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Kinda worried about my 8 year old daughter

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Old 09-29-2009, 07:40 PM   #1
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Default Kinda worried about my 8 year old daughter

Yesterday, I had to shampoo my daughters carpet in her room because the puppy used the potty in there a few times. I had to pull a bunch of stuff out of there before I could clean it.
As I was cleaning out her room I noticed a blanket shoved in a cubby hole in her closet. I went to take the blanket out and all kinds of goodies fell out of the cubby. She had lollipops, bubblegum, peanut butter snack crackers, marshmallows, raisins. Those are just a few of the things she had. This has happened before and it concerns me.

I made some brownies on Sunday because my inlaws were coming over for dinner and I wanted to serve something for dessert.
Well, this afternoon I went to start supper and I noticed the plate of brownies was almost gone. There were probably 8-10 small brownies left over from Sunday and when I noticed them this after noon there were only 2 left. This is not the first time that has happened either and it worries me too.

It worries me because I did the same things when I was a kid. I hid food and ate more than my share. I was slightly over weight. I was about 7 when my step dad came along and from then on out I had to ask for food before I could eat anything. I hated it. And then a lot of the time the answer was no. So I resorted to hiding food and gobbling up food when given the chance. This is a habit that continued into my adult hood and its how I worked my way up to 265 lbs. I don't want her to follow in my footsteps.

She is not fat, nor has she ever been fat. So far she's been blessed with a high metabolism. I asked her why she ate the brownies and she said she didn't know. I wish I could do something to help her before it turns into a bad deal for her.

Anytime she does things like this I always take some time to talk to her and explain why its wrong to do what she did but I try not to demean her in anyway. I tell her I don't care if she has these things to eat but I do care when she eats a bunch of these things at one time, and I do care when she hides things from me. I don't want her to feel like she cant talk to me and I don't want her to think the only way for her get a goody is for her to gobble it up or to hide it.

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Old 09-29-2009, 08:26 PM   #2
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I'm probably not going to have the best answer - I've been pondering how to approach eating issues with my own daughter who is 6. What I've done so far is to talk with her openly about my own weight struggle, and about healthy vs. unhealthy food choices. My own daughter has a sweet tooth just like me. I've tried to encourage her to limit sweet foods but I don't do anything drastic like ban all sweet foods from the house (IMHO, that can backfire and have just as negative an effect). I've pretty much told her straight up, "If you make unhealthy choices all the time, then you will eventually look like me. You need to make healthy choices almost all of the time, and every now and then you can afford a treat." Not real smooth - just the facts.

I wish my mother had spoken to me openly this way. Instead, her weight was taboo and I had to figure it out for myself.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:02 PM   #3
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I have a 9 year old daughter and about a year ago I found the same thing in her bedroom (although, in our house there are only healthy snacks, so it was light string cheese and a couple sugar free puddings). I sat down with her and we talked about why she had those things in her bedroom. I just listened to her and she said that she knew these were "mommy's diet foods" and that she wanted to try them too. I felt terrible! Flashback to me being about 10 and my mom telling me that I wasn't allowed to have a Slim Fast because it was "hers" and her being upset because I got into "her" things. Now I work hard to incorporate her into my choices. She asks me how many points are in this or that and I tell her. I use to tell her "you don't have to worry about that", but I realized that she took that as "you're not important enough to deserve the 'diet' foods" just like I had in the past. She was a little chunky, but has greatly slimmed down since that incident. We work together to make meals and I've taught her to read food labels. I agree with Nikki, kids need to be told that bad decisions lead to bad results, even when no one is looking. And I also agree with Nikki that I wish someone would have talked to me openly and like I had some sense.

I'm not saying that your daughter's behavior is for the same reason as my daughter's, but that if you talk to her openly about what are good choices and incorporate her into your healthier lifestyle maybe she will get on board and open up as to the reason why or even just learn to make better choices. Maybe you can try to just show her what to do instead of telling her what not to do. That usually works with my kids.

