How can I help my sister?

My 13 year old sister hasn’t been eating since our cousins from out of state visited for Thanksgiving. Two of them are her age and spent a lot of time with her. They’re in public school and on tik tok and not at all sheltered whereas my sister is homeschooled and very sheltered. One of them didn’t eat a single meal while visiting. She told me the other day that they told her all about eating disorders when visiting and I think that has a lot to do with her behavior the past month. My mom begged me to spend time with her and get to the bottom of it. She doesn’t want to confront it at all. I guess I’m just confused as to what I should do and how I should go about this. The kicker is I’m 24, and in high school I struggled with an eating disorder and binge eating. My mom was aware but avoided it. My parents don’t believe in therapy, medication, institutions, anything like that. Just “praying it away” and using the Bible or avoiding things like this all together. As I’ve grown up I’m the opposite. But again I’m not her parent and she’s 13. Any and all advice is welcome.
98 Likes

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. https://answers.mamasuncut.com/t/how-can-i-help-my-sister/15869

Tell her the dangers

1 Like

Since you now know better, you really have a sisterly obligation to help her through this. Talk to her, guide her.

3 Likes

Share any info with her that you can … let her know that it can literally kill you…and how unhealthy it is and maybe make anonymous call to her school and speak with a school counselor who might be able to help

Just be there to support her I guess, and tell her about your own struggles with it if you’re comfortable to, also get her some information on hotlines that she can ring if she’s feeling stressed. The fact your mum chooses to ignore it is a red flag so having you around to support her might just be enough and nip it in the butt quickly. Best of luck and kudos to you for being an awesome sister :slightly_smiling_face:

This is not on you. Your parents need to handle this. They are her parents and responsible for her care, not you.

5 Likes

Tell her how stupid her cousins are and that you are glad she knows better.

4 Likes

If it gets really bad & her parents won’t get her help call CPS. Its extreme but better than dying.

6 Likes

I would encourage her to see a doctor and a therapist

Take her somewhere, just the two of you, and talk. Get a coffee and go for a drive.

Explain to her how stupid Tik Tok is and how she should never follow the crowd. She should always be herself. Be honest with her, about your history, ask questions, answer questions. Talk to her about healthy habits and the consequences of starving herself. Be blunt and be honest. Sounds like your parents are old fashioned, like a lot of people still are, but maybe mention to your parents about nutritional counseling. That’s not really therapy therapy, but it’s someone who can guide her to make healthy choices.

In the mean time, maybe reach out to your aunt/uncle and find out what was said/done over Thanksgiving when the cousins were visiting so that you can maybe better address it with your sister.

4 Likes

I would honestly share your own experiences with her. It may not be all on you but I really think her hearing the similarities you’ve went through may help her open her eyes to the issues. Sometimes it helps having that one person close to you that’s been through the same situations

1 Like

Maybe talk to her about healthy eating and eating the right foods. I know she’s only 13 but maybe that will convince her to eat. Explain the importance of eating properly and eating disorders are so unhealthy and have killed people.

3 Likes

When I was young I battled eating disorders too. One of my sister’s gave me a book. Maybe you should read it first then see if you believe it maybe something to help her. (Each person is different and you’d know sis better than any of us here would).
“Second star to the right”
by Deborah Hautzig

Anything you need to do you don’t have the power and your parents refuse to be parents. I’m not sure what options you have besides being there for your sister. Your parents won’t do any of the heavy lifting you can’t. Wtf!

Please tell her the dangers.I was diagnosed with an ED almost 2 years ago.Trigger warning.I almost died bc of mine.Is there a way you could show her the dangers of it online or,take her some place to show her what can happen?

Be straight with her

1 Like

You’re not her parent but sounds like you may be the only adult equipped to help her.

3 Likes

I would be straight with her and tell her she could die and the dangers of not eating properly

Shes a kid who probably feels extremely far away from the world around her. This was her first connection with it.
Don’t shame and assume that’s why she’s doing it (though I assume it is, I went through something similar) but confronting her like that might make her feel like you’re minimizing her feelings.
Talk with her, try to connect her with appropriate media, or do something of her choosing. Let her feel like she has a little control in her life

1 Like

I literally had a friend lose her life due to complications from bulimia nervosa. By the time she accepted she had an eating disorder and asked for help, it was too late. Her teeth began to rot from the vomiting, she had bleeding ulcers all the way down her esophagus, her hair started falling out, she stopped having menstrual cycles, her body continued to rapidly shut down ,she began vomiting blood, and a couple weeks later she was gone

1 Like

Go to her school and talk with her counselor they can get her into help

1 Like

You need to talk to your parents as well… You can try to help her all you want, but really… The both of you need their support as well. Regardless of their own personal or religious beliefs, there is scientific evidence how truly detrimental an eating disorder really is to one’s body. If prayers truly worked, there wouldn’t be people dieing in hospitals all over the world right now, children wouldn’t be getting abused, people wouldn’t be starving to death. Whether pharmaceutical or homeopathic, that child needs to speak to a medical professional.

