Trying to Resist Giving difficult child an Eating Disorder...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    O I know....I know...

    Here's the story:

    I am a skinny person who comes from a long line of skinny people. We're just built tall and lanky. DS is built just like me.

    husband is a husky person who comes from a long line of husky people. His family is built big boned and muscular.

    In our house, we do not make comments about weight - one way or the other...

    Until now.

    Every other word out of difficult child's mouth seems to be about how this person is fat or that person is fat....regardless of the reality. (Evidently even Beyonce is humongous!)

    difficult child has started razzing her brother for being tall and skinny.

    And the final straw: difficult child has decided that I am fat. She called a friend the other day and began talking on the phone about how she'd never be able to borrow my clothes because she'd have to put on "tons of weight" to fit into them. Apparantly, I am just HUGE!

    Now, I have said nothing....

    But what I really want to do is point out to difficult child that she has inherited the husky, muscular body type of husband's family - and it is only a matter of time before she is even larger than all of those "fat people" she likes to make fun of...

    I really, really want to say this -

    But I don't want difficult child to freak out and start crazy diets or anything weird like that.

    So I have just been sitting by listening to her go on and on about how fat I am...





  2. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Deep breaths. I find those help me when I am really trying to bite my tounge.

    Is she saying these things to deflect off of her the fact that she is bigger than you? Is she trying to make herself feel better about herself by trying to make others feel bad?

  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I'm not really sure.

    difficult child has such a weird sense of reality anyway. On some level, she probably really does believe that she is the smartest, prettiest, most talented, and thinnest person in all the world...

    on the other hand - difficult child just may be looking for ways to be nasty after I told her I was unwilling to special order her a custom-made prom dress from Europe!

    Frankly, I am surprised at myself for getting so upset. You'd think I'd have developed some sort of rhino skin by now!
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am not surprised that you want to choke the living daylights out of her. difficult children are truly gifted at figuring out what will really get us upset on a deep deep level - things even WE don't know will upset us the difficult child KNOWS how to use to the nastiest, most hurtful purpose. It is part of why they are difficult children!!

    Do what you need to do to let this go, or else go confront her and tell her that EVERY time you hear her comment that someone is fat (or skinny), or make ANY weight comment about a family member or family friend, then she must do 20 pushups or other exercise of YOUR choice. Or she gives up phone privileges and other privileges if she refuses.

    Given her skewed perception of reality, I doubt anything you do or say will have any impact on her thoughts.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I agree with Susie, you probably won't influence her one way or the other. All you can do is continue to set a healthy example and be confident in your own skin. That's all that really matters.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    You could tell her straight up that Beyonce isn't huge, she's curvy in all the right places for a WOMAN, and that both she and her brother have a few years of growing left to do since they are still CHILDREN. And most men don't like those super-too-skinny chicks anyway, they're afraid they'll break them.
    I'm tempted to say she already has an issue relating to body image, and some of them are really good at hiding eating disorders for an extended time. If you're worried about it you may want to watch for it.
    Have to agree with the other posters, too. Keep reinforcing the HEALTHY BODY over weight, because even the ultra-skinny can have a build-up of fat around their organs that makes them unhealthy.
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I agree. I don't think there is anything I can say to reason with her...

    And boy, she knew just what to say, didn't she?

    You're right, I have to let it go and just make weight something we don't talk about - period!
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Exactly! Healthy is a choice. Body type is not.
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I'm not sure that she has an eating disorder right now - but I don't want to call attention to anything that might get her started on that road. I think it's far too easy for girls to get an idea in their head that they have to be super-skinny or else.

    difficult child's definition of "fat people" is definitely weird...
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wouldnt make weight the issue...I would make name calling the issue. Its a matter of being rude and treating anyone with respect.

    I mean, you would be outraged if she was out in public and saw me and said something nasty about a person my size. Believe me, I have had people do it. I dont get so upset when the kid is 3 or 4 but when the kid is 12 and the parents dont reprimand them, well, I kind of wonder about them.
  11. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I agree 100% with Janet. I wouldn't make an issue out of weight but I would address the rude behavior. difficult child has called easy child fat more than once. She is tall and as skinny as a string bean (so is he for that matter) He was just being mean and I let him have it. I just don't understand difficult child's sometimes...... Oh, and what I wouldn't give for Beyonce's body ... LMAO !
  12. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I agree with-Janet also! You can't give her an eating disorder, trust me i've become the expert at the unknown super crazy eating disorder. she was rude, id' target that.

    good luck kids bite sometimes........ plain and simple. tell her would you like if i insulted you? I wouldn't because i love you and it isn't respectful. it doesnt' matter what she says it's nasty.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, in my family of psychiatric problems, my sister has an eating disorder and it was triggered (per her) by my father and mother constantly telling her she was getting a big butt (she was always really skinny). In our house we do not talk about weight. I am terrified of eating disorders. My daughter has an athletic build and is forever saying "I'm fat." She is adopted and, on her birthfather's side, the women ARE bigger. She may get bigger too. I'd rather have her overweight and able to lose it than have an eating disorder and stop is much harder to get rid of an eating disorder than to lose weight.
    If my daughter made a comment about my weight and I was skinny (I'm not uber-fat either) I'd just let it go. It wouldn't get me upset. It still wouldn't make me bring up HER weight. My sister still looks emaciated and she's fifty.My parents were both very thin and they made a huge deal out of it if we gained any weight. It didn't affect me (it may be the only psychiatric disorder I don't, but it sure did affect my sister.
    My advice? If she is rude in public, address the rudeness. If not, don't bring up her "healthy" build (which is what I call my daughter's). There is nothing healthy about being uber-thin due to anorexia. JMO.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    "If you think Beyonce is fat, then you really have a badly distorted body image, and I am very sorry for you."

