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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the story:

My friend "C" and I grew up together from the age of 8 years old. After high school she moved 3 hours away and we kept up online. We both had two kids, and life went on. We are now both 24 years old, my kids are ages 4 and almost 3, hers are ages 3 and almost 2. She just moved back to town and we see eachother almost everyday, our kids get along (mostly) but it's tough.

Her kids do whatever they want, eat candy, push and bully and she doesn't do anything about it really. My kids aren't used to rough play, they are well mannered and sure they act out, but only towards us, their parents.

The reason I am concerned is because now "C" is overweight, and her kids are not healthy. They always have fevers and their hair always looks greasy. This isn't from lack of hygene. All her kids will eat are chicken nuggets and fries, or KD. And so that is what she gives them .. oh, and bread. Her daughter is extremely speech delayed and she always tells her kids that they are bad.

I've been in a hard spot about all of this. I really don't want to jeopardize our friendship. It's not easy being friends with somebody who has such a different life. And her poor kids, what is happening to their little bodies.

She complains about them being sick, she complains that they wont eat any veggies. But all she ever does is make excuses. Her kids don't have to sit around the table and eat, they just run around and take a bite here and there if they feel like it. This all seems so dangerous to me.

I sent her a txt message the other day because I'm reading "Green Smoothie Revolution." It said.. According to this book, people develop poor taste for greens from not eating enough as a defense to weakening digestive system but green smoothies eventually leave people craving greens gain (40% fruit 60% greens).

She never responded to it. I had them over for dinner last night and made vegan pizza with Daiya, and they ate but said they wouldn't eat it again even though it's "not bad" - fair enough. I had to make the kids vegan macaroni with cauliflower, Daiya and Chreese sauce, but her kids wouldn't eat it. So they had a peanut butter sandwich and some pieces of pear. I try to talk to her about it as respectfully and informatively as possible, like "Hey check out this article I just read" but she comes up with more excuses. I think she is overwhelmed, and her hubby doesn't help. He has no respect for her or her family, and if she tries to talk to him he talks over her to his game buddies on the computer. It sucks.

Mostly though I am very concerned for her kids. If she doesn't get them eating better soon they are going to just get more unhealthy. Her daughter had a fever yesterday so she gave her some tylenol, then later advil, and so on. She still has a fever today. They get ear infections, colds on top of cold. What can I do? I want to talk to her about all of this but I don't feel like I can.

When we go over I bring cut up peppers and hummus for my kids, and enough to share. She tells her kids "No, don't eat that! You're just going to spit it out anyway!" And (surprise) they do. I feel like just throwing her bits of info and advice when it seems okay isn't helping. I'm at a loss.
 

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I feel awful for you.

I have a friend who is similar. Both her husband and her are over weight and they eat meat, potatoes and processed garbage. They have an 11 month old who eats the same crap, processed junk. They also love to just stick her infront of the tv and let her "zombie" out. I never know how to handle these things. Everytime I mention something I get snapped at, "Well, we aaaallll can't be super mom like you Dani". I try not to fire back, but it's like....COME ON!! You need to know this is wrong, right?
 

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I totally understand you and you should do what is right for your kids. When you want to visit her, leave your kids with their dad. At this age kids are highly influenced and they remember a lot of things that will stick with them until they get their own kids. You don't need your kids telling you in 10 years: hey mom why aren't we allowed to eat that and that? and those kids looked happier and more free or whatever... When you know your doing the right thing for them. And please consider that i'm not stating that your kids are not free to act out or whatever im just saying that kids are not rational and what appears bad for you looks good for them. Kids do want what they can't have and you don't need other people reinforcing that matter in them. Not to mention that your kids can easily catch a cold from your friend's kids.

Also, you can help your friend by going to the bottom of this. If you tell her she isn't cooking healthy meals she'll find excuses such as : oh i dont have time.. etc
The core of the problem is : How doesnt she have time ? how could she not spare time for her kids health? what is she doing? what is consuming her time?
Her boyfriend also needs a couple of slaps to straighten him out and tell him that his kids need a father figure.
 

