter that she didn't like it---she should have done what you asked her to. Especially since she knows you are working with your daughter on her food addiction. I bet that is so hard to deal with! I empathize with you---I think the only advice I can offer is to tell your mom that while you appricate her taking her to the party, you told her specific instructions on what YOUR child should eat and she didn't listen-she blatently disrespected you and your wishes. You don't appreciate it and need her to stop. Tell her that "kicking you out" of the house was unwarranted and really immature! You pay rent, and aren't free-loading, so she really doesn't have a say in this. Keep up the good work and try your best to let this go after you tell your mom how you feel. _-- By the way, I LOVE your name! So pretty!




answers from Houston on

It's okay for your daughter to have been excited about the cake part of the party at 6yo. She doesn't get yet that parties are for socializing with loved ones. Actually, parties mean different things to different people, so it's all good. I think that instead of depriving her totally, this is a good time to teach her to enjoy cake on special occasions. That's teaching moderation.

Now, your mother was totally out of line...your father, too. It's not her call, and she doesn't have to agree with it. This is more about lack of respect between you and your mother (right now, her lack of respect for your parental position in your daughter's life). That's a hard line to draw, expecially since you live with her, but you have to draw it. She is not seeing you as a responsible adult capable of parenting your child because she is too busy seeing you as HER child. You're gonna have to actually say the words and create boundaries.



answers from Los Angeles on

I'm glad that you added the update about your daughter's food troubles; at first I thought it was a little harsh for you not to let your daughter have cake, but after you added more details it was obvious that you are more angry that your mom completely ignored you in regards to your daughter.

I'm sorry that you're having trouble with your parents; I know how you feel. We live with my parents, and it's tough for them sometimes to understand that we are the parents, not them, especially when they see us doing something that they don't agree with. My parents don't understand it when I give my son time-outs when he tries to throw a tantrum; they think I'm being "too harsh" on him. What they don't understand is that they spoiled my brothers and I when we were younger, and my husband and I are trying to discipline our own kids so that they will have good habits when they are older. Thankfully, for the most part (other than a random comment here or there) they let me be the parent to my children.

You need to make it clear to your parents that you are the mom and they need to respect your wishes regarding your daughter. Sit down with them and explain your concerns about your daughter and how important it is for them to respect your wishes as her parent. Do this as calmly and rationally (without getting angry) as possible; if you get too emotional and angry, they could just become defensive and not listen to anything you say. After that, if they continue to encourage her to defy you (by begging her to eat cake even when she didn't want to eat it, or whatever else it might be) then it might be time for you to always supervise her and not let your parents be alone with her. I know that sounds harsh, but if your parents are undermining your ability to be the parent to your daughter, then that means they have no respect for you as a mother. If it seems like it doesn't matter what you say to them because they'll never change, just try and hang in there until the summer and move out as soon as possible. Good luck!



answers from Norfolk on

@ C.T. you are right. They are looking for something with some fun behind it. Meeting friends is not as fun as playing with toys and jumping on B. houses. In Tampa, we ALWAYS rent B. houses and inflatable slides and stuff. Having to worry about things like the kid's social status takes it kind of far, they just aren't thinking about that. C.T. is right, they are thinking about the B. house, the fun, honestly more than anything else. this is what they look forward to truly. I suggest checking out this blog, it will explain the benefits of renting a B. house SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR CHILD'S BIRTHDAY PARTY and will give you really great prices since you're in the Tampa bay area. I honestly think that she would have a blast, like all the other kids that use them. =) and this type of strategy helps avoid the food part.



answers from Minneapolis on

First my heart goes out to you. What a tough situation to be in. Seeing her habits and knowing that there is only so much you can do. If I were in a similar situation, I imagine I would have a family meeting to discuss and get agreement on what food can be available in the house. The adults can have "junk" food but kept out of site and inaccessible.

I would also get her in some exercise classes and/or family activities. Community ed classes like martial arts are not too expensive (may even have a sliding scale) and will teach other skills along with the exercise. Maybe dance would be fun for her.

Lastly I would absolutely join a yahoo group (free) called foodlab. It is full of very smart moms who have had to figure out all kinds of dietary problems and have btdt experience. Again, you'll need to have your faimly on board. It may take an initial effort level, but think long term and all the future physical, mental and health issues you could avoid. Parenting is so hard sometimes and takes more than you've ever expected. - at least that's what I've found out.

Think long term because she'll one day need to self regulate her eating when she's on her own as an adult. This is the time to find and develop the skills that will enable her to be successful.



answers from Houston on

You are ABSOLUTELY right! First and foremost, she is YOUR child! Allowing your child to be overweight is abusive in my opinion, and trying to help her not be is being a good mom. My stepmom did the same thing to my children when they were little and I thought I was over reacting to the whole thing. She would even go so far as to tell them "don't tell your mom, but..." I told my stepmom not to do it, but she never listened and constantly did things behind my back. My oldest children are now 17 and 19. Both of them now live with her and don't even speak to me. She has completely turned them against me and their dad. She taught them that they can have whatever they want and there shouldn't be any consequences. My husband and I are good parents and have always taught our children consequences and responsibility. We found this website too late, but please read it if you get a chance. If we would have known about it, our kids lives would've turned out differently. The website is called The biggest regret I have in my life is allowing my stepmom access to my children. Every since she has been in 'control' of them, they have both spiraled out of control with drinking and drug use stc. Our children were raised in a good home and were taught to love the Lord. Every tool we gave our children so they could leave home and be successful was taken away by my stepmom. Please don't let this happen to your daughter. PLEASE go to the website above. It could change your daughters future! God Bless!

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