Good luck - - being a mom is so hard, there's no manual and there are no right answers. We all just do the best we can.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:53 AM   #4
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I think most kids at a young age will eat cookies and candy and stuff like that when they get the chance. They taste good. Their friends eat that stuff. They are conditioned by society to think sweets are GOOD.

How about letting her help make a nice fruit salad for dessert next time? Or some baked cinnamon apples or something like that. Then she learns healthy things can be yummy and sweet too.

And I totally agree on the openness/talking as well. I hope you find a solution that fits for you and your little girl!
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:32 AM   #5
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I should have mentioned in the first post that She eats very healthy and is by choice. I cook healthy meals and she loves it. She loves veggies and usually asks for more especially spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc...

We keep all kinds of fruits, veggies, whole grain cereals (which she prefers over kids cereal), and healthy snacks in the house all the time, even before I started to lose weight.

She loves healthy food. That's why this hoarding of the sugary stuff perplexes me. We do allow her to have candy and other stuff but we don't let her have it every single day.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:49 AM   #6
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"She loves healthy food. That's why this hoarding of the sugary stuff perplexes me. We do allow her to have candy and other stuff but we don't let her have it every single day."


While I don't have kids, I remember myself as a child.. and I can definitely understand a child wanting to be able to have candy whenever THEY want it. To me it seems like a perfectly normal thing for a child to do - part of a natural desire for more autonomy in their life. I understand it bothers you as a a mother but wouldn't it make you rebellious if somebody else was rationing your favorite foods?

There was an interesting documentary by the BBC, btw, that showed that any food (like, ANY food) that is restricted, immediately becomes all the more desirable for young children. It may seem radical, but maybe the solution is to not keep any kinds of candy at home - but when you do buy some as a treat, allow your daughter to have as much as she wants?
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:46 AM   #7
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I have 2 sisters, no brothers, all 3 of us girls had all boys. Well, my sisters and I did the same thing, and so did all the boys, only one of who has ever had a weight problem. I don't think it's so much about the food, as it is about the independence, growing up, wanting to make their own choices, etc.

I think I would approach it this way. It's fine for her to have some snacks in her room that are hers and hers alone, but they can't all be sugary junk. Next time you go to the store, you and your daughter make a project out of picking out some snacks she can keep in her room. You can compromise with some of the bars that are more healthy now, but still sweet, look good, taste good, and feel like you're the princess in your royal princess room eating bon bons. She doesn't have to hide them, you won't take them, it's ok for her to eat them, and each week, she will get to have a choice in what she wants for her private stash for the week.

Then I would let it go.

As far as grabbing a brownie every time she went by, I can see me doing that. They probably should have been put out of site out of mind, or given away, or thrown out or froze or something, way to much temptation.

As long as she is eating healthy most of the time, obsessing about a few treats or the brownie thing, will most likely only make it worse.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:46 AM   #8
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Let me start off by saying I don't have kids, and probably never really WAS a kid....so take what I say with a grain of salt. It's just my first thought...

Is there a chance she's ashamed of wanting the candy/sweets? I mean, you say she gets them SOMETIMES, and that's maybe a good thing. But with you on a diet and the family eating healthy, it has HAD to have come up that the candy and sweets are a "bad" thing at some point (maybe?). If so, she may feel like she has to hide her eating of the "bad" things because you wouldn't approve?
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:19 AM   #9
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I don't have kids or anything, but when I lived with my parents, I did hide food. Although not until I was a teenager. So I'm no expert!

But maybe ask her why she hides it...and let her know she shouldn't feel ashamed about anything she eats. I hid food because I didn't want to eat much of anything that I liked in front of my mother, because she was (and still is) so obsessed with weight. So I felt like I needed to hide this behavoir. I think that the feelings of guilt over eating certain things started the problem for me, because they were "forbidden" so when I was alone with these foods, I'd go nuts and eat and eat, because I didn't know when I'd be able to get to them again. --for me, hiding food was the beginning of the end.

