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TOPIC:   Can't control her eating when I'm not home.... 


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HEATHER53121
HEATHER53121's Photo Posts: 1,673
8/15/07 4:54 P

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Since she is home all day while you are at work, you could assign her to do some simple age-appropriate chores to get done before you come home. It not only keeps her busy but helps you out so you don't have to do it when you get home from work. Also the hobbies thing sound really good. Find out what she's interested in and get her the supplies she needs.

I was her age when my parents got a divorce and writing in a diary really helped me release alot of bottled up emotions. It is also when I learned I had a talent for writing poetry.

If she plays an instrument or plays a sport during the school year have her practice for awhile at home during the summer. If she enjoys reading at all, get her some of her favorite books to read from the library.

There are so many things you can do to help keep her busy. Just need to find what she's interested in and what works for her.

"If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it." ~~Jesse Jackson

"The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones." ~Chinese Proverb~

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall."
~~Confucius


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150N2YRS
150N2YRS's Photo Posts: 6
8/15/07 3:47 P

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I agree with a lot of the posts here today I have the same problem with my two daughters when school is out. I have had to resort to locking my pantry and freezer and leaving out enough snacks for them until I get home. I also cut up fruit and veggies and even measure the dressing just as if I were packing a lunch. I agree even healthy snacks in abundance are high in calories.

It is completely from boredom that they eat. have you ever noticed that while you and your daughter are out shopping or walking or spending time together she's not hungry. But when she's home she's watching the clock anticipating her next meal?

Try local community centers they have all day programs in the summer for kids that are very inexpensive. Here in TN we pay maybe a onetime fee of $120 for the entire summer.

Its terrible that we can no longer allow our children to play outside when we are away for fear they will end up on the side of a milk carton and it is seriously affecting their health.

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REDPEPPERS
REDPEPPERS's Photo Posts: 18,862
7/30/07 11:32 A

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What sort of activities does your daughter like to do? And is she friends with any of the neighbor kids? Is there a YWCA/YMCA near you? The Y often has summer activities for children and if you have trusted neighbors who use it, they may be able to take her with them. Her school may also know of inexpensive activities available after school or during the summer.

Does she like to read? Do you have a public library you could visit once a week?

Would she be interested in learning to do resistance training? It would likely cost some money up front for her to take a class to learn how to do so correctly, but it would be good exercise and requires concentration.

Do you have any neighbors who might hire her to do weeding, watering, help with yard chores or other chores (I would want to know them *well* before I would allow my child to work inside the house)?

Any neighbors who might hire her to take their dogs for a midday walk, check on their pets while the neighbors are at work, and so on?

I ate out of boredom for years and it's a tough habit to break.

One other thought is that you might want to slowly cut back on the amount of starchy snacks you buy, even if they are rice cakes or whole wheat or "healthy" snacks. If smaller amounts are present, she may teach herself to ration how many she eats at a time, or she may have to eat more vegetables, Does she go shopping with you? Can you give her the choice of trying a new nonstarchy veg to try that week for a snack?

Good Luck


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KELLYS_JOURNEY
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7/29/07 1:36 A

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JoJo,
You sound like a great mom. I also have a 12 year old daughter who is home all day this summer. My husband works nights so he is asleep most of the day.

I realized that boredom was a big problem for my DD so we created a "What to do when there is nothing to do jar". We came up with almost 50 different things to do during the day. We wrote each thing separately on slips of paper, folded them up, decorated a jar and put them papers in it. The rules for the jar are simple: She must do what is on the first slip of paper she chooses and she can't keep choosing to find an activity she likes better.

Examples of things to choose from the jar:
Check on the pets and see if they need anything.
Hoola Hoop for 10 minutes.
Read in mom's hammock.
Say a prayer for her best friends.
Brush the dog.
Try to do a perfect cartwheel.
Make up a card game and write down the rules.
Build a house with a deck of cards
Set up dominoes to topple each other over
Clean the picture window
Check the dryer for towels to fold
Call a friend
Do 30 jumping jacks
Write a 2 page story about anything
Clean out under your bed
Make a card for gramma
Find Guatemala on the globe
Jump rope
Make something out of duct tape
Wash Dad's truck
Draw a hopscotch game with sidewalk chalk, play it!
Memorize the Lord's prayer
Shoot baskets balls for 15 minutes
Imagine a conversation between yourself and Aslan (from the Chronicles of Narnia). Write it down
Play solitaire
Use the dictionary to learn a new word
Look up several new words and try stump the family with them at dinner
Write a silly poem
Unload the dishwasher
List the names of all of the countries on the continent of Africa
Check out what is on the public TV channel (TV watching is limited during the day)
Research the woman named Sojourner Truth
Organize the refrigerator magnets
Study a leaf and draw it with great detail
Look up Madame Marie Curie on the Internet
Memorize John 1:1



Life is intended to be a participatory event, not a spectator event!


