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TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3396
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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My 10 year old daughter has a great friendship with the girl

Customer Question

My 10 year old daughter has a great friendship with the girl next door who's overweight. The other child's mum feeds them lots of unhealthy food and I notice that my daughter is starting to gain weight. Because I am friends and neighbour of the other child's mom, I have felt uncomfortable to talk to her about their lifestyle habits. However, the girls both seem to prefer to be at the other house rather than here where we make healthier choices.
How do I keep my daughter healthy when peer pressure and constant temptation seem to be steering her off track?
Do you think I should restrict her time with the other child even though they are best friends?
What, if anything, should I say to the other parent who is very sensitive but also in denial about her own child's weight issues.
Any advice appreciated.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 years ago.

CoachJenK :

Hi welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years of experience. I am also a Mom of young twins and I am happy to help you.

TherapistJen and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 years ago.
I believe you hit accept by mistake, so I will formulate my answer you you and will send it along in a moment. Please do NOT click accept again.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
you haven't answered my question yet
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 years ago.
I agree with you that this is a delicate situation...I do not recommend that you restrict time as they are best friends and this could be very upsetting....I am glad you are speaking with your daughter about healthy eating and healthy choices.

If she is spending too many meals over there you can allow them to spend a lot of time together but require that she eat with her family. If it happens around snack time I do find it appropriate that you speak with her Mum and let her know that you are desirous of your child to eat healthy snacks and then offer the suggestions as to what you supply her with in your home. This can be uncomfortable I know, but since they are best friends and enjoy their time together, I believe that should continue, unless of course as I said above if she is having all of her meals there. so, I am suggesting speaking with her mum in a delicate and sensitive way about what you would prefer your child to snack on. Please leave out from the conversation anything about her daughter as I am sure you know this.

Let me know your thoughts.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes it's more the snacking as the food seems to be a constant flow all day long.
They do seem to spend the whole day at the other child's home so she has had meals there too but I will take your advice about requiring her to have her meals at home.

I do find it very difficult to have the conversation with the other mom. She has an attitude that 'when at my house, it's my rules' and as I said, she is in denial about her daughters own issues saying that she'll grow out of it.

Having said that, I resent the feeling that I am the boring parent who makes healthy choices while the other mom gets to being the friend or buddy who gives them anything they want. Do you have any ideas on this?

Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 years ago.
It is delicate for sure and never easy when we have to talk to another parent about what style works for us. But, I do not agree with her attitude of her house her rules....I view it more as your child is in her care and it is the respectful thing to honor how that parent would like some things to be done. Sure kids can have some junk and enjoy the time away from the house and be a little "free" but as you say this is a constant with the flow happening all day. You won't change her denial, but that is not your goal..your goal is for her to respect your wishes for what you would like for your daughter.

You can also encourage your daughter to alternate between homes a bit so that you can gain a bit of control around it.

Parent to parent here....we know that being the buddy to your child is not helpful and healthy as may be evidenced by her child being overweight due to lack of boundaries around food. So, although you have feelings about it, I must say I commend your parenting style and would prefer you be the great parent you are and keep the boundaries for what works for you and your child.

Let me know your thoughts.