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YOBOELI SparkPoints: (26,915)
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8/21/12 3:10 P

I have a 16 year old step daughter and she is very overweight, I got her to join spark teens and she loves it. She went from not eating breakfast and lunch and coming home and eating going to sleep and then dating dinner with the family and back to bed, to she packs her lunch the night before and plans what she is going to eat for breakfast, she also takes snacks for school so she doesnt get hungry between meals. I am so proud of her, but I also tell her that HS is HS and when it is over the chances of you having anything to do with those people are slim, so just be happy live your life and dont worry what they say because if they have to put you down that must mean they are not happy with themselves. She is doing very good. My husband and I just got custody of her this past year and I have been trying to do everything that I can do to help here with her weight and I have been nice and say would you like to go walking with me, and this month I joined Spark People and in two weeks I have dropped 12 pounds while she has gained. So I told her to get her shoes on she was going walking with me and since then she has been the one that says are we going walking tonight. I guess all it took was some tough love. I hope that she will feel better and lose weight .

TX_JEN37 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/21/12 8:07 P

My oldest daughter is 11, will be 12 in a few weeks.. she is very overweight.we have started walking together, and I'm trying to get her to eat healthier but it is a battle.
She's been bullied the last couple of years at school, this year she starts middle school.. I'm hoping w/ hard work some of the weight will drop before the end of August.. because I do know middle school will be worse than what elementary was.

STAC1977 SparkPoints: (1)
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8/22/11 8:35 A

Kids are very cruel. My 15yr old is overweight. She has been going to therapy for almost 2yrs to battle depression. Between hating herself and the cruelty at school i am sure she will be in thereapy for a long time. Just wish she would exercise more and try the healthy foods i have been buying.

KLMULCAHY123 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/19/11 10:50 A

Hi just got my 20 year old daughter to join sparks!!

10/15/10 3:59 P

Kids are and always have been awful. I do think that this generation of parents is different than those of previous generations - this is the "hover parent" generation, after all. A generation of parents who overindulge their children at every opportunity and scarcely notice the more important details of life - i.e., the fact that their "precious babies" are also capable of being ruthless monsters.

We just see the outcomes of this bullying played out more in the media. The worst part is that, when it comes to a child's weight, a parent often reinforces that the bullying is acceptable because the child is, by virtue of his or her size, unacceptable.

How many times do children come home, inform parents about the teasing, and the parent says something akin to, "Well, you do need to lose weight." This message was reinforced to me again and again by the adults in my life and the children in my life.

The first thing that you need to do when you learn about bullying is ask your child how severe it is. If it was a one-time thing, wait and see what happens. If this is a frequently-occurring problem - and depending on your child's age - try to meet with the parent or parents of the children who are teasing your child.

Keep in mind that this option may be met with a parent cussing you out because his/her "darling" couldn't be responsible for something so vile. Or, it could go pleasantly well. You just need to know how to approach the parent about the problem. The last thing you want to do when trying to talk this out is to yell at the parent.

It may not be a bad idea to start with, "Your son and my daughter are in the same class, and she has told me that your son has been calling her (insert insult here). I have asked her if she has been treating him badly, but she hasn't told me. Has your son told you anything about their arguments?"

This will let the other parent know that the darling prince/princess is up to no good, but it also shows that you know that your child isn't perfect and that the argument may not actually be over her weight, but over something else (and the weight is an easy target). You may find that your child is also bullying the other child. Or maybe not. Whatever the case, that leaves the ball in the parents' court to handle.

If the teasing continues, meet with your child's teacher and principal. Though, since your daughter sounds like she may be in high school, she should seek out her teacher and principal herself to try and figure out how this can be handled. This is an important lesson for her as she ages - that mom and dad don't need to help her out of every problem, and she can solve it herself.

If all else fails, and I'm not ordinarily one for rocking the boat, your daughter has to - as Eli/Abby in "Let the Right One In"/"Let Me In" tells her bullied friend, "you have to hit back, and you have to hit back hard."

