Any suggestions for these?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Tis summer again, which means easy child 2 is here half the time. She's back at her mom's this week, and hopefully her granda sent her to summer school. We will see. Anyway, my question is about her weight and clothing choices. She is very overweight. Carries it all in her middle. Even when she stands up straight, she has 4 rolls. Her weight and her health concern me, but there is little I can do while she lives the majority of the time at her mom's/grandma's. She is somewhat shy and has few friends. We're starting to see an increase in desire for attention from boys, and she dresses to catch their attention - or try - and unfortunately this is in the skimpiest things she can find. Mom/grandma encourage this.
    We've not made issue of it, we just make things disappear as they become too small/tight. This weekend, tho, I heard several snickers from girls her age at the pool about her in her bikini. And it really is pretty bad. I don't want to give her a bad body image, but on the same note, she wants friends and has none, but she's not helping her cause any by dressing like she does...especially the beach wear (which she will then wear with no cover-up for the remainder of the day, whether she's swimming or at a beach or not). Not that body type or clothes should matter, but we're talking 11 year old girls here...
    Is this something we should address with her, let it go, or just say our religion is against bikinis (or, she's lost the bottoms to 3 bikinis last summer, feasibly could say "can't keep track, must gon one piece...")? I gained 15 pounds this past winter and she and I went swim suit shopping. She pointed out bikinis for me and I tried hinting that I don't have a bikini body again yet, not til I lose my 15 pounds, at least, so I needed something to cover up my extra pounds for a while, looked at tankini's and one piece suits, hoping she'd follow suit, but no luck...she went for strings and triangles but thankfully didn't like anything she tried, so didn't buy anything, but still wearing last year's.
    My other question is...wee difficult child has no contact to his bio dad. He calls husband "dad". He also knows he has another dad, but doesn't understand all the mechanics of it. When we run into old friends of husband's, they often ask about wee difficult child (he's almost always with us). They'll ask "is this your boy" and husband is not comfortable answering with just a "yes" simply because most people know difficult child's bio dad, too, and he doesn't want to confuse the issue. But he doesn't like saying "he's not really mine, but I am raising him" either, because that makes difficult child ask questions and feel bad that husband isn't really his daddy. Any thoughts on a good answer to that question? Would saying "he was born a <bio-name> but he's mine now" be stupid, crude, or misleading? (wee difficult child uses both last names, hyphenated sort of way - his choice).
  2. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    UGH! With K she is only just shy of 7... but she is very aware of her body due to medication weight gain back and forth. I have been able to tell her that number one wearing too tight of anything can cause Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)'s... because she has had 2. (I exaggerate it a bit) I also show her the marks on her little hips and tell her these mean her pants bottoms are too tight.
    I bought her 2 tankinis this year because her tummy has grown from her new medications.
    She really likes them. I am kind of honest with her and tell her it doesn't feel/look good to have clothes that are too small, you hang out. That is why they make clothes in certain sizes!!!
    I let her know she is a cuttie patootie but cuter in clothes that fit properly!!!
    I don't have to get into the boys too much yet! She likes them but doesn't realize they are "checking" her out...
    Good luck.
    My non bio dad used to say Yes... but our town wasn't so small. Do what you guys feel in your heart. If it feels better for Wee difficult child... Say yes he is.
  3. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    in my opinion...I would have to say something about the skimpy clothes. It's bad enough that children are as cruel as they are & can damage each other. I realize she is trying to get the attention, but the negative attention by being made fun of is just not worth it. So, communication about the whole clothes issue is probably a must. We all know that no matter what the size, everyone is beautiful & it's very hard to convey that message to teens. Understandable. I'm sure there isn't an easy way to show her that she can wear weight appropriate clothing & still "catch" the attention.

    The 2nd question. Plain & simple for me. People always get confused apon meeting my family. I spent most most of my years growing up with my Dad & step-mom. They always introduced us kids as "their 5 kids", even though we were step. We, as children, always said "my Mom & Dad" (even though I do not call her her Mom directly). Mainly over the past 5 years....people say "there is no way that is your Mother". I say "yes she is". Every once in awhile (like last week)...someone pushes the issue. I have to basically shut them up & say...."I have TWO Moms". They get their "Ah Ha" moment & it's over. So, maybe work with that as far as wee difficult child is concerned. As far as husband? I think he she be able to answer with a flat out YES, this is my son ;)
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911


    With an obvious lack of good teen roll models I think this is pretty tough for her.

