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1 - 19 of 19 Comments Last updated Dec 8, 2013

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#1
Dec 7, 2013
 
DEAR ABBY: I'm 12 and weigh 204 pounds. I feel really fat and I want to go on a diet, but my mom won't let me. I'm getting bad grades in gym class and need your help.-- SAD GIRL IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

DEAR SAD GIRL: By recognizing that you have a problem that you can't deal with on your own, you have already taken an important first step in resolving it. The next is to talk to your gym teacher about this and enlist her aid in convincing your mother to give you the help you need.

Childhood obesity is rampant in this country, and all those extra pounds could negatively affect your health -- not only now, but in the future. If you have a pediatrician, the doctor may be able to discuss the importance of a healthy diet and exercise program for you with your mom. You will need the help of other adults to make her understand if she can't see that you need help now.

DEAR ABBY: I am 18 and dating someone of a different race. We have been together for more than a year. The problem is my father is very racist. Every time I sneak out to go see my boyfriend, my father wants to know who I am with. I tell him it's "my friends," but he knows I'm lying.

I want to tell him who I'm dating, but I know he's going to be judgmental and rude if I introduce him to my boyfriend. Any advice on what to do?-- NERVOUS IN THE NORTHEAST

DEAR NERVOUS: At 18 you are too old to be sneaking around. Your father knows something is up, and he probably suspects the reason you're not being truthful or open, so stop lying. If he wants to know why you haven't brought the young man around, tell him it's because you know how he would react. And if you decide to make introductions, be sure your boyfriend knows in advance what the reaction will probably be -- if he agrees to meet your dad, that is. But I wouldn't blame him if he didn't.

DEAR ABBY: I ran into an old high school friend a while ago. "Jan" and I are both single moms. We want what's best for our kids. She has no family living here, and she doesn't have many friends. Jan has low self-esteem, high anxiety and, I believe, she mismanages her finances. Her house is extremely unkempt.

She calls me in tears often, asking for advice and help. I have tried to help her, but it is becoming overwhelming.

I asked my boss for two days off over the holidays. Jan called me shortly after and asked me if I can take care of her son on any days I have off over the holidays so he won't have to go to his day care facility. I feel bad and want to help, but I took the time off to spend much-needed time with my family. I don't want to have to bring her son to my family festivities. Is this wrong of me?

Needless to say, this relationship has added a lot of stress to my life. I tried breaking off the relationship over the summer, and I'm not even sure why it still continues. I feel mean and rude, but I don't want to be -- and can't be -- this girl's only means of support.-- TRAPPED IN BUFFALO

DEAR TRAPPED: It is neither mean nor rude to draw the line when someone's neediness is more than you can cope with. It is OK to say no, and you needn't feel guilty about it. It is also OK to advise someone that low-cost counseling is available in most communities if the person appears unstable or unable to cope with life. When you do, tell her that her needs are more than you are able to handle. If you do, you may not need to end the friendship -- she may do it for you, but you'll be doing her a favor.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#2
Dec 7, 2013
 

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2- Teen rebel, huh? Yo boyfrien got hisself a white girl! Yeah, yeahhhh!

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#3
Dec 7, 2013
 

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L1 Although Abby's advice is decent, you don't need your mom's permission to go on a diet. The only one who ultimately decides what goes in your mouth is you.

Even if your mom will not provide less fattening choices you can modify what's there to get started: eat the eat but scrape off the gravy. Grab one of the potatoes and bake it with. Use salt not butter and sour cream. Grab apples from school.Eat lots of those. Avoid diet and regular colas and drink lots of water. It will be a start.

L2.Depending on the culture and the father, LW could be at physical risk if the family feels dishonored. That said, I strongly suspect the "forbidden" nature of your BF is part of his attraction.

L3 You are not her rescuer. Disengage.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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#4
Dec 7, 2013
 

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LW1 - 204 lb at 12?????? Holy carp! This is way beyond obesity. This mother is committing child abuse. Yep, sling rotten tomatoes at me, but this mother seems to be fattening this child up like a heifer for slaughter.

LW, talk to your school nurse or counselor.(I somehow doubt this mother is taking the girl to a reputable and decent pediatrician on a regular basis. No doctor worth his/her salt would let this level of obesity in a child slide, would they? Or am I being naive?). In the meantime, start eating less of what you are being served if you can. Yep, scrape off the gravy, skip butter or sour cream on baked potatoes, tacos, etc. Eat all of the veggies on the plate, but leave at least of the meat dish uneaten. Limit yourself to 1 slice of pizza. Turn down dessert. Start exercising. You don't need any special equipment to do so. Set your alarm 30 min earlier and do some sit-ups, stretches, push-ups, and squats in your room. See if you can walk to and from school instead of being driven or taking the school bus. If you live in an apartment building, take the stairs up and down even if you don't live on the top floor. Just find 10 min a day to do a few up-down trips. If you live in a house, go walk around the backyard for 10 minutes a day.

