Witnessing The Start In An 11 Yr Old Girl - Advice?

I'd like to ask for some advice about what to do when you see an ED developing in someone else...I am doing a year abroad in Paris, and I live with a 30yo woman and her 11yo daughter. The daughter has some bizarre eating habits that I recognize because I myself am 4 months into my recovery. I would say that binge eating is my biggest problem, but I starve, purge, and exercise, as well. They may or may not know that I have an ED bc even though I've never told them, I do therapy through Skype once a week. At dinner, the daughter can't turn down more food (neither can I) and I know that both of us are stuffed full. We're the only ones who can never turn down another serving. If we're home alone and we've already eaten and had dessert, she'll bring out a box of cookies for us, then some tea and crackers, then maybe a piece of fruit. She loves working out with me, and has begged her mom to let her do a diet with her because she feels that she is getting fat. I think this is puberty as she is very slim and athletic. Two days ago, I went to brush my teeth in the bathroom, and there was a plate in the sink. We had just eaten dinner - and she had left dinner early (to study, I thought). I asked her if she wanted me to take it to the kitchen for her, and she said no hand it to me...she put it under the bed and said that it was her plate from dinner; she had forgotten to wash it. I KNOW this is untrue as I helped clear the table after she left "to study". I made a joke about if she was eating in secret (not the most tactful way, I know) and she said no no its just my plate from dinner. So - my question is : should I talk to the daughter about it, should I talk to the mother about it (her mother is just like mine, very concerned with grades, manners, being successful, while having a hard time with emotions), or should I just let it be? There's no proof that this will escalate the way that mine did, but I do find the behavior to be extremely similar to my own in early highschool.
Do you guys have any thoughts or similar stories? Thank you for all input!!
runnergurrl55 runnergurrl55
1 Response Nov 29, 2012

Really tough one. I would say don't talk to the mother. She doesn't seem to be the caring/concerned type and will probably get angry or offended. I don't know what you could say to the daughter though either. I know since you have gone through the same issues that you feel inclined to help her, but sometimes it is not your place to be the one to help. Maybe you could make comments to her when she says things about dieting or being fat? Tell her she is beautiful and/or use a scare tactic and tell her that dieting at such a young age stunts growth or boob growth haha, i don't know. maybe that's weird, but i know if someone told me not to diet at 11 i'd just be thinking oh shut up, but if they told me id be flat chested forever i would think twice hah. Good luck!

Thank you for responding! I'm thinking I may approach the daughter, but it's such a delicate situation... I really appreciate your input though and I like the tip about boob growth! haha!