Register Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 2      1   2   Next
LittleMonkeyMom

High Bronze Member
Registered:
Posts: 48
Reply with quote  #1 
I am the costume manager/seamstress for our studio and spent several hours fitting dancers in costumes today. I noticed that one of my dd's teammates (who is 12) has dropped 2-3 costume sizes. Costumes that fit her in June are hanging off her now, and even costumes fitted in Oct are definitely too big.

I know some kids thin out when they take a growth spurt, but this appears to me to be more that that. I can actually count this dancer's ribs and her collar bone and shoulders are protruding excessively. I danced for many years myself, so I am all too familiar with the signs and symptoms of eating disorders, and I see several of them in this girl, and would like to talk to her mom about it.

I know it is easy to miss changes in ones own kids, but I don't want to appear to be sticking my nose in where I don't belong. How do I best approach this mom with my concerns without appearing to be overly nosy? I am truly concerned for this child, but don't want to cause drama, either.

Any and all thoughts are welcome--thanks in advance for any advice you can give!!


0
LABaby

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 68
Reply with quote  #2 

When I was growing up, my sister struggled constantly with anorexia. It is absolutely terrifying how scary of a disease it is and what it can do to a person.

I would approach the mom and talk to her in private. Say that you're concerned that she's dropped so much weight in such little time and see what she says. 

Growing up with my sister, a lot of people approached my mom about the subject and would try to beat around the bush. One woman commented something like, "You know, people see therapists for all kinds of reasons. Emotional trauma, eating disorders, all kinds of things." Comments as small as that. I would avoid beating around the subject and just be blunt but gentle. 

It makes me happy that parents worry about this stuff with other people's kids. Eating disorders are scary! 

0
momtotapcate

Avatar / Picture

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,931
Reply with quote  #3 
I agree with the above and if it's not an eating disorder it could be diabetes, so still quite serious.
0
rdsmom

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,442
Reply with quote  #4 
I would definitely tell mom. Probably something like this-maybe over coffee or somewhere private: 

-start with a compliment about her daughter-something like kind, polite, etc. 
-say that you measured her in Oct., and at her most recent fitting, she was smaller. So you took out your notes on this kid, and noticed she was 3 sizes smaller than last year. 
-say you aren't trying to be nosy or pushy, but that you are worried and want to make sure this dancer is ok.
-offer to help find a referral if mom wants it. 

If mom brushes you off or makes suspicious excuses (which I really hope won't happen, but you never know), call the school and ask to talk to the school counselor or social worker. If that doesn't work, you can call child protection for your county and ask them to investigate. 
0
dancemonkey

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,016
Reply with quote  #5 
The mom may already know. But if I was approaching the mom I might have some places to refer her to. It can be very overwhelming when you have a child potentially walking down this path. You also need to be careful there might not be some other illness going on.
0
mandyx3

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 63
Reply with quote  #6 
We have a 12 year old dancer I'm worried about with a similar issue. She's def. lost all her baby fat but hasn't grown much in height ... she keeps getting thinner. She's not yet looking unhealthy but just different. 

I'm not sure how to handle it; however as a mom, if someone noticed a concerning change in my daughter I would want to know.
0
diglass

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 98
Reply with quote  #7 
Most likely the mom has noticed. But you have factual information(the costume size) that may be the tipping point for the parents to seek help. This child needs help. Hopefully the parents will be receptive. My suggestion is to reach out as a fellow mother. I have been through this (With an anorexic dancer)and it was difficult. But I told the mom this: "If I would want someone to contact me in this situation, I feel I should contact you." 
Make sure it is in a safe place for the mom. Be prepared for her to brush you off. Especially if she may have the same problem herself. Also make sure the SO is aware of the situation. This child may be more prone to injury. 
Maybe offer to help find a dr or therapist. Also offer to be there for support throughout the process if she is willing. 
There are other health issues that can look like anorexia that many people will not think about. My son (a year round swimmer) actually experiecned muscle wasting and was looking much thinner due to undiagnosed Celiac Disease. He was seeing a Dr frequently- We were seeking help- but our Dr was not really much help. We did our own research and moved to a GI specialist before we found answers. He had lost 15 lbs over 18 months.
Sometimes we thought we were doing the right thing, just sort of getting by day to day, then I realized that he/we needed more help. 
I hope all goes well.
0
Klba37