She has to approach this with caution. Is it one kid or many? I faced a lot of teasing from a large group of kids when I was in elementary school. These people would regularly throw things into my face, threaten to beat me up, etc. One girl screamed in my face because I had told our teacher about how she treated me, and my teacher picked her out in front of the class. I had had enough. It helped that I was imposing in size - 5'8", 200 lbs. - by comparison, but I leaned back into her face and screamed, "No, YOU won't talk to me like that." The fear that lit up on her face amused me. And you know what? She never did it again.

We had talked to the parents of many of the kids in my class, my teacher, my principal, and nothing happened. I had done nothing to these kids. The whole ordeal started because one girl mistakenly thought that I had rolled my eyes at her, and that had simply never happened - but she never gave me the chance to explain it.

Sorry to say it, but your kid may have to hit back hard. Otherwise, I really don't think that bullies ever learn until they are REALLY pushed back. Many of these kids are troublemakers who are numb to suspensions and detentions, but being made to feel afraid - and not necessarily in a fight - is sometimes what it takes.

Best of luck.

10/14/10 5:06 P

My son is going through the same thing. I read an article this morning that bullying is bad in elementary, worst in 6th grade and gets better as they get to highschool. I am starting to include my son in my walks and he eats the healthy dinners I make. He feels proud about each milestone he hits with me plus we are bonding. I hope your daughter fnds peace soon. Kids are aweful these days!

10/14/10 2:56 P

I have a few things to say on this topic:

1) Kids are cruel. All of these reports of bullying on TV lately are just scratching the surface.

2) It sounds like she may benefit from some self-esteem boosters. If she is old enough, perhaps take her to the mall to have her makeup done? Take her to a salon to have her nails done? Something so she feels pretty and likes something about herself. If she feels better about herself, she may have a higher tolerance to the bullys.

3) My mom used to tell me (as a young adult!) that I looked pregnant in some of my clothes. Try to buy her clothes that minimize those effects or don't be like my mom and comment on it the way she did!

4) What lessons are you teaching at home? My mom used to make comments like the one above and then turn around and cook a fattening and greasy dinner. I certainly wasn't picking up any good habits!

5) If all else fails and she doesn't seem to be growing out of her "baby weight" - she may need to visit a doctor to have her thyroid and other issues checked.

6) See if there are any physical activities she can get involved in. Any sports teams or local clubs. If she isn't into sports, find a "trick replacement" for exercise. My aunt used to take me to the mall and say she needed to find the perfect shirt. We'd walk for hours around and around. I'd come home with feet and legs hurting but at least I MOVED!

7) Help her find a group of peers that are less severe. Church groups, clubs, camps, many places to look!

8) Give her hugs, tell her she is beautiful, remind her that each of us is special and destined for our own special things and ultimately it isn't what is on the outside that matters the most :)

My best wishes to her. I have been there and felt that and hopefully she will mature into a wonderful strong woman.

10/10/10 5:43 P

To the woman who mentioned adult children who take being invited to exercise as an insult - it's probably because she feels you're targeting her. Make it a point to find others who are not overweight, or who are in shape, to go on a walk with you.

Advertise this fact to her so that she stops associating your invitations to exercise as a "You're fat, daughter." Make it clear to her that you just want someone to walk with you - don't tell her that you want to bust her into shape.

And maybe she just doesn't enjoy walking. Would she enjoy going to a local roller skating rink with some of her friends? Does she play laser tag? How would she feel if you threw a pool party for her at a local hotel or something? Obviously some of these are very costly, but they get the point across. Since she's still young (well, roughly my age - I'm some years older), associating exercise with fun and socializing could make physical activity more exciting for her.

Figure out what she likes. In marketing, we call that selling her something that she actually wants - and not forcing a solution on her that she doesn't want. Once you do that, encouraging her to exercise could be easier.

And consider whether or not she's depressed. I'm assuming that she is, judging by what you're saying. Try to encourage her to join local groups to boost her self-esteem outside of the way she looks. If she doesn't have a job, try to encourage her to get one that will use her skills (I'm freelancing for a web site - something your daughter could also do). Then, encourage her to use some of that money to go out and have fun with friends.

You can't solve the weight problem until you start getting at some of those deeper feelings. Your daughter's 18. If she's not, it's time for her to start working and to start dating. Some of that independence could help her build her self-esteem.

And for the love of Yahweh, Zeus, Odin, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, don't nag her about it. She's an adult now, and that means she's free to make her own choices.

