Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I have this dilemma with a pair of sisters in my Seminary class. They like to talk and they really like to talk about their parents and what is going on at home. I don't discourage this because I feel like maybe they need someone to talk to who isn't their parent.

Today I was talking to them and one happens to be a Senior who is going to the prom this Saturday. The parents had bought a dress but were forcing her to "lose weight" or they were going to take the dress back and she'd have to wear something else. They tell her not to stop or limit eating but to "eat differently" when there isn't anything in the house to accomplish this. She can't use a measuring tape or a scale to track her progress and this morning she was very hungry. The parents told her that she had to lose weight because she would "pop open the seam" at the hip and she had to go on a diet or she couldn't wear the dress. They make her try it on in front of them and then they criticize her.

To me this is not cool. But then again, I am not a parent so maybe this is normal? Would some of you who are parents please enlighten me? Would you EVER do this to your kid, much less your teenage daughter? And let me also say that this girl isn't large by any stretch of the imagination. My question is why didn't they buy her a dress that fit in the first place? Wouldn't this be a tad bit detrimental to her self image?

I personally think it is ridiculous but this particular set of parents do a lot of things I don't agree with and I am usually at a loss of what to say when the girls are telling me what is going on at home.

Any thoughts?


RCH said...

Oh my goodness, no! That is NOT okay! If she doesn't have an eating disorder yet, she's going to wind up with one pretty soon! Yikes. That makes me sad for her.

I, too, would be at a loss at what to do for the girl, though. Except what you're already doing, of course -- listening and being supportive.

Wow. I just can't imagine under what circumstances that would ever be a productive thing to say (especially when the grownups primarily control what food is in the house). That's just sad. :-(

Heather said...

Gee...are these girls related to Mary's family???

Eating disorder in three...two...one...

But seriously...is this something you should speak to the bishop about?

Emily Anne said...

My mom used to tell me I fat and make me feel bad until one day I said "enough". It is not normal behavior for a parent to be that critical - it's verbal and emotional abuse. Make sure you tell the girl how pretty she is and try to help her self esteem as much as you can.

Mrs. McMitchell said...

Oh my goodness! That's NOT normal. That's a terrible example to set for your children. It is so detrimental to a growing person's self esteem to hear that you're not good enough, let alone have them tell you you have to be better or different than what you are...I could see gentle nudging in a kind way if the child had a severe weight problem but this is ridiculous. Buying a smaller size dress and telling your kid to lose weight to fit in it is so many shades of wrong.

K2 said...

I want all of you to know that I, obviously, know that this isn't Ok. Thanks for the reassurance because I thought that I was crazy so I am glad that all of you agree with me. Its still so crazy to me that I can't even stand it. GRRR!!! I hope she goes away to college FAR AWAY FROM THEM!