My heart goes out to you.

LW2 - Stop lying. What exactly are you afraid of? Are you financially dependent on your parents? If so, do your best to get a job and get the heck out of this racist household.

LW3 - What PEllen said.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#5
Dec 7, 2013
 

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PEllen wrote:
L2.Depending on the culture and the father, LW could be at physical risk if the family feels dishonored.
Hey! Quit spewing ignorance!

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#6
Dec 7, 2013
 

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Cass wrote:
LW2 - do your best to get a job and get the heck out of this racist household.
Yes, move out at 18 just so you can date your black boyfriend. A relationship that will likely end in a few months anyway. After you're pregnant. Great advice!
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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#7
Dec 7, 2013
 

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edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, move out at 18 just so you can date your black boyfriend. A relationship that will likely end in a few months anyway. After you're pregnant. Great advice!
Huh? Are you trolling, Dog?

Yes, I think a kid who has grown up in a racist household and who does not share the racist beliefs NEEDS to move out on her own. It's unhealthy to be living in a situation where you have to hide your relationships and friendships. And it's disgusting to live like a racist.

And where did you get it that she will get pregnant? When I was that age, I and most of my classmates moved out of our parents' homes at 18 or 19. We got jobs, often before we finished high school. Some went to college. Some didn't. Only 1 I know of in my graduating class got pregnant and chose to keep the baby, but she got married to the BF. And what does the race of the BF have to do with anything?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#8
Dec 7, 2013
 

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Cass wrote:
Huh? Are you trolling, Dog?
Always.

But advising an 18 yr old to move out, and basically give up the life she's always known, just to date the person she happens to be dating at the time, is horrible advice.
Cass wrote:
And where did you get it that she will get pregnant?
Um... I suppose you're right. Teen pregnancy is a myth.
Cass wrote:
And what does the race of the BF have to do with anything?
Nothing at all. Does it matter?

Since: Mar 09

Pittsburgh, PA

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#9
Dec 7, 2013
 

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Racist parents come in all colors.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

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#10
Dec 7, 2013
 

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LW1: You need help right now, because you are far too young to be morbidly obese. You need to get moving. Start by walking every day, hopefully with a friend. Go a little bit farther and a little bit faster every day. Ride your bike if you have one. Eat less and eat healthier. You need more vegetables and far less heavy carbs, like bread, rice, and potatoes. Stay away from desserts and red meat. Don't snack. Drink lots of water. Get serious about your health, because obesity is a killer.

LW2: A good friend of mine went through this at 18 as well. She lost a lot of respect for her parents because of their reaction to her boyfriend. I don't know what to tell you, because until you move out and become fully independent, you don't have a lot of great options in this situation.

LW3: Team Abby and PEllen.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#11
Dec 7, 2013
 

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Cass wrote:
No doctor worth his/her salt would let this level of obesity in a child slide, would they? Or am I being naive?).
First of all, who says the child has seen a doctor recently? Other than when I was a small child, I don't remember ever going to the doctor except 1 time in high school when I got sick with bronchitis. I never got sick so I never went to the doctor.

Second, what do you mean by "let it slide"? What power does the doctor have to change anything? He can suggest to the parents that the child needs to get more activity, eat healthier, and lose weight, but he can't snap his fingers and make it so. And if you're suggesting he somehow have child services take the child away, then yeah. I think you're being nave. I would be shocked beyond belief if a child could be taken away for getting fat.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#12
Dec 8, 2013
 

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1 This is obviously a failure of the school system. poor folk dont make the best nutritional choices for their children, and because of that, we have to feed their children for them. So now all kids who have parents too uneducated to get a job are given free breakfast and lunch, while the kids whose parents work for a living have to pay for those meals.

So it must be the food the kids are being given at school that is causing their weight problem. If schools would stop trying to educate and just start parenting, these kids would be a lot better off.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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#13
Dec 8, 2013
 

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Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>First of all, who says the child has seen a doctor recently? Other than when I was a small child, I don't remember ever going to the doctor except 1 time in high school when I got sick with bronchitis. I never got sick so I never went to the doctor.
Second, what do you mean by "let it slide"? What power does the doctor have to change anything? He can suggest to the parents that the child needs to get more activity, eat healthier, and lose weight, but he can't snap his fingers and make it so. And if you're suggesting he somehow have child services take the child away, then yeah. I think you're being nave. I would be shocked beyond belief if a child could be taken away for getting fat.
My parents didn't take me to the doctor either unless I was sick. I do take my kids for regular check-ups, though, once a year. Most parents I know do. I think a child *should* see a doctor for check-ups, and if a parent is not taking their kids for check-ups (unless they have no insurance, of course), they are being neglectful, in my book.