PENELOPE0831 Posts: 235
10/8/10 4:28 P

This is such a delicate subject! I have a 9 year old who carries some extra weight- some of it is genetic, some of it is body structure, and some of it is due to our entire family's habits of being inactive and making unhealthy food choices. Its important for us to remember that we, as the parents, set up what habits are kids are going to take on by the ways that we behave- we're supposed to model behavior, and if that behavior is sitting on the couch with a coke and a bag of Doritos (guilty!) then that's what our kids are going to think of as normal.

My daughter is showing a huge interest in what I'm doing right now, and I'm not pushing it on her. The family eats what I cook for dinner, and there simply aren't any Doritos in the house for her to pack into her lunch or munch on in front of the TV. She loves to go for walks, swim at the pool, and play on the Wii Fit. She has discovered that she loves salad, and she tries to make sure she puts at least one fruit or veggie into her lunch. No sodas, no chips, no cookies only because they aren't in the house. Its easier that way- I don't have to hurt her feelings or damage her self esteem by commenting on the food choice she's making.

The other thing that I was thinking was that kids are kids, and they should be allowed to eat like kids once in a while. Every kid wants to have pizza or a burger sometimes, and every kid is going or go to a birthday party where there are bowls of chips and chocolate cake around- let them enjoy it in moderation! I'm trying really hard to shape good habits with my daughter (and son, he's only 3 and has like 6 pack abs!) without turning it into food obsession or food fear.

By approaching this as a family mission to lead a healthy lifestyle instead of a "I'm fat, you're fat, we're all fat" kind of thing, it turns it into something positive and empowering rather than focusing on our weight as a completely negative thing that needs to be exterminated.

Edited by: PENELOPE0831 at: 10/8/2010 (16:30)
BRANDIE74 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/8/10 4:18 P

I am a parent of a 18yr old who doesnt really want to listen to me anymore.. LOL I feel I failed her when she was younger because I was a very young mom and I didnt impart good eatting habits, didnt get her involved in sports or outdoor activities. I was always working two jobs and didnt have much time to invest into extra activites likes sports so being an only child she tended to spend alot of her free time on the PC or in front of the TV. I was so happy she was such a good kid, never gave me any problems graduated high school with good grades, but she has always had a negative self image. She hated to shop for clothes because she has bigger thighs and a tummy on her, but she is no way Fat her BMI puts her overweight and I do blame myself for that fact. I bought the food and I didnt encourage much exercise as I myself wasnt focused on it. That is how I made it to 250lbs. Now that I have focused on good eatting and exercise in my own life I want her to see the same rewards of just being healthy, feeling good. My problem is she takes any comment I make even the most positive .. do you want to go for a walk with me? as an insult.. as though she needs to go for a walk. I try and explain that everyone needs to walk everyone needs to eat healthy that our bodies are the only ones we got and regardless of size health matters. Even though all my attempts are in the most positive light and I make sure to tell her often how beautiful and smart she is and how amazed I am at all the wonderful talents she has.. she still is struggling with wanting to be healthy.

So with all that said... I guess my question is what do you do with an "adult" child who doesnt want to change even for health? Do you actually let them fall and just be there to help them up? Do you keep inviting them regardless and encouraging them even when they dont want to hear it? Where is the line between pestering and showing you love and concern for them? Would just love to hear your comments.


ROBERTA1974 Posts: 5
10/7/10 2:58 A

I absolutely, 100% agree with your post. Couldn't have said it better. Too often we worry about the superficial things when it comes to our children, when actually it is their skills, gifts, abilities, character that really matter. To quote Judge Judy, "Beauty Fades...Smart is forever".

ROBERTA1974 Posts: 5
10/7/10 2:58 A

I absolutely, 100% agree with your post. Couldn't have said it better. Too often we worry about the superficial things when it comes to our children, when actually it is their skills, gifts, abilities, character that really matter. To quote Judge Judy, "Beauty Fades...Smart is forever".

ROBERTA1974 Posts: 5
10/7/10 2:58 A

I absolutely, 100% agree with your post. Couldn't have said it better. Too often we worry about the superficial things when it comes to our children, when actually it is their skills, gifts, abilities, character that really matter. To quote Judge Judy, "Beauty Fades...Smart is forever".