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GWENHAVEN
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7/28/07 10:53 P

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I think the idea about rationing the snacks (you can even have her help put them into baggies and what not) is a great idea. You can even come up with a reward if she manages to ration herself and make them last throughout the week. Not a food reward, maybe let her look forward to renting a movie she wants to see, or a video game, or maybe a trip to a favorite park on the weekend, etc.

If you focus on results, you will never change.
If you focus on change, you will get results.
~Jack Dixon



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TCHRONTHEMOVE
TCHRONTHEMOVE's Photo Posts: 651
7/25/07 9:55 P

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I think it is true that the more you involve kids, the more they will take ownership of something. If you want them to eat healthy, teach them to make good choices, then let them make them.

Susan


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PATIENCE74
PATIENCE74's Photo Posts: 46
7/25/07 2:17 P

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BRILLSMOM
that was very well put i agree my dd is turning 15 and she help with the prep and sometimes cooks the meals see has always been involved in the shopping and as she gets older i can see that i have been giving her the skills she will need to be a great adult as of a few days ago she started to read some of my sparks emails and she is now making better choices ... last week she wanted to make a meal for dinner and so i helped her to log the food in the calculater on sparks so she knew what a serving was and she did a great job she decided that we needed to add more veg. to the meal and less bread and lower the meat size .... i do not know if this would work for everyone but get them envolved

I am a winner and i can do anything i put my mind to!!!!!!!


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BRILLSMOM
BRILLSMOM's Photo Posts: 429
7/25/07 1:39 P

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I was a boredom eater at your daughters age and it has become a lifelong habit. A hobby is a good idea as long as it is something she is motivated to do. Otherwise you could waste tons of money trying to distract her. I would sit down with her and express to her that she is now at an age where she is making some of her own growing up choices and she needs to be responsible to them. Have her work out some solutions that she feels might work for her. She may be more responsive if she feels you are treating her as a young woman rather than a child. Being open about the cost of the groceries and how it fits into a budget may also help. Explain that if money is always being spent on extra groceries then other extras she may want will have to be sacrificed to cover the cost. Balancing a budget is a definate life-skill.
Portioning the snack foods out for a period of time might also help. If a box of crackers is to last a week she will have to figure out moderation as a habit rather than an exception or go without for awhile. My grandmother would do this as she had six kids and food would disappear in a day. She locked it up in a trunk in her room and replenished the kitchen on her schedule rather than the kids.
Have your daughter help plan some of the meals. Maybe you guys can find some age-appropriate recipes and she can spend part of her afternoon making a meal for the family once or twice a week. Things like wraps, salads, casseroles, and slow cooker recipes can be done with minimal stove/oven time or can be prepared by her and heated by you when you get home. She will feel a part of the family process and learn some skills while keeping busy.
Good luck, she is lucky to have a mom who tries to help in a positive way.

NOBODY WILL DO IT FOR ME!!!!

Short term goal: 200lbs
Short term reward = New CD




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THEMOTIVATOR1
THEMOTIVATOR1's Photo Posts: 5,650
7/25/07 1:19 P

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Sounds like you have came to a point in your life where it is time to CHANGE THE COURSE OF THE FAMILY TREE. YOU have the POWER TO SUCCEED. It takes will power and the great Spark People that will continue to remind you. Try Slim Fast Optima it works for me, it helps control your hungeremoticonemoticonemoticonemoticonemoticon

A Healthy Life Style Has it's Rewards Waiting for You

Attainable Goals Are within Your Reach.
Achievements are Forever frozen in Time


RINPA33
RINPA33's Photo Posts: 104
7/25/07 9:59 A

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I do not have kids right now... but I really wish that my mom would not have kept junk food in the house, b/c we definitely ate it. I think if she had decided early on not to keep it around - we wouldn't be used to having it around! I think you can teach kids at an early age to enjoy healthy snacks... I think it would have positively impacted my childhood in so many ways. I still believe in treating children -- they shouldn't be deprived of that occasional ice cream cone -- but it shouldn't be all the time and should be under a parents watchful eye :)


