Boyfriend's 11 year old daughter is starving herself… Advice?

posted 2 years ago in Parenting
Post # 62
Member
412 posts
Helper bee

dresscrazy34 :  It’s very kind of you to try to help in this situation with your boyfriend’s daughter. I also developed an eating disorder at age 11, after my parents divorce a couple years prior. For me it was a lot about perfectionism and control. Both of my parents behaved very dysfunctionally after the divorce and as the eldest kid I was treated like a mini-adult and they took a lot of their anger out on me. It sounds like your boyfriend’s daughter may be experiencing similar dysfuction at her mother’s house as well as some peer pressure from school to be very thin and these things are taking a toll on her. 

Just to share my story in case this helps- I went from about 105 lbs at 5 foot two to 76 lbs at the smallest. Counted and restricted calories and exercised a ton. My parents yelling at me and trying to force me to eat only made things worse. Eating or choosing not to eat was the one thing I had control over and I wanted to look perfect so that my life would be better. What turned things around for me was a visit to my pediatrician. He also had a background in psychology and was a close friend of my family. 

First he asked me some questions and listened to me explain my reasonings behind what I was doing. He very kindly laid out the consequences that would happen to my body if I continued to eat so little, including renal failure. He pointed out, again very kindly, that my weight was in a very underweight BMI range and just a few pounds over the threshold where, as a doctor he would be obligated to send me to a hospital for treatment. He described what would happen at such a hospital as far as treatment. He then offered that, as an alternative to hospitalization, I could work with him to add more food to my diet and gain weight back to a healthy level. He asked if I could agree to do that and I said yes, that I didn’t want to go to a hospital. He suggested some foods and we made a plan to gain weight in a healthy manner. He made very, very clear that I was doing serious harm to my body without making me feel embarrassed or ashamed or stupid. Pretty sure he also talked to my parents (diplomatically) about how the stress of our home environment was causing stress on me and a lot of times kids that age don’t have the words to express themselves so it manifests in other ways. Hopefully your Boyfriend or Best Friend can find a good doctor or pediatrician who can assist with his daughter with getting a healthy weight and body image and also dealing with the things that are going on in her mother’s house in a healthy way. 

*Edited to add- also, a good therapist or specialist. And please, please! Don’t present therapy or any kind of treatment as a punishment or consequence!!* 

Post # 63
Member
11861 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

dresscrazy34 :  I’m so glad to hear the professionals are getting involved, Bee.

My thoughts are with you, this vulnerable young girl and the whole family. Kudos to you for reaching out for input and help. Keep role modeling healthy body attitudes for her. 

Post # 64
Member
255 posts
Helper bee

dresscrazy34 :  I have 3 daughters, one who has been called fat at school 5 times, and it’s the fucking worst.

He needs to talk to the ex. ASAP. Like now, yesterday, 3 months ago. She needs positive body re-enforcement. You need to know what she is doing online, who she is talking to, what she is looking at. She needs to be told she is beautiful and perfect just the way she is. There is something much bigger and more sinister at play here. 6th grade and she has an eating disorder. God, that is so heartbreaking. I know she isn’t yours, but stepping up and being more involved in her life, could save her life. 6th graders are vulnerable but I bet you could get through to her. She needs unconditional love, and she needs help. Ask the hard questions. Don’t ignore the elephant in the room. 

Post # 66
Member
10454 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

dresscrazy34 :  

That is a huge relief.  Please be sure there is follow through and she sees the psychologist.

Post # 68
Member
10454 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

dresscrazy34 :  

First, thank you for the update.  And thank gawd the girl is finally getting much needed medical attention.  

Has she been instructed to stop all forms of exercise for the time being as part of her treatment?  If so, drastic action is justifiable.  

Otherwise, there are better consequences for lying, eg loss of TV time or whatever 11 year old girls care about.

Post # 69
Member
1152 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Medical intervention now.  I have not been through this with another child, but was there myself as a teenager.  The consequences to her not developing properly at that young of age are dire- she may not get her period, develop cardiac issues, stress fractures, osteoperosis, etc.  There are outpatient and inpatient options depending on the severity but act fast.

Post # 70
Member
1152 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

dresscrazy34 :  I just saw your update- they would remove her door and also watch her use the bathroom if she were inpatient.  My friend went through that- I don’t think it is extreme.  She’s a very young minor.  

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors