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Tia

Getting My Granddaughter Soon - Yikes!

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My daughter and her husband have come to the end of their ropes with my 12 year old granddaughter. She has been violently abusive off and on for years. She has never gotten over no longer being the only child of a single mother now that she has a stepdad and 3+ siblings. They've tried so many things with her, but nothing has really helped. She shows signs of several different mental illnesses, but she functions really well away from home, so she's never gotten a diagnosis of anything. Professionals always act like it's parenting, but I know that's not the case. They're incredibly good parents, and the other kids are all "normal".

My daughter had been off wheat for a couple of years and suspected gluten so she got tested last spring through Enterolabs. She has both the genetic markers meaning, apparently, that she got one from each parent. Anyway, the whole family went off gluten then *except* my granddaughter, who was living with me for the year. When I saw how things changed for them, I also went off gluten. Five weeks later, my long-term chronic fatigue began to disappear. I went from being able to walk for 20 minutes max on level ground, to being able to walk much longer, on hills, and even run. The stuff is clearly poison to me, and I'll never knowingly eat it again.

Through all this, Skye has been determined to continue eating gluten. She went home in August, to a gluten-free-CF free house. She was told that what she ate outside the home was her business, only because you really can't control what a 12 year old eats away from home. They did finally get her to agree to be tested (I think she was convinced she would be negative) and of course she's positive.

Her rages and obsessions have continued, to the point where she and her stepdad just can't live in the same house anymore. My son in law is frightened of how angry she makes him. My daughter very reluctantly decided that they had no choice but to put her into foster care, at least temporarily, so of course my dh and I agreed to give it another try. The hardest part of having her last year was my fatigue, so at least that part will be easier. We've said she can't have gluten at all if she's going to live here, and she knows this is her last chance to avoid foster care.

I know it's going to be hard at home because dh and son still eat it. But home isn't going to be the problem, apparently. She *says* she gets it about what gluten can do to her and swears she's not eating it now. But while saying that she gets it, she's also pushing to be allowed to eat it at parties and special occasions like Christmas. Sigh. If she really got it, she wouldn't be asking that.

We've told her she has to do a research project and write a report that really shows she gets it. I'm trying to figure out what the parameters of the report should be, what she should cover, etc. Anybody have suggestions? We want her to know what it can and will do to her, as well as at some point acknowledging what all of us can see, that she becomes almost a monster when she eats the stuff. (It's way worse when she's mostly off it, like she has been at home, than when she's eating it all the time, like she was here last year.)

Any other comments, suggestions, etc?

Thanks.

Tia

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12 is a tough age! I wonder if she may need some stricter boundaries. What makes me think that is when you said that she was told what she ate out of the house was her business! My daughters (although much younger) are expected to respect our family rules in or out of the house, even when I'm not around.

If it helps at all, when I was 12, I would have loved hearing all the positive things about a gluten-free diet instead of focussing on the affects of gluten (ie, you'll probably have less acne, you'll feel better, you'll have special treats that no one else is allowed to eat).

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Stock that girl up with some YUMMMMMMY gluten-free goodies when she gets to your house! One thing that makes my daughter crazy, too, is talking about food so much!

I think when she asks to eat the stuff at parties and such, she is really just testing boundaries--which is a normal behavior. She needs to be told "no" and provided an alternativ food to eate. 12 is such a tough age for that, especially from girls. There are times right after dx that my daughter looked longingly at birthday cake to see if I would give in and give her permission. I never did, of course.

If she continues to cheat when she's at parties and social occasions, then she simply shouldn't be going at all.

Celiac is serious business. It can kill her, not to mention how continuing to eat gluten makes her emotions so unstable, which doesn't make clear thinking so easy.

Best of luck with your granddaughter!

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12 is a tough age! I wonder if she may need some stricter boundaries. What makes me think that is when you said that she was told what she ate out of the house was her business! My daughters (although much younger) are expected to respect our family rules in or out of the house, even when I'm not around.

