New "Symptom" for difficult child....Not Sure How to Respond

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    A little background:

    difficult child never likes to admit the truth about anything. No matter what the "real" reason may be....she either can't or won't admit it and always covers with some kind of story.

    difficult child's eating habits are terrible. She will only eat breakfast if there is something super-sugary in the house. Donuts? Check. Chocolately cereal? Check. If it's sweet enough, she will even stuff a baggie full of dry cereal to take with her to school.

    But if there are only healthy choices for breakfast? Oh - there's no time to eat. Oh - I'm running late. Oh - I forgot about breakfast today. Oh - I just don't have any appetite this morning.

    Same goes with lunch. Despite an assortment of things she could bring in a packed lunch, difficult child prefers to eat out of the vending machines....opting for soda and candy bars as her noontime meal each day.

    When she arrives home from school - more sugary snacks. If there is nothing in the pantry that fits the bill, difficult child will eat from a candy stash that she hides in her bedroom (and keeps replenishing from the school vending machines).

    Dinner is usually sensible as she eats with the family.

    OK - so here's the new symptom:

    difficult child claims she is unable to eat.

    I asked her what she meant.

    She explained that she has no appetite in the morning and wasn't able to eat her breakfast today. [but - difficult child usually skips breakfast???]

    Then she explained that she wasn't hungry for lunch and wasn't able to eat her lunch. [but - difficult child didn't bring a lunch???]

    Then she explained that even if she had a lunch, she wouldn't have been able to eat it because she couldn't even eat a second "Hunny Bun" with her soda today and she LOVES those. [I'm supposed to be worried that she is not getting enough Hunny Buns???]

    Obviously, I'm a little suspicious of this whole storyline...

    But difficult child kept to it all weekend long....changing it from "Oh - now that I'm older my metabolism must be slowing down", to 'Oh - I just don't seem to have any appetite", to "Oh, I've just been feeling very strange lately", to "Oh, my stomache is really acting up today".

    Despite all of these stories....her eating looks to be about the same: plenty of room for snacks and soda, plenty of room for a healthy dinner. (In fact, she even complained about how hungry she was on Saturday when we had dinner later than usual.)

    Today, for the first time in months - difficult child made a really big deal out of putting together a lunch to take to school. I can't help but feel that this is to "prove" that she can't eat lunch.

    I'm really not sure how to respond to this because I can't for the life of me figure out what she is looking for in terms of a "payoff". Is she just seeking attention? Is she trying to come up with a more "acceptable" reason to refuse her medications? Is she going to make a request to come off birth control since something must be making her sick?


    Is this a budding eating disorder and I'd better move fast to intervene?


    Is this some other serious medical condition?


    Is Mom just way too gullible and about to get played big time?

    Your thoughts / theories / opinions would be most welcome...
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    If her actions don't match the words, I would believe the actions. She ate "normally" all weekend so I would be prepared for something coming. She just might be smart enough to plan "not able to eat = doctor visit = change or d/c a medication".

    Keep us posted.
  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I don't know what the motivation or pay off would be for this new issue. Perhaps you need to give this a little more time - she will reveal her purpose in good time.....

    I would just try to keep some tabs on her eating habits the next few days - see if she is eating the dinners you are preparing, etc.

    They definitely keep us on our toes.

  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    Just keep an eye out on her weight (not necessarily her eating) and if she is purging that you can tell.

    Onyxx will pull this - Oh, I'm not hungry, I haven't been hungry, food makes me nauseous, yada yada yada... But her lunch account is dwindling (she could be giving it away I suppose), food in my house vanishes, esp. SUGAR... And an empty sink at night usually translates to one full of dishes in the morning. A pot/pan, two or three utensils, a bowl, a plate, and at least 2 cups is the norm.

    ...And I made enchiladas last night, which she loves. She and Jett were out of school and she gave husband the whole... But I don't feel good, I can't eat... And then she sat down at the table with us and scarfed up 3x what I ate - which was a pretty hefty portion for even me. (But she wasn't hungry.)
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT did similar things, and I never did figure out what the deal was. She refused to eat anything that wasn't junk for quite a while.

    I would keep an eye on her.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I agree with following a plan of "don't listen to her words, pay attention to her actions." That's the only what you'll know what's really going on with whether she's a) eating b) losing weight and/or c) developing an eating disorder.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If our K1 isn't hungry, its usually because he's taken money from the house and pigged out on junk food at school... sometimes to the point of being sick. We think its a sugar thing... and it usually happens around stress points at school that he doesn't want to deal with.

