Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Getting all parental and stuff.

My 14 year old's friend dropped by the house at 7:45 this evening, asking my daughter to come play some tennis with her. I offered to drive them, because the farm-to-market road at that time is no good for walking on.

While en route, my daughter's friend mentioned enthusiastically that she's losing weight for summer. She said that she had just had a granola bar to eat for the whole day, and that she had gone swimming for five hours, and had hoped to play tennis now for another 3 hours. I had earlier explained that my daughter would be coming back home at 9:30 tonight.

The friend mentioned that she was going to be taking some diet pills to help her lose weight.

I signaled, pulled over onto the shoulder rapidly, and parked. I put on the hazard lights for traffic to pass me. I adjusted the rearview mirror so that my daughter's friend could see my eyes while I spoke to her:
"You will NOT be taking diet pills. If I find out that you are taking that shit, then you will not be permitted any access to my daughter. Do you understand me? Yes? Furthermore, you need to eat a little more often than once a day. You will lose plenty of weight being active and consuming 1200 calories a day, assuming you nibble all day long. If I must call your mother, I will."
My daughter was stunned in embarrassment. I merged into traffic, and dropped them off.

I went back home, and called her mother. I would want her to call me, if the tables were turned.
She said EXACTLY the right thing: "Oh, hell, no.  Her cousin has diet pills and is under a doctor's supervision. She's not going to touch those things. Thank you so much for calling."

I felt better.

That kid best not make a single false move, or she is cut off.  I had my eye on her, anyway. Fortunately, every single one of my daughter's other friends are sterling.

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At Wednesday, June 19, 2013 10:10:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Fixit said...

Daughter may not like it, but that is what being a good dad is. Well done sir.

At Wednesday, June 19, 2013 10:13:00 PM, Anonymous R said...

I imagine that in your line of work you have formed an opinion of the seriousness of drug and alcohol addiction. Eating disorders are not any less embedded in the psyche or easier to treat. Perhaps embarrassing to your daughter but just as important as finding them discussing other things you disapprove of (not that kids should be kept in the dark about sex, drugs, and rock & roll).

At Wednesday, June 19, 2013 10:48:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Better to get that call now than when it's too late.

At Thursday, June 20, 2013 8:31:00 AM, Blogger JPG said...

You handled that exactly right. I'm proud of you, Son.

At Thursday, June 20, 2013 10:25:00 AM, Anonymous Evyl Robot Michael said...

Good job, sir!

At Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:31:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

If your kids are not occasionally embarrassed, you're doing it wrong.

We as a society give a lot of lip service to our concern for "at risk" kids, but we tend to forget that kids who shouldn't be "at risk" become so when nobody is paying attention. Whether that girl has a dad at home or not, even a little time under the influence of a strong father figure will do her a world of good.

At Thursday, June 20, 2013 12:36:00 PM, Blogger Well Seasoned Fool said...

What you did takes a certain amount of courage. Both of the young ladies will learn from this. Good on you!

At Friday, June 21, 2013 3:15:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

You did the right thing... Daughter may not be happy, but you just 'might' have saved a life there Matt...

At Friday, June 21, 2013 12:30:00 PM, Blogger Mark/GreyLocke said...

One of the jobs of a Parent is to embarrass their children, the other is to protect them. And our kids don't include just our biological kids. I have 7 biological kids, but another 14 other kids I consider mine. And sometimes they don't like that I am more of a parent to them than their own parents, but they are "my" kids.

At Tuesday, June 25, 2013 9:35:00 AM, Blogger Jay G said...


As the parent of a child struggling with weight issues (or, more precisely, *perceived* weight issues), I applaud your decision to call the parents.

I'd want someone to do the same for me and my child. I would do the same in your position.

At Sunday, July 14, 2013 9:11:00 AM, Blogger J.R.Shirley said...


Would have been less of an issue if her "one meal" had been a chicken breast, cup of plain yogurt, and a plate of spinach salad, though of course 3 small healthy meals would be better than 1 huge one. The diet pills, though? Horrible idea. And I hope she's drinking LOTS of water for that level of activity.

At Tuesday, July 23, 2013 11:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's not going to lose much weight if she restricts her food intake to that point, as he body will simply go into starvation mode.

I hope the mother gets her daughter some help, as this sounds a bit worrisome.


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