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TAKE12
TAKE12's Photo Posts: 34
7/24/07 11:31 P

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I agree, nice subtle kind ways, to teach her with the tools needed to do better. Some mentioned consequences, consequences are a must, but everyone needs to eat. Showing children useful, beneficial ways to cut back is the way. Using negative tactics will only make them rebel in other ways related to food when they are adults. Good suggestion, a journal is self discovering and may be powerful. ~ J


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LSODOLAK
LSODOLAK's Photo SparkPoints: (23,481)
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7/24/07 9:42 P

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I know this is a little thing, but it has helped me personally with emotional eating...journaling. Does she have a diary that she can write out her feelings? I mean does she care that she is overeating and want to do something to stop it? Understanding her feelings is key. May not be exciting enough of an idea to help, but just something I thought of.

When I was at home with no parents during the summer, a lot of my emotional eating habits developed then, so I understand your concern. Have you let her know your concern as well? I also think finding something productive for her to do is a great idea, like the babysitting. Do you have any neighbors with younger kids that she could be like a "big sis" to to help occupy her? Good luck, it shows how much you care.

Lisa S.


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PATIENCE74
PATIENCE74's Photo Posts: 46
7/24/07 6:30 P

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becarefull about taking everything away from her when i moved out of the house at 18 i went nuts and put on 25 lbs in no time and when i lived at home i would hoard food so talk to her and explain that it is ok to snack but she needs to make choices on her own that you are teaching her to be a reasonable adult and it is so much better for her to eat a whole bag of carrots then it is to down a box of crackers i have a little of the same problem with my dd and i have started envolving her in the preperation of the food and explaining why i get home from the store and measure everything into individual serving it does help just stay possitive sometimes it takes them longer but better to catch it now than to wait like i did untill they are 15 or 16 then it is a little harder to change just stay strong and be possitive it will all work out you just may need to try more than once

I am a winner and i can do anything i put my mind to!!!!!!!


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PASHT26
PASHT26's Photo Posts: 2
7/24/07 5:40 P

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Lock the pantry??? I like the possitive ideas such as rationing a weeks worth of snacks, etc, but ultimately she is home alone and can get into anything she truely wants. Negative consiquences need to add up as well. If she eats a whole bag of snacks, no dinner, extra chores, etc. Also, I can think of any number of things you could have her do while home to help keep her busy including dish washing, lawn/garden care, car washing, house dusting, room cleaning, sweeping, vacuming, etc.
Hobbies are a good idea, particulary ones that require clean hands. makes it difficult to snack during hobbying.


 
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JOJO723
JOJO723's Photo Posts: 9
7/24/07 4:57 P

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I don't have any alternatives to her being alone during the day that I know of, but I will certainly look into seeing if we have a Boys & Girls club near us. The problem is I work 45 minutes away from our home, so it would have to be an all day thing (I can't take her or pick her up on a lunch break). I will look and see if I can find something for her. I also think that it IS emotionally driven. Her dad and I are going through a divorce right now...not a nasty one, we get along great, but still...it is affecting her, and that could be the problem (although she was this way long before her dad and I split up).
I really appreciate all the suggestions...this will help a lot.
Jo


 
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TAKE12
TAKE12's Photo Posts: 34
7/24/07 4:47 P

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I wasn't worried about the choices you give her,I thought you made good choices according to what you stated. I was trying to find a solution to the quanity, that you stated was a problem. Saying that if you set up a specific measured amount in baggies, it would set a limit of the healthy snacks she would eat for that day. I know that if I don't measure I can keep eating without realizing what went down. Also, I just found out that one 6 oz fruit yogurt has 9 to 10 tsps of sugar in one container. 3 grams of sugar = 1 tsp of sugar. unreal huh?? ~ J


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JOANNAGLOWS
JOANNAGLOWS's Photo Posts: 1,031
7/24/07 4:47 P

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I suspect this is emotionally driven be it boredom, lonliness, anger, sadness, whatever. Have you any alternative to her being alone day after day as you work? Any friends or neighbors that would be willing to spend some time with her daily-perhaps go out for a walk, to the park, etc.