ROBERTA1974 Posts: 5
10/7/10 2:58 A

I absolutely, 100% agree with your post. Couldn't have said it better. Too often we worry about the superficial things when it comes to our children, when actually it is their skills, gifts, abilities, character that really matter. To quote Judge Judy, "Beauty Fades...Smart is forever".

ROBERTA1974 Posts: 5
10/7/10 2:56 A

I absolutely, 100% agree with your post. Couldn't have said it better. Too often we worry about the superficial things when it comes to our children, when actually it is their skills, gifts, abilities, character that really matter. To quote Judge Judy, "Beauty Fades...Smart is forever".

MYREALANA SparkPoints: (30,332)
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10/4/10 1:19 P

Do you think she'd be interested in martial arts?

Not only would she get an amazing workout, but she'd gain confidence in herself regardless of how she looks.

It's amazing how much teasing doesn't bother you when you know you're ten times tougher than the person doing the teasing.

10/4/10 9:44 A

Excellent advice, Baker. The worst thing that you can do right now is make her feel like this is her fault. It's true that she probably makes her lunch decisions on her own (depending on if her school serves multiple meals, healthy and unhealthy, or not - if she only has one option at school for lunch, who's giving her the money to buy it?), but as her parent, you are responsible for the other meals she has gotten. Take that power.

The entire family should be striving to eat healthier. I think that the worst thing a parent can do to a child is point at her and say, "This is all your fault." NO, parents need to take accountability for what they have and haven't taught their children. Your daughter is starting to get to the point where she should be more responsible for her food choices, but she's not quite there yet.

Get your entire family in on a new lifestyle. Just because a spouse or your daughter's siblings aren't overweight yet doesn't mean that they don't have unhealthy lifestyles. Throw a laser tag party for your daughter and her friends. Hold an Olympic style marathon for her and her friends at a park. Turn the local playground into an obstacle course - set up a path for her, her friends, or her siblings to complete. Join a local community center or gym and have pool parties there. The opportunities to make fitness an exciting part of her life are endless, and the same with nutrition.

When I was a kid, my mom's idea of "good nutrition" created something bland, boring, and unappetizing. Research new recipes that you can try those on SparkRecipes. Create your own and put together a 'healthy foods' cookbook. Show her that a breakfast with green tea, raspberries, blueberries, and oatmeal can be delicious and better for her than a big slice of pie.

But remember that this is her body. Talk to her more about what girls at school say to her. You have to tread delicately here because, at least for me, losing weight was an admission to all of my bullies that they were right - I was a lesser person because of my weight. Since you've been overweight before, tell your daughter about some of the health problems that you have faced. If she indicates that she wants to lose weight, you're on the right path.

But regardless of whether or not your daughter loses weight, tell her that it is no longer 1800s America and she will ultimately be valued for the contributions she makes to this world, not the size of her waist.

BAKERICLISA SparkPoints: (1,470)
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10/3/10 1:33 P

Realize that this is not something new that children are doing, being mean and picking on the overweight kids has gone on for generations. This can leave lasting scars on her self esteem if not addressed.

Ask HER how motivated she is to make the change and then do your weight loss journey together. Look up where she stands on the BMI chart and be realistic in how much weight she needs to lose. Since you are her mother, explain to her portion size at each meal and healthy snack options. She became overweight by the food she has eaten and lack of exercise so you must turn that around. Get rid of the junk food in the house and explain to her the importance of exercise.

Be a good role model when it comes to eating and exercising. Encourage her and realize that being overweight as a preteen is setting her up for a lifelong problem, it's best to get it under control now.

10/2/10 7:10 P

Several of you are saying the very things that cause girls to have drastically low self-esteem. You imply or outright suggest that because someone is overweight, she cannot be beautiful. I'd imagine words like, "But your face is so pretty" have escaped your mouths.

It's true that this society, to some extent, still values and glorifies heroin chic. But who decides what 'beautiful' is?

Acquaint your daughter with web sites or publications that demonstrate a person's ability to achieve and to be a positive force regardless of size. Let her know that there are men out there who will love her regardless of her size, and she shouldn't settle with the first guy who comes along just because.

