Sunday, February 7, 2016

Help! My daughter is fat!

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri.

I feel like the worst mother ever. My little girl who is nine years old now has gained a lot of weight this year because she started staying in her room after school and getting on Facebook and her email. I let her have a Facebook account only because I watch it and make sure everything is okay.

However, she started taking food into her room to snack on after school. I let her do this as long as she didn’t take too much and she ate dinner. Yesterday, I decided to look through her room  and found stuff stashed all over.

I couldn’t understand why she was doing this.  I said she couldn’t take food into her room anymore.

She cried and told me I was the meanest mom ever and now I was just like all the kids at school who hate her because she’s fat. I have never called her fat.

Her dad sat her down without me and told her she needed to do something active like dance (I already tried to get her to do that).

She decided to take dance classes, but after the first class she came home crying and said no one likes her because she’s fat and she’s not going anymore.

I can’t force her to take dance classes, but I don’t think her dad and I should let her go back to getting fatter and hiding from the world!

Mom of a Fat Girl

Dear Mom,

The fact that you signed with saying your daughter is a “Fat Girl” tells us that you may have feelings of disdain toward your daughter because she is gaining weight and you don’t like it.

We don’t think a girl as young as your daughter should have a computer in her own room. It’s her escape from the work of finding friends and growing up.

It seems eating is an escape  as well and if you simply punish her by taking food away, she will eventually try to find other ways to escape the pain of being lonely and different. She could easily turn to drugs, self-harm (cutting herself or harming herself in other ways), alcohol, and sex.

It’s a good idea to take her to a trusted therapist and also engage in family therapy with all of you. She needs to feel like she’s a part of the whole family.

Designate a time each week when you could all do things together such as board-games, a picnic, or walking in a museum.

Walking is a great way to get to know your daughter plus fit exercise in. Find out what she does like to do (a hobby) and tell her you will support her interests as long as she stays committed to do that same activity for six months.

She needs to maintain a disciplined life with rules that she must follow. Reward her with going to a movie or something fun to do … but not with food.

Take her to a doctor and let him tell her how she can become healthy – her way – and be happier with herself.

One activity that might work with your beautiful girl is to have her put on dance music and dance hard for twenty minutes free-style. It will release stress, depression, and anger. In fact, do it with her too. Make it fun and show her your love for her. 

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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