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This is probably not very helpful to you all up, but I actually wouldn't bother being friends with someone who didn't give much of a crap about their kids health or the fact that they let their kids bully other kids. It would drive me mental. If you can handle staying friends with her the only thing you could do would be to keep up a persistant and persuasive suggestion of things she could try to make her kids healthier. "did you hear about_____" or "I've heard ____ works well." And see if any of it gets through to her.
 

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maybe she is depressed. i don't know much about her situation..but when you think about it...her boyfriend doesn't help and respect her..she has to take care of two small children on her own at a young age(i think 24 is young to have 2 kids...but it depends on the type of person...you can do just fine ...while she struggles). maybe she is just dissapointed in her life and doesn't have the will to try and do the right things.
maybe you should try to make her open up...and see what the cause of the problem is and then tell her that because of this she is neglecting her children well being.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by piscesmom View Post

. Her daughter had a fever yesterday so she gave her some tylenol, then later advil, and so on. She still has a fever today.
Okay I don't have kids so maybe I'm wrong but..if her daughter is 3 or "almost 2" aren't all those drugs too much to be given to a child so young??
 

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This probally wont be a popular oppinion, but I think if you try to tell her how to raise her kids she's going to be insulted, hurt and become defensive - and it might well ruin your friendship. How you parent (or how you were parented) is a very personal issue, and anything that suggests someone is being a bad or poor parent is going to hurt them a lot, I'm sure (no matter how it might look to you or others) she loves her kids to bits and the insinuation that she may be hurting them would devestate her.

I think the best thing YOU could do would be to be a supportive friend, and a supportive fellow mum. Be concious not to make it sound like you're perfect - if she's struggling and your kids are well behaved, she may feel intimitdated or judged by you. Maybe bring up food, health and exersise related troubles you've faced with your kids, and how you're trying to tackle them to show her that a) you're not perfect and b) how you tackle such problems, and I think she'd be much more likley to take notice and learn from that then if you tell her what she should be doing with her own.

Also, wait for HER to bring the topic up, and when she moans they wont eat vegetables, acknowledge the difficulties she's facing, and make suggestions on little things she could do to help - say what you find works for you, and maybe try to phrase it in a way that it doesn't look like preaching, ie: by asking HER what she thinks about your ideas, instead of just giving advice. Also, I think sending articles/etc is probally not as subtle as you think it is! I don't doubt you have the best intentions at heart, but I know if someone did that to be I'd think it was quite passive agressive (or passive-judgmental anyway).

I think it's important she knows you're on HER side, you're her friend, and she probally moans because she want's someone to realise how difficult it can be for her. I agree that she may be having a difficult time, perhaps she lets her kids run riot because she's too tired/busy/stressed to be authoritive and try to lay down the law to kids who aren't used to it.

So yeah, that's what I would do anyway. I know you're worried aboutthe kids, but if they're as sickly as you say medical professionals or teachers will pick up on it too, and they're probally better placed to judge than a close friend. I think the best thing you can do, is be a good friend to a stressed out mum
 

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i agree with identity.

actually you said that she complained that her kids won't eat any vegetables. maybe she is just overwhelmed and wants to feed them healthy but doesn't know how to make them. when she complains about something like that tell her about some vegetable food that kids may like
 

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I agree with the rest here and I am so sorry your experiencing this. I hope you take these things that everyone is saying to heart and think up a plan. We need to be examples to those that are not living a healthy green living life.
I am extermly obese I do want to admit and I have health problems and I don't have kids yet but, if I did we would be living a healthy lifestyle and we will not have all the unhealthy things to eat.
However, your friends seems like she is used to junk food and junk living so she is probley trying to push it unto her children. Also I feel sorry for her because the father of the children are not supporting her with them and that is probley reason why she is making poor decisions.
I started at age 9 years old to become obese after my first 9 years of having health problems. When my parents got me to eat pizza, burgers and hot dogs and cupcakes and stuff like potato chips I blew up alot. Its now at 33 years old getting hard to shed these pounds but I am doing it better while changing my lifestyle and living arrangements.
If you don't get junk food in your house and bad for you foods in the house then no one will eat it and blump up.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Identity_thief View Post

I'm sure (no matter how it might look to you or others) she loves her kids to bits
This is common wisdom, but untrue. There are plenty of parents who really see their kids as a burden, who resent them, who might "love" them on some level, but really aren't into being parents or doing their reasonable best for their kids.