And this kid is 204 lb at age 12. She is a ruddy whale! A middle-aged woman with three kids would be overweight at this number unless she was 6'4" or very athletic! The girl needs medical intervention. She either has a metabolic or hormonal disorder, which needs treatment, or she needs a diet and exercise program. The mother is refusing to let the kid to go on a diet even though this kid is a prime diabetes and heart disease (yes, even at age 12) candidate, and the strain on her growing joints must be remarkable. I'd be surprised if her knees didn't start hurting from just standing up and walking soon. A doctor would be an adult who could add the authoritative perspective, suggest a child nutritionist, suggest a healthy diet and exercise routine. No, I am not suggesting that a doctor report the mom to CPS, but when a parent will not listen to the kid saying, "I need to go on a diet," he/she may listen to the child's doctor.

An average 12-year-girl weighs between 90 and 100 lb. Girls in the 95 percentile at this age (i.e. considered medically obese) weigh between 180 and 190lb. This girl is 204!!!!! My eyes are bugging out from this number. I doubt a kid could get taken away for being fat, too. That doesn't mean that what the parents are doing is not child abuse.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

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#14
Dec 8, 2013
 

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I agree. This kid's life is on the line.
We see this more and more these days. There mey even be a genetic component going on here.
Sometimes the parents are total heifers too.
I feel bad for those kids.
They gotta get rid of the junk food for starters.
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

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#15
Dec 8, 2013
 
If LW1 is real, her mother is giving New Hampshire a bad name. Where is her father? Can she get him
or another relative to stand up for her in getting
the care she needs to bring this weight down?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#16
Dec 8, 2013
 
Cass wrote:
No, I am not suggesting that a doctor report the mom to CPS, but when a parent will not listen to the kid saying, "I need to go on a diet," he/she may listen to the child's doctor.
I'm not disagreeing that this kid is way past just fat. But I was more focused on your comments about the doctor, re: the doctor "letting it slide".

My kid is in great shape. Lean. Yet his doctor going strictly according to charts for his age told me he could stand to have a healthier diet etc. So I'm pretty certain that someone so obscenely overweight would get some kind of lecture/advice from the doctor. I just think its silly to think a parent could let their kid get that heavy and then be surprised by the doctor's advice that its not good. I don't think hearing it from a doctor is going to have any added effect.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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#17
Dec 8, 2013
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>I'm not disagreeing that this kid is way past just fat. But I was more focused on your comments about the doctor, re: the doctor "letting it slide".
My kid is in great shape. Lean. Yet his doctor going strictly according to charts for his age told me he could stand to have a healthier diet etc. So I'm pretty certain that someone so obscenely overweight would get some kind of lecture/advice from the doctor. I just think its silly to think a parent could let their kid get that heavy and then be surprised by the doctor's advice that its not good. I don't think hearing it from a doctor is going to have any added effect.
Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree.:-P
Jeff

Jeffersonville, IN

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#18
Dec 8, 2013
 
Wow.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

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#19
Dec 8, 2013
 
Cass wrote:
<quoted text>
My parents didn't take me to the doctor either unless I was sick. I do take my kids for regular check-ups, though, once a year. Most parents I know do. I think a child *should* see a doctor for check-ups, and if a parent is not taking their kids for check-ups (unless they have no insurance, of course), they are being neglectful, in my book.
And this kid is 204 lb at age 12. She is a ruddy whale! A middle-aged woman with three kids would be overweight at this number unless she was 6'4" or very athletic! The girl needs medical intervention. She either has a metabolic or hormonal disorder, which needs treatment, or she needs a diet and exercise program. The mother is refusing to let the kid to go on a diet even though this kid is a prime diabetes and heart disease (yes, even at age 12) candidate, and the strain on her growing joints must be remarkable. I'd be surprised if her knees didn't start hurting from just standing up and walking soon. A doctor would be an adult who could add the authoritative perspective, suggest a child nutritionist, suggest a healthy diet and exercise routine. No, I am not suggesting that a doctor report the mom to CPS, but when a parent will not listen to the kid saying, "I need to go on a diet," he/she may listen to the child's doctor.
An average 12-year-girl weighs between 90 and 100 lb. Girls in the 95 percentile at this age (i.e. considered medically obese) weigh between 180 and 190lb. This girl is 204!!!!! My eyes are bugging out from this number. I doubt a kid could get taken away for being fat, too. That doesn't mean that what the parents are doing is not child abuse.
My eyes bugged out at this number, too. I weighed about 100 lbs when I graduated high school. She is clearly morbidly obese and in need of a complete physical, a dietician, and a serious workout program. She needs to drop at least 100 lbs. Obesity is hard on the entire body: heart, lungs, joints, arteries. She has youth on her side now, but she has a lot of weight to lose. The sooner she gets started, the better.

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