Avatar / Picture

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,371
Reply with quote  #8 
I would speak with the parent. They may not know how much she has lost. Kids can really hide it, I know because I did. The dancer may still she herself as too big, so she needs help immediately.
0
prancer

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 769
Reply with quote  #9 
I would talk to the mother out of concern, nonjudgmentally providing objective information about the measurement changes. Eating disorders are hard to treat (if that is the issue) and they may already have sought treatment. Regardless, knowing others are concerned about the girl's health and are responding because they care about her well being is likely to be seen as supportive and caring. People are often uncomfortable talking directly about psychological issues, but those struggling are usually already aware something is wrong and grateful for the support.
0
dncemom01

Avatar / Picture

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,109
Reply with quote  #10 
I am going to go against the flow here and suggest that YOU dont try and discuss it with the parent.  I would bring it to the SO and let her discuss it with the mom.  I also wouldnt come at her with treatment optioins and drs because if she doesnt already know that is going to be information overload and she may shut down and not hear what you are saying not to mention if it something medical or something she already knows about she may feel attacked.
0
heidi459

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 5,708
Reply with quote  #11 
IDK... I'm a little uncomfortable w/how quickly some would make an assumption here.  The child has lost weight, clearly.  But why?  That's anyone's guess.  She could be dealing with a medical issue for all we know.

Me?  If I were to say anything it would be something as innocent as "I couldn't help but take note that Suzie had gone down almost 3 dress sizes since June.  I hope she's been feeling ok."  The end.

I've had more than one friend who had to deal with others expressing their "concern" over their dds' weight and, believe me, it didn't sit well with them at all.  There's nothing wrong with looking out for one another but I think we also need to be very careful not to overstep our boundaries.
0
my2miracles

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,060
Reply with quote  #12 
I agree with Heidi.  Also, someone else said the mom may brush you off and make excuses which is true but I want to point out that it might not be denial.  It might be that she doesn't want whatever is going on with her dd to be the dance studio's business.  Which is another reason I wouldn't go to the SO.  If the girl is having some medical issues, SO may with all good intentions deny her opportunities which would be unfair.  Also, and this may only be my paranoia because of dd's last studio owner who blabbed to everyone, the more people involved, the less privacy this girl and her mom have.
0
prancer

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 769
Reply with quote  #13 
Mentioning a concern about an apparently unhealthy weight loss is reasonable, just as you might mention that you noticed so and so is limping or complaining of pain during class. This is information the parent should have. Just state the measurement facts with no judgement, no interpretation of possible cause, and an attitude of concern. E.g. "I thought you should know ... I hope she is ok. ". Email might work well for this kind of informational note.
0
prancer

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 769
Reply with quote  #14 
Of course in this situation the girl's weight loss could mean nothing at all or reflect a serious medical concern. My question for the group is how much of the varied reaction to the op is because this might be an eating disorder?

I was imagining myself as the seamstress. In this role I might notice a child had a mole on her shoulder that looked potentially cancerous, or notice a curve in the spine suggesting scoliosis. Does mentioning this type of observation to the mother (again just the observation not a potential diagnosis) feel any different than mentioning sudden weight loss?
0
diglass

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 98
Reply with quote  #15 
Everyone has great info to share here. 

Each situation is different and the bottom line is that only you know your situation. If your gut is telling you to speak up, you probably should. I agree with trying to give the family privacy to deal with whatever is going on. 

As far as speaking with the SO goes. In our situation I only felt compelled to speak with the SO (who already had a suspicion that there was a problem) after speaking with the parent and seeing that the parent was going to do absolutely nothing. She was in denial. So I mentioned the situation to the SO only after hearing my D say that the child had recurrent injuries and she also had trouble making it through class. This child was aprox 13 at the time.  
Also, keep in mind that some SO may not see this as a problem at all, and they will say nothing to the parents or the child.
I hope this helps. 
0
Mom2Girls

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,603
Reply with quote  #16 
Your child doesn't drop significant amounts of weight without you knowing in most circumstances... How do you know Mom isn't aware of the issue and handling it? Your well-meaning tip could be intrusive. It could be taken offensively (implying mom isn't aware of such a drastic change.)