Some of the moms here evidently need to work on their own self-esteem before imparting advice on improving the self-esteem and worthiness of their children. Too many parents put all of the focus about their daughters on their looks, and they don't put any attention on improving her own self-worth. Is she a talented writer, speaker, fledgling mathematician? Hone those skills, encourage her to join groups that show them off.

It's a good idea to get her involved with a gym and to participate with her. Make exercise rewarding, not a punishment.

When I was 14, I visited my doctor, who was astounded that I had gained 15 lbs. in 2 months. She gave me the fat talk and left the room. I burst into tears, to which my very kind mother muttered, "Well, what did you expect her to say? You need to stop doing what you're doing." Yet she was the one bringing all of the food home and she never encouraged me to be active. And I suffered a great deal for that, and still do.

You have to be very tactful and sensitive when approaching a child about weight.

KEEP_MOVING Posts: 224
6/17/10 12:58 P

Oh how i wish we lived in a perfect world, where people valued each other! Be strong mom, loving your daughter is a great place to start! emoticon

I was an overweight preteen, so I know how that feels. Now I have a preteen of my own who is really slender, and let me just tell you that kids pick on kids regardless of size! Mine has been bullied for being the new girl, for NOT wanting to kiss boys yet, for not listening to the RIGHT music, having the latest

Although she is a size I would have loved to be when I was her age, she has her insecurities, everyone does. We have family discussions about keeping our bodies in shape for good health, about making good food choices and about being the BEST YOU. We talk alot about how each person is unique, and deserves love and happiness. We also have long discussions about value of the words people use against you. Someone calling you stupid does not make you stupid. And the real aspects of true friendship that she can recognize.

To get to the point. TALK!! Be open and honest, ready to be the shoulder to cry on, the coach, the workout buddy, the best friend.

KATHYLT Posts: 93
6/16/10 1:03 P

I have a little different view on this....I have struggled with weight since I was a teen and I always wondered why my mom didn't help me. As an adult my weight peaked at 320...I have three young adults daughters and I have ALWAYS insisted they stay at a healthy weight. I have them weigh every couple of weeks and if their weight was creeping up, they had to increase the exercise and decrease snacks until it was where it needed to be. Now that they are 20ish..they tell me they are glad I stayed on them and that they have learned to stay on top of it. As's out responsibility to monitor what our kids eat and how active they are. Especially if they are eating what we buy (or using money we gave them to buy the food)...if we are purchasing what is causing them to gain weight...then it is our fault. Being fat is awful, as a teenager or a 40 year old, as parent, we have a responsibility to keep them from making this mistake.

Help your daughter lose this will bond as you do and she will love you for it in the end!

6/16/10 12:13 A

My middle daughter, a teen, was 25 pounds overweight (the other children are thin.) I taught her about what I was doing/eating and got her moving. She likes to swim and rollerblade, so I made sure she did one or the other every day plus I eliminated the junk food in the house and basically had her eat what I did. She has about 6 pounds left. I don't nag and some weeks she goes off her plan, but she really wants it. Sounds like your daughter does too. You can help her to do this!

LISSIE88 Posts: 635
6/15/10 3:14 P

Lead by example. Eat right and exercise with her. Be supportive and loving. You can't change how others treat her. You can however, change how she feels about herself. Be positive and uplifting. She needs confidence. When shopping for her, buy her flattering clothes that hide the problem areas. She will likely feel better and that will probably help her in her efforts. If she's more confident, other children may leave her alone. Teach her to be strong and not let the insults get to her. Its a tough roada ahead, but stick with it. Best of luck to you.

ARTHAMAR Posts: 12
6/15/10 10:06 A

I'm seriously overweight and I have an 8 year old who is tall and chubby and starting puberty early. I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with her, and I feel like the deck was stacked against her from the beginning. On the other hand, I was a thin, lanky kid (although I didn't know it), so maybe she'll stretch. She's taking an interest in my sudden re-direction, so I'm hoping she'll absorb the "I want to feel better" message without picking up any negative self-image vibes. She begged to make a fruit salad on Saturday - I was so obsessed with getting my coffee made that I almost missed it! We wound up spending a good half-hour at it and the outcome was delicious and I still got my coffee in the end. I plan on trying to use the fact that she still likes doing stuff with me to help her be more active.

