I feel I like I am forever asking questions on this forum, but what with my ex being such a difficult ex-partner and mother, my questions are endless, and the advice I get on hear is really helpful, and what I can't seem to get anywhere else.
I have suspected for a while that my 4 year old is overweight. I am well aware that her mum and her mum's family overfeed her to excess. I weighed her the other day for a car seat, and with a bit of research it appears she is over half a stone over the average weight. I'm aware the average might not apply to everyone, but given her dinky height, I feel she is carrying too much weight at present.
My issue is what I do to fix this. I have asked my ex to come to the Dr's with me several times for various health issues of my daughter's, but she never wants to, probably because she feels her parenting is going to be criticised. I feel I should go to the Dr's with my daughter by myself in that case, but I am worried about two things: her mother flipping out when she finds out I've taken her with 'How dare you accuse our child of being overweight', etc, and making feel bad, when I am just concerned about our daughter's health, and it upsetting my daughter, having to go and be weighed (her mother has taught her to be very sensitive about her weight, even at the age of 4, and my ex has already refused to go to the Dr's with me for another health issue with my daughter, for the same reason as not to upset our daughter).
So, I am weighing up which is my best option: take her to the dr's by myself, leave it, or speak to someone else (I'm not sure who?). Leaving it doesn't really seem an option though.
For the moment, is there a need to take her to the doctor? I would have thought that you could suggest to the ex that instead of going to the doctor, you work out a plan between you to try to get your daughter eating healthily, and engaged in activities that will help her. However, as you said, average means just that, there is a margin either side of that average that is acceptable.
Ideally, yes, that would be the route I'd take. However, my ex doesn't do anything at my suggestion alone, as without meaning to criticise her, she's too high and mighty, and rarely even takes suggestions or advice from her own friends or family. To do anything with my ex, as I have found out, someone of 'authority'/a professional needs to put it to her. Even then it's hard work. Her own solicitor, when I took her to court for preventing my access, even said to my solicitor how she almost gave up on her because of how stubborn and irrational she is.
I do not know how often you have your daughter but when you do, are you able to have fun by playing games outside in the fresh air with her? Games that involve running such as tag, hide and seek, buying some bubble liquid and chasing the bubbles, going swimming, running races, kicking a ball to one another, hop scotch, flying a kite etc. I'm thinking that the physical activity will help in combating the overweight problem but also strengthen her muscles and increase her agility and lung capacity.
Whilst you are wrestling with the problem you have with the Mother regarding your Daughter's weight you could possibly increase the physical activity which would be of enormous benefit and would not cause a problem with the Mother as it would only involve you and your Daughter. I know my suggestion is not tackling the problem of being overfed but it could help to combat the result to a degree.
When she is with you I would always have a bowl of fruit for her to eat and talk to her as if fruit is a treat. You can always cut little strips of raw carrot and cauliflower to eat. If children help in the preparation they very often are more eager to eat what they themselves have helped to prepare I would totally avoid sweets, biscuits, cakes and junk food. You probably do this already.
Yeah, my daughter is at nursery. I think there's a parent's evening next month, so might be able to raise it with them then. I don't get very far with them on the phone, they're always a little off with me.
Thanks for the tips. I do try to get outside as much as possible. I myself have M.E., so although I get outside with her, doing physical stuff like running around and swimming can be difficult. If I didn't have M.E., we would be doing all sorts of active stuff, definitely swimming a lot, as I loved it before I got ill.
I suggested swimming lessons (just in general) to mum a while back, offering to pay, as I feel swimming is a good skill for all kids to have, and I know Emmy loves it but doesn't get much chance to go as mum rarely takes her, and I am unable, but she didn't see swimming as important and said she wanted our daughter to do ballet instead, which has never materialised.
I do try to encourage healthy eating as much as possible, but will try more. The trouble I find with fruit and veg is my daughter is only here two days a week, so whatever she doesn't eat goes off, and that kind of stuff you can only buy multiples of. As I am unable to eat most fruit and veg myself due to severe IBS. I need to try and find a way around that. It's a bit of a pain in the rear, as it goes for a lot of other foods too.
I am sorry to hear you have medical problems which obviously limit what you can do with your daughter. However, games and activities can be adapted which you could encourage her to do to be more active with limited input from you. Also there are indoor play areas (where I live called Fun Farms) where children can climb, tunnel, slide, run ect. in a safe area whilst the parent can sit and watch and have a coffee.
Swimming, I am very much an advocate for swimming, previously having been involved in the sport for many years. The Amateur Swimming Association suggest lessons begin when a child is of school age. There are classes available for children pre-school which purely concentrate on promoting confidence in the water but do not teach the techniques of swimming. If a parent has confidence in the water and feels safe themselves in charge of a child in that environment, I personally think these pre-teaching lessons are overly expensive and unnecessary. On the other hand they do offer an opportunity for the child to gain confidence (essential) if there is not the availability of an adult to take them themselves.
I appreciate your difficulty with food and wastage. A wondered if small tins of fruit may be useful. I think it may be possible to freeze (for a short period) what is not eaten using an an appropriate container. I say tinned fruit as opposed to fruit in those see through plastic containers as those I believe have more preservatives added compared to tinned which in many cases have none. Also good quality frozen vegetables would minimize wastage. It is difficult when having children for a short period at a time to avoid wastage and at the same time be able to offer a choice of options to eat.
You could go to speak to your daughter's G.P. on your own without your daughter being present to express the concerns you have. You will need to take with you proof of having Parental Responsibility. I would hope the doctor would respect the confidentiality aspect of your consultation and not mention it to the Mother. It is after all your right to be informed and express any concerns you may have.