If it helps at all, when I was 12, I would have loved hearing all the positive things about a gluten-free diet instead of focussing on the affects of gluten (ie, you'll probably have less acne, you'll feel better, you'll have special treats that no one else is allowed to eat).

It's not that she's been told she can eat what she wants away from home. It's being realistic. If she wants it, and we're not around, she's going to eat it.

We've tried focusing on the positives for sure. She's seen what going gluten free has done for me, and her mother has expressed the wish that she had known years ago what was wrong, that it would have saved her years of health problems.

She came home from school today saying that the kids asked why she wasn't eating certain things at hot lunch day. When she told them, they teased her about it. I really find that hard to believe. Has anyone's kid been actually teased about it?

I honestly think we're dealing with something like addiction. I know I've read that people can crave or be addicted to the foods they're allergic to. I'm feeling like all this stuff about what kids think is just a ploy to be able to eat what she craves. Any of her friends I've talked to don't care about whether she's allergic.

Tia

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Stock that girl up with some YUMMMMMMY gluten-free goodies when she gets to your house! One thing that makes my daughter crazy, too, is talking about food so much!

I think when she asks to eat the stuff at parties and such, she is really just testing boundaries--which is a normal behavior. She needs to be told "no" and provided an alternativ food to eate. 12 is such a tough age for that, especially from girls. There are times right after dx that my daughter looked longingly at birthday cake to see if I would give in and give her permission. I never did, of course.

If she continues to cheat when she's at parties and social occasions, then she simply shouldn't be going at all.

Celiac is serious business. It can kill her, not to mention how continuing to eat gluten makes her emotions so unstable, which doesn't make clear thinking so easy.

Best of luck with your granddaughter!

Her mother has bought her almost any gluten free food she's asked for. She bought a gourmet treats cookbook by a fancy chef who's celiac. Skye hasn't even looked at it, even though the treats look really yummy.

The thing is, it isn't just the parties and stuff. If she really wants to cheat, she'll trade lunch stuff at school and things like that. Just this morning, her mother was pretty sure there was money missing from her purse, not a lot, and she couldn't prove it, but there's a junk food machine at the school.

And the main reason she's even *in* school after being homeschooled through grade 7, is that she makes everyone's lives miserable when she's in the house. My daughter sent her to school to give the rest of the family (3+ siblings) a break.

And she's certainly been told about what gluten can do to her, now and in the long run. Maybe the report I'm going to insist she write will open her mind. I don't know.

Tia

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It's not that she's been told she can eat what she wants away from home. It's being realistic. If she wants it, and we're not around, she's going to eat it.

We've tried focusing on the positives for sure. She's seen what going gluten free has done for me, and her mother has expressed the wish that she had known years ago what was wrong, that it would have saved her years of health problems.

She came home from school today saying that the kids asked why she wasn't eating certain things at hot lunch day. When she told them, they teased her about it. I really find that hard to believe. Has anyone's kid been actually teased about it?

I honestly think we're dealing with something like addiction. I know I've read that people can crave or be addicted to the foods they're allergic to. I'm feeling like all this stuff about what kids think is just a ploy to be able to eat what she craves. Any of her friends I've talked to don't care about whether she's allergic.

Tia

i'm not a kid, but I've been teased for being gluten free. Some people just don't get it. Others think its funny. And others are just plain cruel.

~Angie~

Gluten free since May 2004

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She has had a lot of change in her life. It is hard having been an only child and now having 3 other kids to deal with. This was not her decision and she needs help. Instead she feels she is being punished for being grumpy. I would be too if I was her.

You will get further by givng her love and understanding than by making her write assignnments on gluten issues. Encourage her to talk about the way she feels and try not to be dismissive or judgemantal, just listen. Tell her you care so much about her that she is NEVER allowed non gluten treats at home or out. Tell her you trust her to remain gluten free. Also tell the teachers at school.

I have a sister who everytime I tell her how I feel about some issue, tells me to stop focusing on it and that's not right so forget it. All I want is for her to listen to me and not force her perspective onto me.

Being gluten free can be hard enough without being shunted off to the rellies, no matter how nice they are.

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