03/21/2006 Journey Begins @ 176 lbs

Joined SP 01/04/07
Current Weight 130




TERRY218
TERRY218's Photo Posts: 128
7/24/07 4:41 P

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I think there have been several good things to try. Another one that I thought of might be for her to go to the local Boys and Girls Club. It is usually not very expensive (here it is $5 for the whole year!!) and they have a lot of different activities planned. It might give your DD something more interesting to do so she doesn't want to snack as often.


 
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JOJO723
JOJO723's Photo Posts: 9
7/24/07 4:37 P

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I think you all are right about the boredom. I wish I could afford to put her in some kind of summer camp, but it just isn't possible. I like the ideas though...thanks so much. I'll run some of the hobby ideas by her tonight and see if she would be interested in any of them.
Thanks!
Jo


 
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JOJO723
JOJO723's Photo Posts: 9
7/24/07 4:34 P

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Thanks, but as I said, I do not buy junk food. I do buy snacks...but they are on the healthy side. I mean, even if I bought nothing but carrot sticks (very healthy)...if she ate a whole bag in one sitting, that's a lot of calories.


 
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TAKE12
TAKE12's Photo Posts: 34
7/24/07 4:33 P

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You could set up some type of snack bag for the day, almost like a lunch. Maybe some small baggies with cut up veggies, those wheat crackers in a serving size, yogurt, apple, whatever is healthy. When those snacks are gone, they are gone. Maybe seeing that she is eating over a limit visually, will make more of an impact, and let her see that she is overeating. Children need limits and that might be a good way to start instead of having the whole box allowed. Hope that helps. ~ J



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TCHRONTHEMOVE
TCHRONTHEMOVE's Photo Posts: 651
7/24/07 4:15 P

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It is very possible that boredom is the culprit. Another idea you may try is to buy a week's worth of snacks and tell her that it has to last a week. If she chooses to eat them in one or two days, she'll have no snacks for the rest of the week. It will be a tough week for her, but she may learn to pace herself better.

Good luck

Susan

Susan


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CHRIS2365
CHRIS2365's Photo SparkPoints: (43,827)
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7/24/07 3:13 P

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It does sound like you're doing the right thing in having healthy foods in the house - good for you! But boredom does seem to be the culprit. Is there anything she could do during the day? Perhaps she has a friend or two that you could arrange playdates (I know that's a too-young term, but you understand) with. Or some sort of day camp sponsored by a local youth center or church? Or a baby-sitting gig? Some other job or volunteer work that eats up some of the day?

Or maybe on a weekend you could get her started on a new hobby? Go with her to your local craft shop or book store and find something she has an interest in - painting, drawing, knitting, mosaics? Perhaps get her supplies and she could paint her room or do some other project around the house?

If hunger isn't the problem, food isn't the answer.


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KRISLEEB
KRISLEEB's Photo SparkPoints: (95,234)
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7/24/07 2:52 P

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Maybe set up some kind of accountability, sorta like the nutrition log here on SP. Maybe if she sees what kind of calories it adds up to she'll curb it. OR you could leave her projects to do so her mind is off of eating. More than likely she's eating out of bordom rather than hunger...I know I have that problem!!!

~~ Kris ~~

KISMIF



I'd rather be camping!!!


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THEMOTIVATOR1
THEMOTIVATOR1's Photo Posts: 5,650
7/24/07 2:45 P

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YOU the parent do the shopping don't you? Do not buy junk food. There are plenty of good foods for snacking on you need to explore what they are.

A Healthy Life Style Has it's Rewards Waiting for You

Attainable Goals Are within Your Reach.
Achievements are Forever frozen in Time


JOJO723
JOJO723's Photo Posts: 9
7/24/07 2:41 P

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I am doing a lot to get my 12 yo daughter (and myself) into better shape. I rarely have unhealthy snacks at home, and we recently started walking in the evenings. My problem is that when I am at work during the day, she is home all day in the summer, part of the day during school...and when she's home alone, she binges. The good thing is, it is mostly on foods that aren't terribly bad for her, but it's still very excessive. Example, I like to get healthy snacks such as rice cakes, yogurts, whole wheat crackers, etc...but many days I come home to find that she has polished off a whole bag of snacks in one day. I know it could be worse...she could be binging on cookies or chips, but even with healthy snacks, the calories and fat content add up! (Especially when she loads peanut butter on the rice cakes! lol) Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to limit what she eats during the day when she's home by herself?
Thanks in advance,
Jo


 
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