INDIANOAKS SparkPoints: (95,693)
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Posts: 6,818
6/14/10 5:17 P

My heart just broke when I read your post emoticon !! Kids are SOOOO cruel! I'm sorry because I don't have any "answers" but I'll offer up some suggestions from what we experienced with our daughter when she was a "preteen"...

I always tried with my kids to focus on their strengths -- to make them feel good about themselves -- especially with character traits (vs. outward appearance)!

My daughter struggled for a while with her weight due to genetics but also due to having asthma and needing to take steroids etc. I asked our peditrician about it and she recommended we NOT worry or focus on my daugther "losing weight" because you don't want to make them too obsessed with it at a young age -- they're evidently more likely to become anorexic later on etc. BUT she did recommend we start a "new food of the month club".... Where we tried to introduce more fruits and veggies into her diet (which was an issue for her).

The pediatrician also recommended we try to help her increase her activity level - NOT with "exercise" per se -- but with "fun" things... Like we started biking more by setting up scavenger hunts around our neighborhood, we joined our local community center so she could rock climb on their wall and swim in the pool (a HUGE treat for us!). We also found a girls' basketball summer camp...

And we started doing something called "Geocaching" --which is where you use a handheld GPS to hunt "treasures" hidden in the woods usually. It got us out of the house, off the couch and walking/hiking alot more than we had been!! And the kids LOVED finding the hidden tupperware containers with little token "treasures" in them!! There's a website called -- maybe you could consider something like that??!!

The other thing I'd try to offer your daughter is encouragement that she'll grow and gain some height as she enters her teen years -- which MIGHT help ALOT!!! emoticon

Would it help her at all to know that alot of adults struggle with the same thing -- of body image and being accepted...?? Wanting to be "popular" or with the "in group" at work? Sometimes I think kids feel like they're alone and no one could understand... Maybe if you and she set out together on this "journey" of trying to get healthier, she'll love working WITH you -- to go after your dreams... Maybe SHE could set up her own goals and rewards -- might give her something to focus on and work towards -- hopefully FORGETTING about "other kids" etc...??

Hang in there and give that girl a BIG squeeze from another mom out there that understands (I was heavy as a child, lost weight as a young adult but now have gained again)... I'm sure your daughter is beautiful in her own ways and there are people that love her the way she is -- perfect in God's eyes!!

6/14/10 2:55 P

God gives everyone there own gifts and honestly and truthfully the vehicle that houses your soul is of little importance. Yes I would like to lose weight to be healthy, and I would like to look better but I don't really think that it matter s in the grand scheme of things what we look like. It is more important to be a good person, and this is what I teach my children.

6/14/10 2:46 P

Kids can be pretty damn cruel. I live in Corpus Christi and we were recently named as the fattest city in America. The majority of the girls in my daughters school are overweight and obese. My daughter has been called anorexic and worse just because she is a healthy weight. 5'11 136 pounds. Kids will always find ways to alienate others. The best thing that you can do is teach your child to be healthy and love and accept themselves for who and what they are.

SCLAIRES Posts: 102
6/14/10 10:46 A

I was also an overweight pre-teen (and then teenager). I think something that would have helped me a lot would have been some kind of support group/therapy group with other girls in the same situation. Any kind of environment where I was with girls who were feeling the same thing I was feeling, where we could have worked on building self-esteem together.

The most important thing is that your daughter develops healthy self-esteem and values herself as a person. This might be hard without outside help.

Where are you located? You might want to look into this fabulous organization - I became acquainted with it in 2008 when I interned in their public policy office in DC. They do after-school and summer programs for girls, where they work on healthy self-esteem and body image:

Also - remember to tell her that she is beautiful!

ANIKAJAC SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 2,615
6/14/10 10:05 A

girls are so mean . Sorry you and your daughter are going through this.

what if you guys had mom and daughter time and worked out together and made food and healthy snacks together. doing things together and having fun with it may help her

good luck

6/14/10 9:48 A

My heart is breaking and not sure what to are so mean. I have fought my weight my whole life..but to have my precious girl crying to be normal like the popular girls...ugh...any help any thoughts.

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