Newbie w/?'s about 10 yr old DD........

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2003
Newbie w/?'s about 10 yr old DD........
Wed, 04-30-2003 - 11:15am

I have lots of questions about my DD that just turned 10.....1st I am very concerned about her weight. She is 4'10" and weighs about 100 lbs. She wears a 16 clothing in girls, or a 3-5 jrs. Her shoes range from a 6 1/2 to a 7 in women's. She has "rolls" and that "cottage cheese" are starting to make fun of her(mainly boys I think) and saying that she takes after me (I have been overweight since I was in about 3rd or 4th grade, same as DD). My grandmother and uncle(both on my dad's side)are/were veyr obese. My grandma weighed almost 400 lbs at one point in her life. So obesity does run in our family. My DD gets angry when I won't let her have something to eat, she always wants a snack before she goes to bed (thank DH for that one, even if she ate 1 hr ago, she thinks she has to have a snack). We noticed that she did not become chunky until after her tonsils and adenoids were removed, and we have had another baby (right after she turned 7). I hate to put her on a diet, but I don't want her to grow up the way I did, being made fun of, very few dates, and hating myself. She plays soccer spring and fall and has since Kindergarten, but that doesn't keep her weight down. Her pedi doesn't seem too worried. Now, she wants to shave her legs, she does have very hairy legs, sometimes I have looked at her legs and think she has dirt on them, but it's her hair! Should I let her shave? She has underarm BO, and started using deo about 3 months ago. She asked for a bra! A padded one at that!! UUUGGHHH!! She is very into boys!! I have discovered (through listening to a phone conversation) that she has a boyfriend, and that they are going together! I told her she could not be going together, since they can't date. She is also sort of playing his feelings along with another boy....long story....but I explained to her that wasn't fair to "J" (her "boyfriend"). That she either likes him or doesn't and needed to tell him the truth. When it came down to it, she likes him, but some kids at school told her he hated her and wanted to break up with her, so she was testing him by "breaking up" to see how he would react!! I don't remember doing things like that at her age!! I know I liked boys, but they didn't like me. I am very worried about her! She is SOOOOOOOO emotional all the time! She thinks she is "messed up" in her head and that she is stupid. She is in the gifted program at school and makes straight A's and has ever since Kindergarten. She is in a girl scout troop, but no real friends from that group. I had hoped that joining a troop a few years ago would help with the move to the new town, but it didn't. I wanted her to find a best friend there, the girls in the troop seem very "clique", they are all friends, bu my DD does not have a best friend within that group. I also find out that alot of them don't inlcude her in things (like bday parties). I am going crazy trying to figure her out. DH and I are ready to take her to a counselor and ship her to a private school! She is mouthy and talks back all the time, total disrespect for us and her 3 yr old brother! Any help is greatly appreciated!

Jodie....working mom to Hannah, Ryan, and Holly!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Wed, 04-30-2003 - 12:25pm
Welcome to the board. Your dd sounds pretty much normal to me. The backtalking, moody behavior, etc. is pretty normal for this age.

My dd will be 11 in June. She is finishing up the 5th grade. She has been wearing a bra since the summer between 3rd and 4th and deodorant since 3rd grade.

I wouldn't put her a "diet" so to speak. I would however make sure that she eats healthy foods. If she wants a snack, let her have it. But make sure it's something healthy. Dh, the kids and I all eat a bedtime snack. I just don't allow them to eat junk food. Keep fresh fruits and veggies on hand and cut up and ready to eat all times. Make some light popcorn, etc. Let her eat, but stress healthy eating. Putting her on a "diet" is going to make her more self conscious and might make the problem worse. If you have to, get rid of all the junk food, soda, etc. and only have healthy things on hand. I wouldn't even mention the change in foods, I would just make sure it's healthy and let her eat. If she asks for junk food, make it a Saturday special. On Saturday she can have a soda and candy bar or something.

Playing soccer two seasons isn't really enough exercise. She should be outside playing nearly every day. Bike riding, walking, jumping on a trampoline, skating, etc. are great exercise and fun too. Why don't you go for a walk with her every evening? Make it a family event. Or go bowling together on Saturdays, etc. My dd is a bookworm who would rather curl up with a book than go outside. But I make her go. I will tell her to take her book and read in the swing and she is never outside more than 5 minutes until she is riding her bike, playing tag with her little brother, cheering, twirling her baton or dancing.

I would encourage her to seek out the girls at school who are "real". Often times the popular girls aren't worth bothering with. They can be shallow and flit from friend to friend like a butterfly. Does she have a particular interest? Maybe she can join a specific group(science club, chorus, etc) and make friends with girls who like the same things she does. Encourage her to look at recess for another girl or two who are being left out and go up and introduce herself and make a friend!

Good luck


Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-30-2003 - 9:29pm
Ain't 10 fun? (((HUGS))) Let me preface this by saying I do NOT have a 10-11 y.o. girl. My kid in question is a boy ... BUT, I have a niece the same age, who sounds very much like your DD. Not that it is 'right' or 'acceptable' but it seems that the mouth thing is very much part of the age. And, my niece has been shaving her legs for a year or more, so that's probably very normal.