Tread lightly. The example Heidi gave is perfect, IMO. It directs the mom's attention to the issue on the small chance she isn't aware, but doesn't imply ignorance on her part in case it is something they are already handling. Even if she brushes you off, it could be because it is a personal issue and not your business, not because she is denying an issue.

0
my2miracles

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,060
Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prancer
Of course in this situation the girl's weight loss could mean nothing at all or reflect a serious medical concern. My question for the group is how much of the varied reaction to the op is because this might be an eating disorder? I was imagining myself as the seamstress. In this role I might notice a child had a mole on her shoulder that looked potentially cancerous, or notice a curve in the spine suggesting scoliosis. Does mentioning this type of observation to the mother (again just the observation not a potential diagnosis) feel any different than mentioning sudden weight loss?


It isn't about the eating disorder for me at all.  It's more about invasion of privacy and the assumption that as a mother I don't know what's going on with my child.  I'm sorry but a seamstress while very talented in her area is not qualified to diagnose my child or point out issues.  The child doctor should notice moles and spine issue during routine physicals.  My dd is very moley and the ped checks them every visit.

As far as the weight issue, it drives me crazy that everyone jumps to the eating disorder train just because a child is thin.  I was a very thin child and got talked about that all the time.  While I did have some food issues, it wasn't life threatening and I was very healthy just thin.  It got really annoying even into my late 20's to be having everyone watch and comment on whatever food I did or didn't put into my mouth.  I'm now a very healthy 50 year old who has never had any serious health issues.

0
heidi459

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 5,708
Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prancer
Of course in this situation the girl's weight loss could mean nothing at all or reflect a serious medical concern. My question for the group is how much of the varied reaction to the op is because this might be an eating disorder? I was imagining myself as the seamstress. In this role I might notice a child had a mole on her shoulder that looked potentially cancerous, or notice a curve in the spine suggesting scoliosis. Does mentioning this type of observation to the mother (again just the observation not a potential diagnosis) feel any different than mentioning sudden weight loss?


Honestly?  Unless I'm a licensed and certified medical specialist I really don't feel that offering up my opinion on such things is the least bit appropriate.  And if anyone other than a very very close friend or family member did it to me?  I'd be seriously questioning their good sense.

I know that it probably comes from a good place but, imo anyway, it crosses a line.
0
prancer

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 769
Reply with quote  #19 
In the original post the girl dropped 3 sizes. This isn't a naturally very thin child. It isn't an invasion of privacy to note a factual observation. The mom can take it or leave it. I would rather risk the mom disliking my email (no harm there) than miss the opportunity to potentially help a child (real potential benefit there).

If someone was worried about my dd, and took the time to share that with me, I would be grateful and happy to know people are watching out for her.
0
prancer

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 769
Reply with quote  #20 
My thoughts are coming from a good place. People react differently to potential mental health concerns than they do to other medical concerns. I hope someone would act the same way - out of concern for the child - regardless of the issue.

I am not suggesting making diagnoses or drawing conclusions. Just sending a note: "I noticed x. I thought you would like to know. Wishing you and your dd well. ".

Our studio had a girl who cut on herself. She hid this from her mom. What if the seamstress noticed that? I hope she would say something. It's worth considering if doing nothing is worse than doing something.
0
dancermom128

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,565
Reply with quote  #21 
I cannot believe anyone in this situation would think calling CPS is a good idea here. Especially with the little information known. My dd has lost weight over the last couple of years due to healthy eating coupled with more dance. Her doctor asked her questions like do you throw up, do you measure your food. Ummm no but gee if I was on the brink of an eating disorder you just gave me some great ideas. She asked her to come back in a week to weigh in. This for a child with a BMI in the middle of the healthy range. I most certainly was not going to subject a child who doesn't even weigh herself at home to weekly weigh ins. And start an obsession with weight that isn't there. Think before you jump to conclusions and for god's sake don't screw up an entire family's life by calling CPS over an issue you have title to no info about.
0
jwsqrdplus2

Avatar / Picture

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,857
Reply with quote  #22 
I also agree with Heidi on this issue.  I have seen pudgy kids completely lean out as they hit puberty.  I have also seen the reverse.  A simple comment on noticing the changes is more than enough.

