HELP. I want to cry.

  • I was helping my 10 year old daughter clean her room and she didn't want me to help clean under her bed so I of course knew she was hiding something there.  I found tons of candy wrappers.  She has been getting heavier ever since my husband deployed and is probably considered overweight now.  I don't know what to do to help her.  We still have Halloween candy (and christmas and valentines day) I only allow a little at a time.  I guess she has been sneaking into it and taking it upstairs and eating it.  I feel awful that she thinks she has to hide it.  I feel like such a bad mom.  I look at her and see that she is getting heavier and heavier and I am not doing what she needs to help her.  I try to feed her healthy meals, but I do allow treats and snacks.  She complains when I have her exercise and I know that I have used food as rewards many times.  She is always hungry and asking for more.  I know that one of my goals for C2 is to help her become healthier.  Any suggestions for me would be appreciated.  I am really upset.



  • I'm sorry Jill. I know this tough, seeing your daughter deal with stress the only way she feels she can.

    I don't know what will help, but here are a few suggestions I think might help.

    If the thought of exercising is upsetting your daughter, try taking a walk around the block to take in some fresh air and point out the beautiful scenery- it's a start and also time with you that she will remember.

    Help her find an activity that she is really good at. When my husband and I divorced, my daughter was really depressed- I enrolled her into ballet, and now she has tons of confidence and has been doing tap, jazz and ballet for a few years.

    Research the BFL menus and have her make up the menus, with your help, so she feels that she has some control.

    Have a healthy dessert that will cure her sweet tooth before bed and talk about her need to fill her tummy with sweets late at night- depression, anxiety, stress, lonliness....

    Most importantly, you ARE NOT a bad mother. You want your daughter to be healthy, strong and happy! You are wonderful!  

    I'm not sure if these suggestions are what you are looking for, but don't be upset :(

    Keep up your good work! Let your example shine!!

    Stacy Lynn

  • JillC plain and simple, throw the candy out and stop using food as a reward.  Find something else to give rewards for.  She only has access to what you provide her so try something different.

    I was a military brat growing up and I don't remember how I dealt with my Dad being deployed, I missed him a lot but I think overall I was ok.  One thing I remember my mother doing was keeping us busy with crafts.  She got us into making all kind of crafty things.  Perhaps your daughter would like making cards, as a matter of fact (and I am a bit bias as this is a hobby of mine and a business), this is not BFL related, but here is a site that I make cards for that maybe will help you and your daughter...Operation Write Home ( It may help her feel he's not forgotten or that she still has a connection somehow while he's gone.  Also check out this DoD info that may help (  As was suggested, anything to keep her active would help I think.  By the way, April is the month of the Military Child so check with your resources at the base where you are located. :-)

    Since it's Easter weekend I hope I'm not too late sharing this idea, but I saw this yesterday...fill baskets with art supplies, books, seed packets to plant in the garden, bubbles, bath toys, and homemade goodies.  Got this idea from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution page on FB.  ChristinaB mentioned getting little flower pots for kids to paint and then plant the seeds in.

    ...and no, you are not a bad mother.

    Love you some you...PERSEVERE!

  • Right now she is forming habits that will carry over into adulthood if not addressed.  Sweets for kids...fine.  Overindulging and hiding the wrappers is a sign that something else might be going on for her.  Your husband's deployment perhaps and at 10 years old maybe some counter-dependence on you.  Sometimes this shows up as rejecting behaviors that the parent is trying to demonstrate, not out of any rational reason...just because.  Having  a hoard of sweets available in the house may not be helping the situation any.  Maybe a talk about limits and alternatives is in order.  Probably will be important not to sound judgmental about her behaviors, just ask her in conversational tone what she believes the natural consequences of eating too much candy might be.  Help her "logic" her way through and then start the talk about healthier alternatives.  Put the accountability on her for making changes and then after a period of time talk to her about how she has done and how she feels as a result.  At this age kids might have the need to start taking responsibility and making decisions about things like this.  You are always there as mom to guide and control to some extent with emphasis on "guide."  It is awesome that you have noticed what is going on and are concerned, many parents out there would never have paid attention.

