F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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My 16 yr old daughter is recovering and near weight restoration.  She is allowed to go out with friends at night and frequently they end up at a diner or restaurant.  Last night she had dinner with us at home and went ice skating with friends.  I told her that she would have to have a snack/glass of milk when she got home and it was understood.  She ended up going to a restaurant with friends before coming home and she supposedly split a fajita with a friend.  My oldest daughter (18) picked her up around 11:30 pm, they stopped got decaf coffee each and candy and had them on the way home.  When shd got home I insisted she still have her snack/glass of milk.  This led to a fight with my daughter insisting that she does better and eat more when with her friends then she would have done with the glass of milk.

Did I do the right thing by pushing it and upsetting what was a good night for my daughter or should I have not pushed the milk?

It's hard to know when to push and when not to push.
Was the candy enough for her snack, since her older sister saw it?
My d had the problem of not being able to eat out with friends very easily, so I think that if she is eating out that should be a plus.
It's is hard because the better they get the more the teenager comes out.
Hugs and strength
Slow and steady
Welcome, Paul66.  It sounds like you have done a great job so far if your girl is approaching w/r!

Nutrition is so essential to recovery from ED--and ED is so wily about escaping from nutrition--that many parents here don't count any unsupervised meals/snacks as having been eaten.  For example, what does it mean to split a fajita?  Did your d take one piece of green pepper off the plate and count that as 'splitting a fajita'?  I'm not saying that your d is untruthful, but it's the kind of parsing of the truth that ED does.  If she did actually eat the candy, is candy an acceptable snack?  If she can eat candy, that's great, but a glass of milk added to that will help her sleep and keep her nutrition up through the night.

I think you did a great job.  Getting irritable pushback from ED (understatement) is par for the course.
Colleen in the great Pacific Northwest, USA

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease."
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
Hi Paul66.

We pretty much had a rule that if we didn't see it get eaten, it wasn't. Pretending to have eaten well somewhere unseen is, of course, in the first chapter of the ED handbook. I believe accusing insistent parents of making things worse is in section 2-46A.

In the future, perhaps you can agree on terms to allow for her to eat with friends. Some parents have their kids send phone videos/pix, or have a trusted friend/family member independently report back.

Knowing that her older daughter saw her have the decaf coffee & candy, I know I can trust her, but still struggle with why she would not want to drink the milk, but I understand where my d thinks "hey, on I did it on my own and had more than what M&D would have done."
There's no rights or wrongs, but for what it's worth I think you did the right thing, your d had been out and about, burning calories off, you don't know exactly what she had when she was out, so there is no harm at all in insisting she has a glass of milk. Only the ed would cause the fuss over a glass of milk!

You say you struggle to understand why she wouldn't drink the milk, my advice would be don't waste time trying to understand the illness, it's so illogical it will have your head melted in a week! Once we got on track , we tried not to overthink it, we simply made sure d has full dailly nutrition, every day, (we still do) and at least an hours supervision after meals to prevent purging, and night time supervision to prevent compulsive exercising through the night. The longer we did this the more d returned to us and ed behaviors retreated. 2 years of hard work for everyone, life literally stopped, but it worked for us, our d fully wr for around 12-18 months, she has a life back, we have our d back and our life back (more or less!)

you can do it!

Paul66 wrote:
I told her that she would have to have a snack/glass of milk when she got home and it was understood.

For me, Paul, this is probably the important part to hold on to.  There is still a plan of action in place and a programme to follow - no matter what else happens and how reasonable or unreasonable the rest seems to anyone, this part was understood by both of you.  Your d probably can't help giving the push back but she is also getting a strong message that you are a safety net that can't easily be breached.

I would have struggled with the immediacies of the situation in your shoes and with such a scenario, but know I would have pushed for the milk too.
Erica, UK