I was a naturally thin and fit child who also was a swimmer who worked out between 2-4 hours a day at the height of my competitive career.  On the flip side, both of my parents were overweight.  I burned a ton of calories!  I also ate a ton of calories.  At the time, I did not always make the healthiest choices, and sometimes I burned more than I ate, but I ate a ton.  In middle school, my mom was a teacher in the same school I attended.  She got inundated with well-meaning teachers commenting on how thin I was and the fact they were concerned that I might have some sort of eating disorder.  I had no issues with food.  It was just the way I was built!  Time and lack of activity have caught up with me, and I am definitely heavier, but still relatively healthy.

Both of my daughters have naturally lean builds (thanks to me).  They are curvier than I was at that age, but my husband's family genes had to make an appearance too!  I am aware of their health. For the most part, I am aware of what they eat since I do the majority of the cooking (with their help).  I encourage them to make healthy choices when they can.  If one of the studio seamstresses came to me and mentioned a major body change at 12, I would not be so concerned.  If one of them came to me today with the same comment (at 17), I would be far more concerned.  Either way, I like to think I would thank them for their concern and move on.


0
tappinmom

Avatar / Picture

Double Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 13,103
Reply with quote  #23 
I have to agree with the other posters saying you are crossing a line.  DS has always been extremely thin (showing ribs, vertebra and the cords in his neck most of his life) and many people from the time he was 2 years old felt it was necessary to comment on it.  They had no idea that he had health issues and only made him feel self conscious about his weight.  At 14 he lost 30 lbs in a 2 month period because his health took a nose dive that ended in the PICU.  Anyone who looked at his would have thought he was anorexic but they didn't know the full story and I would have been very insulted to have someone suggest that I didn't know my kid.  As far as calling CPS that is ridiculous - as a parent that wouldn't go over well with me at all.  If you feel it necessary to say something I agree that you could just say you noticed that she lost a couple of sizes and you hope everything is okay.  Leave it at that.  You are a seamstress - not a doctor.
0
Beccasmom

Avatar / Picture

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,772
Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dncemom01
I am going to go against the flow here and suggest that YOU dont try and discuss it with the parent.  I would bring it to the SO and let her discuss it with the mom.  I also wouldnt come at her with treatment optioins and drs because if she doesnt already know that is going to be information overload and she may shut down and not hear what you are saying not to mention if it something medical or something she already knows about she may feel attacked.


This is what I would do too. Bring your concerns to the SO. It's possible she already knows something and that it's being handled privately.
0
emmymom

Avatar / Picture

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,470
Reply with quote  #25 
I will agree with those who suggest to tread carefully in this area.  There are potentially "normal" reasons this child could be thinning out.

I have one of those daughters who is thin, very thin in fact (18yrs old now and not yet 100lbs at 5'4") and when she hit her major growth spurt (around 14), she didn't gain weight to propel her through it as some do, in fact she looked incredibly thin during this time. 

When parents would "ask" about her weight or tell me they were "concerned", I will admit, I was sometimes put-off by it.  Most of these women had watched my DD grow up, had watched her devour her lunches and dinners at competitions along side her teammates and knew she was an eager but healthier eater than some.  And they certainly also watched her polish off a large mac-n-cheese from Noodles & Co. on several occasions too!  So when some would comment, I took it as kind of intrusive and almost butt-in-sky.  Almost like they were trying to create a problem where there clearly wasn't one. 

Every child is different and each child goes through body changes differently, some are much more noticeable than others.  Some kids pack on a few pounds before puberty or growth spurts, but I've seen plenty who don't add weight at this time. 

Also, dance attire leaves little to the imagination.  Leos, sports bras, and booty shorts reveal quite a bit about one's body.  I would hope that any parent would notice such a marked decrease in the size of their daughter, especially because it's harder to hide a dramatic weight loss in such little attire.  I would imagine that a parent would mentally be adding the pieces together (as I did)...wow, she's thin now...but she eats all the time...but she does dance 15-20 hours a week...she doesn't run to the bathroom immediately following her meals...she doesn't count or portion her food...she has grown 5 inches in height this past six months etc.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't say anything at all, just watch your verbiage.  It sounds like you are genuinely concerned just understand that some will take comments like these as judgmental or critical as if they hadn't noticed the body changes themselves.
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation: