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Question
Posted by: neighbour | 2008/07/30

skinny child on diet

good day doctor, i would really appriciate it if you can tell me what is going on here. my neighbours of several years now have a very pretty 8 year old girl who is not obese but on a diet! her brother who is 6 stil wears a nappy to bed otherwise he wets his bed. i have two children of the same age and feel this is not normal behavior. the girl comes to visit my children in the afternoons after school and brags about only getting rice cakes to school and about how skinny she is. in private i worked out the girls BMI and it is 18. she told me her brother stil wets his bed coz her mom is to lazy to get up at night to take him to the loo, but he was at the doctor and there is nothing wrong. my kids doesn' t want to play with the girl coz they say all she talks about is being skinny and money. now the mother is starting to ask me why her child can' t come over to play anymore. what is there to do doctor?

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Our expert says:
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Why on earth would any boy of 6 need his mom to get up at night to take him to the loo ? Why can't he do that for himself ? And if he's too lazy to do that himself, why doesn't she provide him with a potty he can use in the bedroom, and then empty, himself, into the loo in the morning ? And it sounds like the girl is far too focussed on dieting and being skinny, and may develop anorexia when she gets older. Maybe just plain badly brought up kids. YOu're entitled to decide who your kids will play wih or invite around, and just because they're neighbours doesn't mean you have to have them as friends. And maybe you can gently tell the mom that your children are bothered, and you can understand them, that the girl talks about nothing except dieting, being skinny, and money, and they wory about a boy of 6 who can't get to the loo on his own. Give her an opportunity to talk about these problems, rather than to assume there's something wrong with your kids for not wanting odd friends

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