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Message Replying To
From Jolene, child's age 13
Hello everyone, I first posted this on the Teens' Board a couple of weeks ago and got only once reply.Now that this Board is active again, I'm updating it and posting it here. PLEASE, I NEED YOUR ADVICE, PARENTS. I'm the aunt of a boy named John, who came to live with us (my husband and me; we were childless until John came to live with us a year ago) because his mom (my husband's cousin) had been neglecting him. John came to us last June and he was seriously underweight. The doctor said he was 57" tall and weighed only 68 pounds and at the physical with his shirt off I could see how all his ribs showed. For the first 2 weeks I tried to get John to eat more at meals but he didn't eat that much and then I began to make him treats like a milkshske before bedtime and things like that because the doctor said he was so underweight. Then John began to eat more and by the time school started he was asking for seconds at meals and we (my husband and me) gave him an allowance so he could by snacks after school with his new friends. On June 2 we had to take John back for another physical because Social Services is evaluating us to become John's adopted parents (which he wants). The good news is that he grew 4 inches and is now 5'1" and weighs 132 pounds. It was the first time since last fall since I saw him without a shirt and he has a round belly and lovehandles and a big puffy chest. The doctor met with me and my husband afterwards and told us that John is obese and we need to cut back on how much he eats. The doctor said he should weigh 100 lbs. The problem is how do I do that? When he asks for seconds, I ask him if he really wants more, he says he's still hungry and I don't want him to feel sad that we're depriving him so I give in and let him eat what he wants. I tried to cut back on snacks that we buy, like chips and cookies and ice cream but my husband (who weighs over 300)likes them and told me to keep on buying what I always have because it's just a phase John is going through and when he gets taller his height will catch up to his weight. A couple of weeks ago we went to the beach and I noticed how every hour John went to buy snacks for himself, like hot dogs or ice cream and I noticed how he looks even bigger than he did 2 weeks ago and how tight his board shorts are that we bought him in April. I'm worried because of what the doctor said, that we have to help John cut back on what he eats or else he possibly could have health issues in the future. John is a good boy and I don't want to hurt his feelings by telling him how fat he looks now and my husband gets mad when I try to talk to him about hoe much John eats. He says I should leave John's eating and weight alone and he's growing and that's why he eats a lot. Ever since we went to the doctor four weeks ago, I've noticed how much John eats now. He takes seconds and thirds at meals, just like my husband. Now that he's on summer vacation from school (until after Labor Day), he can go through a big loaf of bread, a big jar of peanut butter and a jar of jelly in a couple days because he loves pbj sandwiches as a snack between meals. At night while watching TV my husband has a big bowl of ice cream and John has gone from having a little dish last fall to eating even more ice cream than my husband.
So please, I need your advice.I'm really worried about John but I don't want to hurt his feelings, he had a real hard life before he came to live with us. THANKS.