It's good that you're concerned, and that you're asking others what to do, I wish my mom had been so sensitive with me!
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:40 AM   #10
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My 8-yr-old still asks if she can have something. Should I move towards her getting somehting without asking in yalls opinion? She has gotten in trouble before when I found her into stuff. When she was 5 or 6 I kept finding brown sugar dropped in the pantry, the Ovaltine container open, etc. I probably shouldn't have disciplined her for it..but at this point, whats done is done.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:35 AM   #11
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Like a lot of those above me said... I'd suggest talking to her on a level, and explaining why that concerns you... that that's what you went through, what resulted, etc. And like they said... keeping it taboo and just getting upset and telling her not to do that would probably just result in a backfire type dealie. Same thing happened to me, as a kid, and the more my dad yelled at me and pointed out my weight problems and picked on me about them, the angrier I got and the more I ate and became bullheaded about. *sigh* Which is what landed me here.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shcirerf View Post
I have 2 sisters, no brothers, all 3 of us girls had all boys. Well, my sisters and I did the same thing, and so did all the boys, only one of who has ever had a weight problem. I don't think it's so much about the food, as it is about the independence, growing up, wanting to make their own choices, etc.

I think I would approach it this way. It's fine for her to have some snacks in her room that are hers and hers alone, but they can't all be sugary junk. Next time you go to the store, you and your daughter make a project out of picking out some snacks she can keep in her room. You can compromise with some of the bars that are more healthy now, but still sweet, look good, taste good, and feel like you're the princess in your royal princess room eating bon bons. She doesn't have to hide them, you won't take them, it's ok for her to eat them, and each week, she will get to have a choice in what she wants for her private stash for the week.

Then I would let it go.

As far as grabbing a brownie every time she went by, I can see me doing that. They probably should have been put out of site out of mind, or given away, or thrown out or froze or something, way to much temptation.

As long as she is eating healthy most of the time, obsessing about a few treats or the brownie thing, will most likely only make it worse.
I this idea. You give your daughter some power and some responsibility, you let her see consequences of her actions, you give her some framework for even things like budgeting and rationing, you take the focus off of the 'food' aspect so you avoid labelling some foods 'good' and some foods 'bad' (thus making the bad ones more alluring, and not teaching her how to manage them)...I am seriously in love with this idea.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:27 PM   #13
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When my mum remarried a man who had custody of his kids we ended up with a household of 5 kids, age range 8-18. Two of us (one of my stepsisters and I) would always eat all of the treat foods that were bought for the entire family, not to be mean, we just liked the goodies and would grab a handful of cookies or chips on every pass through the kitchen.

My folks handled it by each week having each kid put what they wanted as their treat food on the shopping list and when they unpacked the groceries putting that item in each of our rooms. If we ate the entire bag of cookies or chips the first day, no goodies for that person for the remainder of the week. So each kid could eat they way they preferred, and oddly, no one ever thought to raid someone else's room for their stash.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidhe View Post
I this idea. You give your daughter some power and some responsibility, you let her see consequences of her actions, you give her some framework for even things like budgeting and rationing, you take the focus off of the 'food' aspect so you avoid labelling some foods 'good' and some foods 'bad' (thus making the bad ones more alluring, and not teaching her how to manage them)...I am seriously in love with this idea.
Aww, thanks.

My kids are grown and the youngest of my nephews is a senior in High school. So, in looking back, sometimes you have to pick your battles, and sometimes the simplest solution is the best.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:03 PM   #15
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As for the asking before eating, my parents always had me do that and my teenagers STILL ask me before eating stuff. The reason is that if there is an ingredient that I am planning on using for dinner or a special recipe and they eat it all, I cannot make the recipe. So everyone says, "Mom, can I have x?" And usually I say yes. No one seems to mind it, it's just a courtesy.

The exception to this is they all know they are allowed to have any fruits or vegetables they want without asking. If I need it for a recipe I always get extra.
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