Most people who had decent parents or aren't part of the social welfare system really have a hard time believing that there are truly crappy and uncaring parents out there, and they're not even all that uncommon.

Quote:
I know you're worried aboutthe kids, but if they're as sickly as you say medical professionals or teachers will pick up on it too, and they're probally better placed to judge than a close friend.
Again that's not true. Teachers and medical professionals (if they even see them) usually are overworked and probably see even worse cases to deal with. The vast majority of abused and/or neglected kids will slip though the cracks of the system.

OP, I think for as long as you're willing to be in this crappy woman's life you should try to advocate for the kids.

It's too bad those people were fertile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for your words and wisdoms.

I know she cares a lot about her kids, and she feels that she is doing her best. Mostly she just doesn't have the tools or information necessary to make the changes. I often try to relate to her the best I can because I was once in her exact situation. My hubby was self-absorbed and had no respect for our family, didn't help out, etc. The kids were used to eating what was easy, and then some. But I had been a vegetarian off and on, and quickly realized where our life was headed. I had veggieboards and the resources to help me through, and got everyone back on track. I am her only support system. It's just really tough sometimes to know what to say and when its okay to say it, because what I want to do and waht I should do feel so different. If I could take her aside and say "Look, this crap that the kids are eating is going fill them disease, cancer, heart problems, allergies and several other illnesses.. and their colds will never go away if it continues. What you need to do is sit them down at the table, fill their plate with finger foods like veggies and dip of some sort, fruit, etc and say to them "This is your dinner, if you don't eat it now you can have it when you are hungry later, or go to bed and eat it tomorrow." I know that several people disagree with that type of parenting though. I'm lucky that I didnt' have to do that.

I'm trying to go into all of this very cautiously because I don't want to put our friendship at risk. I lent her my copy of "Skinny *****" and she is enjoying it. She has decided to make three smoothies a day and drink water in between.. no more pop. She also asked me to show her the "organic tea section".. so she is enjoying the book and realizing some things that she can do for herself. I just hope she relates what her kids are eating to the information in this book as well.
 

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I'm going to agree with most of the other posts, but I'd like to point out one thing... just because kids are sick like that doesn't mean that it's due solely to their diet. I had constant ear infections from about two until ten years old, my mom swears one would go away and not two days later I'd have another one. and I was forever getting pulled out of school because of fevers and the like. (and believe me, my mother made sure we ate our veggies, especially as small kids.)

(I'm not saying I don't think diet could be a huge part of it, I'm just saying some kids are prone to stuff like that, so don't rule that out just yet.)

do you think that if you made brownies or something with veggies in them that they'd eat it? maybe something like zucchini bread, either with the cake being chocolate or with chocolate chips in it? even with double the zucchini in there, you can't taste it.
 

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Perhaps you could suggest the two of you take some classes together. Say you found this really interesting class but you don't want to go alone. This is something you'd like to work on for yourself and perhaps she'd like to join you. It might be less threatening to pose it that way.

Where I live the adult school offers low cost classes in parenting... dealing with health, nutrition, behavior management, etc. And the local recreation department offers very affordable classes in exercise. For Jazzercise, you show up on the days you want and pay $7 at the door. It's not like a big commitment.
 

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You also might want to check out the local library for story times for little ones. While the kids are listening to the story, you can go through the books (641 is the vegan cookbook section, at least in our library system
) When I realized I had an unhealthy diet, I'd go through and check out veg*an cookbooks and see what I couldn't make for dinner. There's a lot of "15 minute, 5 ingredients or less" cook books out there, there might be a veg*an one or two, as well. Give her a crock pot and find several recipes for that (I know there's a vegetarian crock pot recipe website). You also might want to tell her to get checked out for post partem (SP?) depression. Not sure how long it lasts, but you said her youngest was "almost 2". Good luck to you and your friend.
 
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