    And especially when she's getting encouragement from her Mother and gma. (ARGH) My Mom told me something years ago when I went into attention seeking mode and it stuck. To this day it sticks. And that was telling me flat out - You can dress sexy without being sleazy. If you're really going to turn a fellas head - sexy is good, sleazy is out.

    At her age - telling her Jesus wouldn't like her in a bikini is going to get you a challenge. I think. But walking around in a store and maybe ALLOWING her to pick the SLEAZY bikini and then having the help of a clerk when she came out in a SEXY bikini and ask the clerk to really 'promote' the modest swim suit would be helpful. Or a friend of yours go with you and when she comes out in the string and bead thong thing - everyone make a face and say That's kinda sleazy - but when she walks out in the modest suit EVERYONE nod and give that all woman approval of "Ohhhhh yeah now THAT is sexy". She's looking for approval of women too, just doesn't know it. And do NOT use words like CUTE, SWEET, Nice - it has GOT to be that Ohhhhhhhh yes......NOW THAT ONE.....Hmmmm mmmm you'll turn heads in that for SURE. you dont' mention BOYS turning heads - just heads turning. You can also say "Oh, yes!!!!! VERY sexy." kinda talk. You are not lying, you are not compromising your faith or character, and you are allowing her to make a choice. If she chooses slutty - or sleezy - then she has to deal with the consequences of the other girls whispers. And if she's overweight - there will be whispers - little girls can be cruel.

    As far as the name - with your wee difficult child we ran into the same thing and did the hyphenated name thing as we couldnt' afford to have his name changed legally- $3k now and $65 in 5 months if he still wants to. At age 10 - Dude went to DF and told him that he wanted to call him Dad. Not step dad not I'm not his real father (which well yes - he IS - a Father is who raises you) What DF used to say Because well - lets face it - HE is Swedish and we're ......NOT.

    In response to people who KNOW that your husband is NOT wee difficult child's bio dad? Shame on them for directing that question at a child. DF got adopted by difficult child at age 10. I have had to look at idiots like that and say "Didn't you get an invitation to the divorce? How callus of me to not invite you." (almost as callus as asking a child if a man they know isn't his daddy is.

    DF had a few responses that let inquiring minds know WELL YES I'm raising this kid, without saying anything about his bio father.

    "When you raise a child this long you hope you're called Dad and not something else - (like jerk)."
    "I'm actually his step-dad."
    "I'm proud to call him my son, I'm Mr. SO and So, nice to meet you."

  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member


    With regard to the bathing suit thing, that's a toughie. Perhaps a frank talk about looking and feeling good in your body and in your clothes might no go amiss. Since she wants friends, could you talk to her about how she is perceived by others when she wears clothes that are inappropriate for her body?

    We had a somewhat similar situation with difficult child a couple of years ago. Here's what we did:

    My difficult child used to have such a hard time letting go of his little-kid clothes. I would bag them up for the Goodwill and he would steal the bags back, and then change into them. We're talking a 6 ft tall 16-year-old wearing clothes for an 8 yr old. The way I explained it to him was:
    I know that you like to wear these things, but it's hurting you. The clothes don't fit you properly. That shirt is too short. It doesn't even come down to your waist. 16-year-old boys don't wear shirts like that, and the other kids will tease you. Those shorts are too short and too tight. They are designed for a little boy's body and they are showing too much of you that is meant only for private times. The other kids will pick on you.

    What is it you like about the clothes? They're soft. Okay, so how about if we take the shorts and T-shirts that fit you and wash them in double-fabric softener to make them softer? Then you can still wear soft things, but not invite bullying from the other children.

    With regard to wee difficult child and your husband, I don't see why he can't just say Yes. difficult child happliy calls me Mom and I call him my son, even to people who have known his egg donor longer than they've known me. People can tell that he's not my bio son (I'm black, he's white), but I don't really care. He's MY boy.

  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I have to say that discussing the size and style of clothing with a girl who is he// bent on wearing a skimpy something shirt, bikini, etc., can be very tricky. Like you said, you don't want to ruin her self image...or develop phobias about her body shape. I know most girls between the ages 9-15 or so get a little thick while their bodies are changing and the hormones begin to rage. difficult child was one of them, so was her cousin and two of my nieces.

    Like you, I secretly confiscated certain tops that I really thought were cheezy and inappropriate for anyone, let alone a 13 year old girl who's body was blossoming, ahem. Finally, I had to address it with her. First, I set aside a little money for one month of paychecks. Then, one day while driving, I complimented her shape and her taste in clothes. Then I offered to take her shopping for newer clothes that would compliment what she already had. She was less than thrilled believe it or not. Anyway, we went through all her clothes and made 3 piles: Old/too small, nice, and not so nice. Then we went shopping. We found a bikini and a tankini in her size that were both cute and a little sexy, though not cheezy or sleazy. We also bought romantic kind of clothes with ruffles and pretty prints. Since easy child wasn't with us, stealing the fashion show, difficult child finally relaxed and hammed it up trying on a lot of clothes. Good luck with yours!