    (K1 = 14yr old male = usually, see-food=eat-food!)
  8. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    My relatively "normal" easy child 3 who is 15 does this periodically so I'm not sure I'd pay it too much attention if she is actually eating.

    Partly I think it is what all the teen girls are saying to each other that is part of the ritualized negative body image cr&p. Oh, I'm not hungry. Oh, I'm so full. Oh, I can't eat that. Oh, I'm on a diet. All in service to the need to be the thinnest.

    If she starts losing weight then you can take her to the regular doctor for a check up but I wouldn't say in front of her that you are concerned about her eating or give it more than a Mm-hm when she makes these pronouncements.

    And I have to ask - why are you buying the sugar stuff or giving her money to use in vending machines?

  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I do buy some we usually have cookies and crackers in the pantry. I mostly buy the healthy Cheerios, Special K, Wheaties, Raisin Bran....but once in a while (when it's on sale) we will have Cocoa Krispies or Pop Tarts or Donuts. And that's the eating pattern we see: No breakfast for difficult child unless and until there is something "chocolate" for breakfast.

    As far as money for vending machines? Well, she is not getting that from she's scamming it from somebody at school.
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Sounds like everyone agrees that I should be suspicious....


    I wasn't sure whether to ignore it or what...
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Yeah - suspicious, but not over the top paranoid, sweetie.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Which is, of course, the fine balancing act we all have to do, all of the time, with ALL of the various behaviors...!
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    My difficult child 1...I did not give him any money his entire senior year of high school. NONE. NADA. ZIP. And largely without a job, he had money for lunch of his choosing every day, snacks, going out, beer, whatever. He was the class clown for as long as he was in school, and he "earned" his living by taking small bets at school. "You mix up whatever cafeteria food you want to in a milk carton, and I will eat it all. Bet ya $5 you can't gross me out." He made a TON of money at school.
  14. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Sorry - your first post kind of sounded like she was eating that way all the time.

    Have some of the same issues here with difficult child 2. He wants what he wants in the morning and it's usually sweet cereal. We have found a compromise that I consider acceptable - either Mini Wheats Strawberry or Special K with strawberries. I'm not thrilled with either one but they have reasonable amounts of essential nutrients, not a huge amount of sugar and at least 3 gms of fiber.

    He also eats a lot of sweet yogurts. I will only buy Danon Light because it is made with sugar/not high fructose corn syrup and it's reasonably low in calories. He has favorite flavors and so I buy those along with basic ones for everyone else.

    Is there something that is more healthful that you can get that would meet her desire for chocolate (chocolate low cal yogurt?) and your desire to see her eating better?
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Good point, rlsnights

    Tried this with K2 (not quite difficult child) - Stop looking just at calories. It doesn't really matter how many calories they take in as long as they have reasonable weight. SO - all the calories you want as long as it is high in food value. That even includes chocolate in moderation...

    For example: GORP plus M&Ms... (remember GORP? the original trail mix... good old raisins and peanuts, usually with some form of chocolate added). Dried apricots. Fruit leather. If you can afford it, beef jerky.

    Vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and lots of fluids... if that comes wrapped up with some extra calories, so be it. The protein and fiber (and fat if present) slow down the blood-sugar high.

    What you don't want is unadulterated junk food... no vitamins/minerals/protein/fiber...
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911

    You suppose there is a boy at school that may have called her a derrogatory name like FAT? So she supposes she needs to loose weight? Or that maybe someone in school she admires was given attention for being thin?

    Has she changed medications lately or is cheeking her medications?? Are you sure she isn't?

    She could just be doing it to gain attention - but I'd get an accurate weight from her from a doctors scale - Doesn't cost anything to walk into the doctors office and say - "Id just like to have my daughter weighed on a professional scale." and leave. Then in a month or so pop back in and do it again. You can even call the office and confer with a nurse and explain why you are doing it so there will be no charge and you can get the same scale both times. I did this when i was doing my weight loss so I wouldn't use different scales and get different weights and go crazy when i had "gained" 10 lbs. for a scale being off. Know what I mean??

    Good for you for catching it Mom - BRAVO!
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    TeDo, great answer. Words are meaningless. Actions are far more telling.

    OMG, Shari, LOL!

    Keep your eyes open, DF. I'd be wondering what's going on, too. Wish I could help.
  18. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Well....difficult child asked for second-helpings at dinner last night...

    and no mention of not being able to eat lunch.

  19. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    DF, are you SURE we don't share the same daughter?