How do I help my daughter control her weight?
My daughter, age 11, has never been the slim type (her body type couldn't be "slim" even if she was anorexic), but her weight has always been at the high end of normal. This summer I started working and am not home to supervise. She's not allowed out while I am not home, she has her older brother to supervise.
We're in a new town, she has no friends, so she's been sitting on the couch eating all day and watching TV. It wasn't so bad when I was home to limit her food intake, but she seems to have zero self-control when I'm not around. When I come home from work she's surrounded by food containers, dishes, etc. Enough for an athlete, extremely excessive for a summer couch-potato.
Her brother is in football and eats TONS and is losing weight, he's not a good judge of how much is reasonable for her to eat. His idea of a single helping is a whole plate heaped with spaghetti.
I am signing her up for youth cheerleading and I'm trying to get her do "Dance Dance Revolution" instead of other video games, but if she doesn't slow down on the food even that exercise won't help her weight control.
I do put foods off-limits, but she breaks the rules and eats them anyway. I hid the stuff she likes, but she's resorted to dipping plain cold tortillas in salsa (yuck) and eating whole packages of salsa at a time. Last week she ate an entire loaf of bread as-is in a day.
Lately she's been stealing candy from her brother. She has a long history of food theft, in school and other places, it's the only thing she steals. She has been punished for it but not by removing food, that could just make it worse, and more secretive. At least now she is honest about it when confronted. She has actively "snuck" food, almost hoarding. It's gotten worse, like she's gone food-mad.
I think it's mostly sheer boredom. She's trying to fill her boredom with food. There are two more weeks still until school, day-programs are over for the summer and we really don't know *anyone* in town for her to get out with.
We aren't members of any church and will *not* be joining one. For any reason.
She's not too bad yet. She had a physical in late June and the doctor said she wasn't overweight but could go there. I'm afraid since then she's either reached that or is very, very close.
Without chaining up the refrigerator and cabinets or quitting my job and staying home to watch over her diet, what can I do to help her get some control over her eating?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
take her to the animal shelter and have her choose a dog. try to get a very cute but hyper dog(a puppy). she can run around with it all day and forget about the crazy eating. im not even kidding, i have a cat and i love running around with him everywhere! its such great fun exercise and i love it. maybe your daughter will too. i was a pretty chubby kid, but when i got my jogging buddy, i shedded the pounds like crazy. good luck!
- 1 decade ago
I really think it sounds like she has a compulsive eating disorder. Maybe you should talk to your doctor and then go see a nutritionist. They would know how to put her on a healthy diet and I'm sure they could give you tips on how to help her stick to it.
I would also advise that you take her to a counselor so she has someone to talk to. She sounds a little depressed and maybe she's eating to hide her feelings.
The stealing of food is a little concerning though. Please watch her carefully when you can and try not to criticize her on her weight. An obsession with food plus constant criticism can easily turn into a full blown eating disorder.
Do you have co-workers with kids her age? If so maybe you could get them together so she can focus on something aside from food.
Maybe set aside time when you're home from work for just her and you to go do something. Take a walk, ride bikes, go hiking, swimming, or fishing. Anything to get the both of you moving. Then maybe since she feels you are being active too, she'll be more open to it.
Is it a possibility to have her brother take her out of the house while you're at work? Since he is athletic maybe they could leave and find something healthy and fun to do.
Hopefully I helped. I guess I'm not exactly an expert or anything but I've had some experience with overweight people and these tips have helped me.
- 1 decade ago
It seems to me like your daghter may have a mental problem with all due respect! You may want to take her to a therapist or counselor...just someone to talk to. Eating Disorders aren't always just UNDEReating.
Have your son take her out. I know she isn't allowed to go out when you're not home, but maybe have him join her on a walk or something--anything to get her out of the house. She obviously isn't adjusting well to her new town, so help her out! It seems like she's had a lot of changes lately.
When you are home, help her eat nutritiously without being a nazi about it. Encourage her to eat healthy and teach by example. How about mother-daughter walks everyday after dinner? Not only will you both get excersize, you'll have some time to girl-chat about her insecurities having to do with her weight, lack of friends, and new school.
Also, why don't you limit what you BUY? Create meals for her daily (I know it seems like a chore, but it could helpful). This way, you can control her portions. Only put out what you have selected.
You could even try a star chart and if she follows the 'rules' everyday for a week, she gets a treat (a frozen yogurt cone!)
Sorry this is so long...but lastly, try to get more nutricious foods, also. Nowadays, you can get really delicious nutritious foods!
- mareLv 51 decade ago
Start a healthy eating program foe the whole family. You're daughter is comfort eating, she's bored and has nothing to do. Get her brother to play soccer with her, go cycling, swimming etc...
Don't target just her and no one else, get the whole family involved with the food shopping. Ask her what she likes and doesn't like, get her to try new vegetables.
Let her know that there's nothing wrong with the way she looks, but that everyone needs to stay healthy, exercise and eat well. When she starts school get her involved in some sports. She can make friends and hopefully won't want to comfort eat, and get some exercise.
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
This is crazy. It sounds like she is depressed. If you can bring her to your job or take her to the park a little more that will be good. Lay down the law because it sound like you haven't. Don't be afraid to be a little aggressive . I mean just try. Drag her off the couch , grab you bikes , and go ride around the neighborhood.
Buy more nutritious foods. Don't fill your refrigerator with alot of food. Try to keep a certain amount of food in your refrigerator. Get alot of frozen dinners.
My mom did this and I loss ten pounds in one day. Hope I help.Source(s): Mom
- 4 years ago
Instead of seeking to persuade your daughter that her boyfriend is dangerous, which he could also be, the bigger factor to do might be to begin a sequence of conversations together with her approximately what style of man or woman she needs to be and what style of man or woman she thinks makes a well boyfriend. Maybe you men might watch a romantic comedy in combination to get the dialog going clearly. As she begins to outline a well courting at the same time speaking to you probably she'll see the sunshine. What the opposite humans could have ignored is you pronouncing the phrases controlling and manipulative. If your evaluation of this boy is correct, there might be truly obstacle forward. Watch your daughter carefully for indicators that she is not seeing any of her peers, or if the boy is making an attempt to isolate her even from you and the relaxation of her loved ones. Abusers start as controllers.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I salute you for trying to control this situation before it gets to big. After awhile things start to become a health issue. I am overweight and right now I am on a diet. I lost 20 pounds already and still going for more. You can't really physically limit her. You have to talk to her about overeating. You might have to scare her a little into losing weight. I've had that talk before and it was quite an uncomfortable moment for me but that was what motivated me into losing weight. Count calories! Maybe get her into that cheer leading program like you said.
- 1 decade ago
If you want her to stop eating then dont buy junk food next time you go to the store buy lots of fruits and vegetables and stuff for salads with light dressing. If she doesn't have access to the junk food then she can't eat it. As for working out, make it normal to go for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner. Teach her the right way, your the adult here.
- 1 decade ago
seems like she's got a problem. take her to a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist & see what they can do for her. also, threaten her with something crazy but doable whenever she eats too much, like inducing vomiting or grounding her for a month