    I also would make the labelling of people in general (as fat or skinny) off limits under your roof. "You will not say mean things about other people, not just me, under my roof. Because every time you say something mean about someone, whether they are there to her it or not, you give people permission to say nasty mean things about you. And I love you and don't want to think that people are choosing to say mean things about you."

    This is likely to trigger the response, "If you loved me, you would [insert wish fairy item here]."
    The response to this is, "That is not what love is about."

  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Wow! This has been a really great discussion....

    And it has actually given me quite a lot to think about!

    Growing up, even though my siblings and I were all skinny as a rail, my mother used to call us "fat". She especially harped on my sister - telling her constantly that she had a fat butt. Then at school and out in the "real world" - we were always being called names for being too thin - skinny, twiggy, bony, spindly, skeletal, bean pole, etc. It seemed that everyone had an opinion....and a negative one at that! We were too fat, too thin - argh! Couldn't please anybody!

    So yes, I guess that I am over-sensitive to weight issues....and name-calling related to weight issues. That's my issue.

    As for difficult child - now that I have given it more thought....maybe she does have some issues with body image? The first time I ever caught her "fat-bashing" was the first time I took her shopping for jeans in the women's section a few years ago. I remember that there was a big sale, and the store was very crowded. We were going through the racks and difficult child began exclaiming very loudly that size 4 and size 6 were just "enormous" and anybody who wears jeans that big was HUGE. I shushed her and told her she was being rude - but she continued on...

    And then what size jeans did she end up getting? Those very same 4s and 6s that were so enormous! I figured that would be the end of it....

    But no - it continues.

    And for whatever reason....difficult child cannot seem to understand that name calling is name calling. She gets that she's not supposed to call people a**hole, or b*tch, or names like that.... But if she calls someone "fat" - she thinks she is justified somehow. I tell her we don't call names - and difficult child responds with "But she IS fat - and if it bothered her to be fat, she would do something about it."

    This is where the urge to strangle comes in!

    I have explained. I have tried "We don't talk about others because we wouldn't appreciate it if someone else pointed out our flaws". And I have told difficult child flat-out that I don't want to hear her opinions or criticisms of anybody and she can keep her mouth shut!

    Last night, she treated us all to a speech about how Jake Gyllenhaal (Prince of Persia) was waaaayyyy too old to be good-looking. Now some of this is typical teen, I'm sure. Teens can't fathom that they'll ever be as old as 30....and people in their thirties are just ancient - but Jake Gyllenhaal? Give me a break!

    And STILL - I hear about this person is too fat and that person is too fat....regardless of the reality.

    And that's where I'm really fighting the urge to just "zing" her one and she how she likes it....

    But, I refuse to criticize anybody for their weight or body type. It's just wrong. And so hurtful - on so many levels. (And again - that's my issue. I admit it.)


    Maybe I need to look more closely at the reasons why difficult child feels the need to compare herself and her weight to others this way? Maybe she IS struggling with her own body image? Maybe she is struggling with maturing into a woman's body (which is definitely "huge" compared to the body of a little girl) ?

  16. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    DF, I think the Jake Gyllenhall remark is definetly typical teen behavior. I remember when I was a teen 30 was soooooo old. LOL
  17. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Well, at least she won't be taken in by a pretty face that's way too old for her right now, lol.
  18. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I expect your difficult child is the first one to be hurt if she's called fat or ugly by one of her peers, right DF? Clearly, there is a huge disconnect between cause & effect for your difficult child. I'm also guessing that she has a somewhat distorted sense of self; most people who feel the need to put others down have huge self esteem problems.

    I don't see an eating disorder in the offing. I see a young lady with little empathy for others, And that wasn't you or your husband - that's typical teen & her disorders. Don't tenderfoot around difficult child ~ let her know that she's saying very hurtful things. Words are powerful; while they can be forgiven they're rarely forgotten.
  19. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    LOL! O you got that right, Linda!

    The past few days, difficult child's comments have been bad enough that everyone around her just stops and says "O my goodness, that was rude!"

    To which difficult child has replied that she's not rude, she's "honest"....and has the guts to say the things that nobody else will

    and "You people just need to get a sense of humor!"


    It's only a matter of time before somebody turns around and punches her in the nose!
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I posted aa long reply but my link is unstable and I lost it. Basically, she needs to be shown, every time, that "honesty" is not the same is "deliberately expressing her views in as nasty a way as possible" and also, that if what she says is not received with howls of laughter, then it clearly was NOT a joke, and the onus is on the joker to be funny and not on the listener to have the right sense of humour. "Know your audience" is an important rule for comedians.

    Too many bullies use te "I was only joking" cop-ut to weasel out of personal responsibility for inappropriate or hurtful remarks. I tend to find this in adults more than in kids, but I will call an adult on this too, even if it is someone I don't know well. I was subjected to this too much as a kid - it's a power thing, which is what a lot of bullying is about. Someone verbally (or physically) slaps you around and then says, "Cant you take a joke?"
    "Sorry. I'm not laughing, because that was not funny. Let's take this to the man on the street. Excuse me sir, do you find this funny? No? Would you kindly tell this young lady what you consider humour to be? Hmm, let's reconsider - maybe you THOUGHT you were being funny, but now you can see that nobody is laughing - so either YOUR sense of humour is flawed, or absolutely everyone else's. The simplest explanation is always the one taken as most correct, so you need to re-think your strategy. Because if that was intended to be your contribution to humour, here comes that great big hook to haul you off stage."

    My final comment to such people is, "I've been on this earth for fifty-five years and have many people who will attest to my sense of humour. Yours is still clearly in development. Go look in the mirror."

    Good luck with this one. Teens like this sometimes can only be managed with a whip and a chair...