Kids with Food Addicton...?
Hi all, I have recently discovered that my 12 year old boy has been stealing money from the family to buy energy drinks, crisps and sweets.. He has put on around a stone in weight over just 3 months and is completely unrepentant. We are doing what we can to curtail this via removal of treats, extra chores etc but any advice you can give me would be very welcome, Im a bit out of my depth! Thanks for listening x
That is a hard one, and here are my thoughts, again remembering that we are not professionals but just sharing our experience, strength, and hope in these rooms of FAA. It may be possible that he has seen others with these beverages, and snacks and feels like he wants to have them too. We have been led to believe that energy drinks are "cool." This could be peer pressure even because of others his age or a bit older. And if he does not have the money then maybe that is his way of getting it. I remember even seeing stories of younger kids even being harrased for food, and or money by older ones or they would get beaten up. However I don't pretend to know your situation. But usually the person doesn't want to be confronted with the crime even if guilty. I will pray for you to know what to do in handling this, as well as for the boy. I know that is just one more thing that we deal with in our life on life's terms daily living. I also see and know that you are very concerned about the weight, thinking that it is making it worse. If we just had and knew what we do now back when I was going through the addictive process. However I am thankful to have it all now - the solutions in this FAA fellowship. My last thought would be to speak with a helath care professional, or counselor possibly in his school, to see if this behavior is consistent in other areas of his life, and if he needs to have the weight issues addressed at this time. Prepare for a fight, of resistence. A certain amount of this behaviour may be somewhat normal, and you will need to decide what is over the limit with help and worth following up on. Again my heart goes out to you. Keep us posted and keep coming back.
You son is the exact age I was when I started stealing money from my mother's purse to purchase candy bars at school. I didn't know anything about food addiction then, and neither did my parents~ this is MANY years ago. No matter how much or how severely I was punished, I couldn't (and didn't) stop stealing because I wasn't getting enough sugar at home to feed my disease. This is in spite of the fact that my mother fed us dessert with dinner every night, and we had a dessert with our lunches sometimes as well.
Paddy's Mum, my suggestion is to find out as much about food addiction-- the 3-fold illness of body, mind/emotions, and spirit-- as you can in order to understand your son. I agree with here42da that you might get some help from the school counselor, although food addiction is not as well understood yet as alcoholism or drug addiction.
Most important, please get some help for yourself. Watching a child go through this, and feeling your own powerlessness, is a very difficult thing. There are programs to help those who are family members or friends of people with addictions. Two programs that come to mind are CoDA (Codependents Anonymous) and Al-Anon. I personally would recommend CoDA because Al-Anon is meant specifically for friends and family members of alcoholics, while Codependents Anonymous is meant for all with codependency. If you're unfamiliar with codependency, you might try doing a Google search on it, or going to the CoDA website:
I will say prayers for you and for you son. God bless you both.
Hi Paddy Mum,
I'm 13. And I know what you're thinking, what is a 13 year old girl doing on this website? Well I'm a food addict and I've started eating so much when I was in 2nd grade. I used to (and still do) hide food to my room and eat. Now, I feel like I have no control over anything. My friends and family don't know any of this. I strongly recommend you to talk to your son and ask him about how he's feeling. Trust me it'll be hard. People my age tend to be rebels and stuff so he'll tell you the same old story that nothings wrong. But if he's stealing money, then something is surely wrong.
Thanks for posting your response The Waiting, you are very mature and brave!.
Dear THE WAITING: THANK YOU for your message. I started stealing money for food when I was 12, got caught, humiliated, there was a lot going on at the time stress-wise, I was a fat kid, my dad was dying of cancer, I had to get that sugar somehow. There was no counseling help back then, am 72, but there is now, please reach out at school, church, ask some friends, but find someone to talk to and keep coming back here bec there are so many who understand and will support you. Journaling may also help as long as you have privacy. You don't have to hide from us at FAA.
Thank you so much for the support! People my age don't really understand me so I technically do a lot of Journalism. I do have friends but I feel like it's not time to tell them yet.. I hope all of you achieve your goals!
Kids with Food Addicton...?
According to me, it's pretty normal to have a craving for foods or any other stuffs at this age but stealing money goes a long way to take this case seriously. You need to deal it without getting angry on him or getting upset on this. Try to divert his mind from foods to other stuffs like toys, games, etc. This might help him to focus his mind on this things rather than on foods.
Best of Luck.
Last edited by tom1212; 06-15-2012 at 05:37 AM.
Worrying about young child & food
Hi - I too am starting to worry about my son although having just discovered food addiction as a disease (I have been a food addict for 23 years but only just realised such a thing exists through reading several books) I am wondering if I am just being paranoid as my son is only 2 and a half? I realise most young kids want biscuits, chocolate and cakes but my son seems totally focussed on food and talks about it a lot - he's constantly asking for biscuits and cakes and gets really excited when he is allowed them even doing a little dance and then he rams them in his mouth and asks for more (he doesn't get more). He seems far more obsessed with biscuits and cakes etc then other children his age and I'm really worried he could be a little food addict in the making and more to the point that he has inherited this horrendous affliction from me!!!?? I feel extremely guilty and am wondering if I need to actually do something about it or just stop being paranoid??
We do feed him a healthy balanced diet with decent home cooked meals and fruit and veg (although it can be a bit of a stuggle) as well as treats - it's a running joke with my family that my son likes his food and rams biscuits etc in like he'll never get another and I never thought anything of it before until the revelation of food addiction...................
I'm really not sure if I ought to do something or if I should just stop overthinking this........? I really won't be offended if anyone replies telling me I'm being silly - as it would actually be a relief!!!
Thanks for any help
Anyone have any thoughts or insight on this
I would suggest to have a heart to heart, loving chat with your young man and lovingly mention you notice these things going on and ask him what is going on with him and if he is OK.
Please do not condemn, yell or make him feel ashamed.
Maybe he is in need to see a counselor. I found my daughter doing similar things at that age and it was a cry for help -- I knew as a food addict/bulimic...things usually don't go away on their own--this can't be swept under the carpet. Gentle intervention and maybe even years of counseling could be needed...this should be addressed.
The sooner, younger you get help for him--the BETTER.
I did for my daughter who still on occasion sees a counselor, learning tools to deal with stress and pressure, soon will be certified to be a yoga instructor and top bio chem medical student.
I am so grateful we took the time to get her help-- and allowed her to express her feelings...
Of course, best case scenario this will just be a phase your son is in and to blow over!