I really don't have much to advise you on ... except I do want to say a few things about the weight issue. BREAK THE CYCLE! You have struggled with your weight since you were a kid, as have most members of your family. My guess is that a lot of the 'habits' are picked up at home. The fact that DD is playing soccer a couple times a year is great, but it's obviously not enough ... especially if there is a family history of obesity. Our society is raising a lot of overweight kids ... in part because the schools no longer have enough time to teach all they need to AND add recess and P.E. to their regime, so what gets eliminated? The fitness stuff. SO, it's more important than ever that we, as parents, not only set the example but provide the opportunity for our kids to NOT fall into the patterns that society is setting.

A child does not have to go on 'a diet' in order to lose weight. Basically, she should already be eating a healthy 'diet' ... that doesn't mean celery sticks and water. It means that she should be eating 3 nutritious, balanced, healthy meals plus 1-2 snacks (healthy) per day. It means offering healthy choices. It means NOT allowing junk food to be a normal food group. Snacks don't have to mean candy and cookies. Teach her about nutrition ... eating 4-5 servings of fruits and veggies per day. Teach her to make some healthy snacks ... if she's involved in the preparation, she's more likely to eat it. AND, you need to set the example.

In our house, we don't have a lot of junk food. We will have some cookies ... and honestly, I spend more money by buying the small, pre-packaged snack sizes so that the kids are limited in what they eat ... there's rarely any soda or chips. I also have very picky eaters (one anyway) ... but they know that they can't just sit around and EAT.

Easy ways of reducing fat/calories ... drink water instead of soda, dilute juices with water, offer popcorn instead of chips, have fresh fruit readily available (so when in a hurry, it's as easy to grab as a bag of chips.)

But, take a look at your own lifestyle and the example you're setting. Do you exercise? Do you eat right? Do you make good nutrition choices? My guess is that you probably could do a better job if you are still struggling with weight issues and are passing those down to your DD.

I'm always struggling with my weight ... and have 10-20 pounds I've been working hard (unsuccessfully) to lose. I do not, however, ever talk about 'fat' or 'weight' in front of my kids (especially my DD, only 7.) I exercise as often as possible ... and I involve the kids in that process. Weather permitting, we'll go to the park, and I'll walk (with weights) while the kids ride bikes or roller blade or ride scooters. I'll go to the gym while the kids attend karate class (same mall.) During the summer, I'll do aerobics in the pool while the kids swim. I drink water, never soda. I pack their lunches for school and always include either a piece of fruit or carrot sticks. I insist they eat breakfast. We talk about nutrition. I will allow dessert on occasion, but never if a balanced meal isn't eaten.

My point is that our children learn from us, just as you learned from your parents. Now, I am NOT dismissing hereditary factors ... and if you come from a larger (boned) family, then you probably aren't going to be petite. BUT, if there is an obesity issue, than SOMEONE needs to break that cycle, and it may as well be you. Good nutrition goes far beyond weight loss ... there are health issues/risks to consider, quality of life.

You can't make WEIGHT the 'issue' unless you want to risk eating disorders and all of that. But you can change the environment. Withholding food is not the issue ... offering a healthy choice, is. Teaching her to make good decisions, even teaching her to cook.

It sounds to me that she is repeating the things that YOU weren't happy with growing up ... and until the pattern is broken, it will continue.


P.S. 2 years ago, I was the class mom for DS' 3rd grade class, and one of my 'jobs' was to weigh and measure all the kids. There was this little girl whom I adored. Now, I had the scale outside the classroom for privacy sake as this was a private thing. Well, this litle girl just didn't want to get on the scale. I finally said that it's no big deal, just something needed for their records. She's like "I know how much I weigh ... I just don't want YOU to know it." She and I got along well, and she was afraid that if I knew her weight, I wouldn't like her as much as I already did. This crushed me! I thought 'what the heck is wrong with our society when kids in 3rd grade are already that self-conscious?' The other side of it was that I had an 8 y.o. girl weighing 116 pounds ... not a whole lot less than I weigh. That, too, is a problem!


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Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 4:04pm
Welcome to our board! Sherri and Nancy have given you some terrific advice, so I won't add much here. Your dd sounds pretty normal. My kids/family also struggle with weight issues. As Sherri and Nancy said, I try to keep healthy choices in the house so there's not a lot to argue about, and I try not to make food an issue. If you want a cookie around here, you'll have to settle for a graham cracker or teddy graham! If we want ice cream we go *out* for it, because then we have one serving with no tempting leftovers. You can find substitutes like fruit juice pops or "skinny cow silhouettes" (I discovered those on weight watchers) I stress healthy eating, rather than weight loss. Just last night I took the kids to Boston Market, and Sam wanted macaroni and cheese with mashed potatoes! I explained they were both starches, and he should chose one, and then have either turkey or chicken with it. (veggies are a toughie, but I always order them/eat them even if I'm not in the mood to set an example!) Rachel likes soda, but can only have it when we eat out, which is too often anyway! Rachel is very active, but I kick Sam out of the house when it's nice outside, or he'd be a couch potato!

I guess I had more to say than I thought, LOL! BTW, I have boy/girl twins who are 10 1/2 and finishing 5th grade.

Glad you found our board, and we hope to see you often! Thanks for the great intro!



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