    My H is stepdad to my girls and he always simply refers to them as his daughters. If someone asks in such a way that needs clarification, he might say, "I am her step father", but these days most people don't even care.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thanks for the suggestions. I guess we'll have a chat next week, and I have some money put back to take her shopping...I'll use your suggestions. We've been trying to encourage portion control (she'll eat as much as husband, and eats FAST) and healthy eating without getting into this but she just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The poor kid has stretch marks.
    I realize this is somewhat normal for kids this age, but this is beyond normal. When she was 7-8, she went from a size 6x to a 14 in under a year, and she didn't grow much in height. Her waist is over 35" (her behind and hips and chest are much smaller). She has visible cellulite that most women MY age start fighting. Her belly lops a good 3" over the top of her pants. She is between the 50th and 75th percentile for her height/age, and way off the charts with her weight. Unlike wee difficult child, who is heavily muscled, easy child can barely walk 400 yards without getting out of breath; its not a muscle-mass issue. She struggles to pour milk from a gallon jug. She has a hard time getting up off the floor. She can't ride her bike with difficult child cause she cant keep up. She has backaches. She's 11.
    It makes me sad for her because childhood obesity is linked to so many life-long struggles. Her mom is a huge, unhealthy, unhappy woman. She started having back pain in her 20's due to her weight. And in my opinion, she is a monster for sitting by idely watching her daughter become the same. (I have offered to pay for and take easy child to dance class, sports, ANYTHING to get her active, and her mom refuses because it would mean extra time with me and husband). husband says easy child 2 was involved in soccer until they split; then mom ordered grandma to stop taking easy child; husband usually went to practices and games, so husband thinks it was a further attempt to keep him from seeing easy child at all; another one that easy child is paying for.
    As for wee difficult child...I agree with all that husband should just say "yes, my son", but I also understand the hesitation. He never wants bio dad to be able to say he kept difficult child from him in any way. I felt the same way with difficult child 1 when people would ask me that were natives of this small town and likely knew his bio parents. I didn't want to say "this is my son" and have it get back to the bio's that I said that (and it happened a couple of times). They both were very territorial of a boy they wanted nothing to do with...which I never understood (to this day, DEX's online profiles all say, first and foremost, his favorite pasttime is spending time with his boys - the last time he spent time with wee difficult child was Mother's Day 2003 and I don't think he even knows where difficult child 1 is...) - so I always made sure to clarify if I thought there was a way it might get back to the bio's, but the clarification was never with difficult child around.
    And there's no doubt husband is proud to be "dad". I was afraid he wouldn't be able to get thru the doorways in our house when difficult child started that, cause husband's head was so big...
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Well, Shari, now that you gave more info on 11gfg, I want to share a story with you. It wasn't easy, but...

    I have a friend whose now 18dd always had trouble with a genetic weight issue. She started with an endriconologist when her daughter was about 11/12. The test results showed all things fairly normal.

    Then at about age 15, she took her daughter to a naturopath who suggested a paleolithic diet - caveman diets include all natural raw veggies and fruits, no meats or dairy or white foods. But the enjoyment of eating nuts and seeds, berries, fruits and veggies, while challenging initially, was fun for the daughter. She liked it a lot. She was at an age where she was very concious of her size and weight, so she was amenable to a change of diet and routine.

    My friend also got two little pups at the time and so that was an excuse to get her daughter out there every evening walking with the dogs (they walked together).

    She threw out all the junk food in the house and replaced it with all the paleolithic foods - outside of one or two treats, all the other crud went. Like any diet, it was more of a healthful lifestyle change. Her daughter lost a a lot of weight and felt better about herself in the long run. It may be that your difficult child won't get to that point at this time but with perseverence, perhaps she will.

    One of the other advantages of seeing the naturopath was that her urine and stool was evaluated and it was determined that the girl was very low on magnesium and other minerals so the DR put her on certain supplements as well.

    Now at 18 she still struggles with her weight but she eats better and healthier and she has retained the habit of working out and enjoying it. She works at a health club and has a free membership.

    Perhaps tackling this issue from a 'health' standpoint rather than a body shape and size standpoint would be more beneficial. At 11, it's hard to make them understand that sort of thing, however, but maybe worth a shot? Good luck.