  • J-

    Hang in there, you will get through this and so will your daughter. Ten years old....alot is going on, in her life, her body and mind. It may sound crazy but get your daughter into the kitchen! Kids love to prepare and cook food. Get cookbooks from the library, garage sales or bookstore, plan, plan,plan.Choose days of the week to make ethnic foods,like Chinese Monday, Italian Tuesday, etc. Have Sunday Shopping day, Friday night be Snack Prep...All healthy choices of course! Keep veggies and hummus dip for quick easy snacking. Have special time with her where she can ask questions about anything, like periods,boys,etc. Make sure she knows she can talk to you about ANYTHING. Let her have slumber parties so she can get her peer support(You may want to have one for yourself as you're never too old!) Get her into journaling, making care packages for her Dad and other soldiers, maybe photography....anything to keep her mind busy so the boredom/stress hungries get forgotten. Does she bicycle, jumprope, swim, maybe visit a local YMCA ...things that are exercise but seem more like FUN. Work on Dream Boards together.!!  Keep us posted- Best Wishes


  • Jill, my whole family is overweight.  We all grew up overweight and we all dieted together over summer break.  Of course, back then, "Deal a Meal" and "Weight Trimmers" were the best ever... yeah right! what we know now!

    Anyway, my mother always started us of slow.  My sister weighed 116 pounds in 5th grade.  My mother said, "R-----" if you maintain that weight for the rest of your life, you'll be fine."  So what is MY goal hearing that from my mother?  116, I never forgot her saying that.  She also cut out the obvious things.  Soda.  I would get very upset when I got made fun of in school and we started off with "no more soda, only water (and skim milk and sugar free koolaid).  

    As kids, we can burn off fat so much quicker and really don't need to "diet" to get back in shape.  A little extra activiity and cutting out the obvious will help her tremendously!  No fried foods for X amount of days, and no soda.

    Try simple first and don't make a big deal of it, or she will make a bigger deal of it.  

    That's just my opinion.

  • Thanks all,

    I appreciate all the advice, I got rid of all the candy and am planning on only giving an easter bunny, the rest art supplies if I can get to the store tomorrow.  So far none of my sitters have called me back :( 

    She was listening to me talk to me brother about starting challenge 2 and said that she would like to do it with me.  I told her that we will plan a challenge for her to follow along with and will chart out some activites that we can do together.  She said that she can walk on the treadmill while watching her 1/2 hour of TV.  I will not push her, but encourage her.  I also think that having her help cook will not only help her eat healthy now, but hopefully set her on a path to eating healthy for the rest of her life.  I will update you on the progress.

    Thanks again, sometimes it all seems so overwhelming.


  • Jill,

    I like a lot of the other suggestions, I will add a few things that have worked around here.  

    After Halloween our kids pick out 5 of their favorite candies and the rest are put in a bag and set on the porch for "The Treat Witch".  The witch takes the candy and donates it to the local church or school and in return leaves a toy for each kid.  My kids LOVE this and look forward to it every year!  For Easter and Valentines Day we give other types of gifts with minimal treats.  This year they are getting new swimsuits and summer clothes from mom and dad and a very small Easter basket with only a few little treats from the bunny.  

    I agree with the others, if she gets to help cook the meals she will have more of a desire to eat them.  There are foods my kids have refused before, but when they have been part of the preparation they eat them.  

    For exercise, I have tried very hard to NOT make it an official thing the kids are told to do each day.  We simply just decide to go on a bike ride together, jump on the trampoline, go to the track for races, play simon says, do relays, dance to loud music, walk to the park, go swimming, or play tag.  When I make the effort to join in with them they get so excited and we all get a good workout.  When I have put on exercise videos for myself they all want to join, it usually annoys me and makes me realize how much I love my "me time" at the gym, but then I just have to chuckle because it gets them moving and that's great!  The idea is to make getting up and moving around a normal part of life...not a structured thing a kid needs to schedule into their day.

    One thing that has helped us is removing all of the temptations from the house.  My kids are now SO EXCITED for the occassional birthday cake.  You'd think we were at Disneyland, and I think that is just how those types of treats should be--special and exciting.  They also know that once a week we have a few extra treats around the house, and they look forward to that (my free day).  In place of the "treats" that we used to always have around, I have taken special note of their favorite healthy treats.  I make homemade granola bars for them.  I also like to set out a little plate of their favorite fruits and vegis.  You would be surprised how quickly those vanish when you just silently set those out with maybe a little dip.  

    You are a great mom, each kid has their own struggles, recognizing hers and finding a way to help is the best thing you could have done.  I know I constantly worry about my munchkins, but that is our job as mommies!!

    Love Ya!