3 Likes

Maybe try to show her also the bad on eating disorders. I know there’s a ton on YouTube of those that overcame their disorders and made videos of them at their worse.

Oh my goodness… please sit down and talk to her about eating disorders and what they can do to you and tell her how beautiful she is. I was the same age when I became anorexic and bulimic. I hid it pretty well in the beginning bye just not eating in front of people at school and then I would come home and get food and take it in my room and pretend to eat And I would drink chocolate milk to fill myself up and then it just went to not eating at all and if I did eat I threw it up… It was a very rough time in my life I hate to see other girls go through this

Whatever worked on u will help work on her. U know how to talk to her because u been through it and she will most likely feel more closer to open up to u than ur parents, she’s probably really confused

1 Like

My daughter actually has such bad anxiety she wont eat in public, not even in front of her parents. I have her in counseling and shes learning coping skills like to focus on a certain food like how and where it’s made. I was afraid she had a eating disorder also.

1 Like

Sounds like both families are in denial. Better therapy than dead

1 Like

Even with homeschool some areas schools will still help with this stuff and much more.

If she’s not eat a proper meal since thanksgiving some one needs to step up and get her proper help

Tell your Mother to woman up and be a Mom. If they don’t get her help call CPS they will.

2 Likes

Sit your parents down. Tell them to get a grip and that “praying it away” is a ridiculous approach to very serious and problematic situations regarding parenting!
To me personally, burying your head in the sand as far as your child’s health and well-being is concerned is ludicrous!
Why wait?
Get her to a doctor, get her to a therapist.
Whatever these cousins have said can’t be unheard. However your parents CAN do something about the consequences of the conversations. I wish you and your little sister the best of luck going forward with this.

2 Likes

Psychologically, alot of girls especially with out any control over their own lives turn to earing disorders. They are able to at least control that

2 Likes

Can you explain to her how we need food to fuel the body & mind?

Show her strong is sexy, and skinny isn’t a desired figure… Show her athletes/inspirational people and break down what being healthy looks like and the misery, tiredness and weakness from not fueling your mind and body right. Show her the damage to skin, teeth, bones, hair and internal organs, not to mention the premature aging and explain to her that true strength & control is self care, self love & self value.

Better to be a first class version of yourself than a second class version of someone else :tipping_hand_woman:t3:

2 Likes

talk to her about your horrible experience with eating disorders. it will help heal you while hopefully helping your sister

2 Likes

Since you struggled with this, talk to her about your experiences. Explain everyone is different, but this is what happened with you, what you did during and after and how things are for you now. Ask questions and listen. Ask if she wants help. Go from there.

3 Likes

yes your mother should be the one talking to your sister, because she is the mother, but then I read on, you also had problems with eating disorders, so with that said, I believe you would be the better one talking to your sister about this. You been there, you know what it is like, etc. Best of luck

2 Likes

Just send her a text, or a message and be like “hey, I’ve been wanting to talk to you for awhile. Ever since your cousins (or whatever u said) told you about eating disorders, I believe you might have one now too. I’m here for you, and you need to know as well that eating disorders are extremely unhealthy and could possibly kill you. If you’re struggling with a body self image, you are beautiful. If you think because you were told about eating disorders and noticed family member wasn’t eating during Thanksgiving, it’s not cool, everyone thinks they have a problem and are concerned.” Basically, to sum that up you should put your own words in, but make sure you mention those things. Tell her how you had struggled with an eating disorder and binge eating. That there’s nothing wrong with food, and show her healthy ways of eating instead of starving herself. She’s 13 and impressionable. As for the Mom, tell her she needs to be a mother and stop avoiding things that are there to help people thrive just because she’s into the bible. I believe in God, but I believe God put therapists, doctors, medicine, people who came up with medications, on this earth for a reason. Maybe mention that to her, they wouldn’t be here if they didn’t serve a purpose.

1 Like

Netflix has a movie called To the Bone. Are you able to invite her over for a movie night?

2 Likes

Talk talk talk. Let her voice her opinions thoughts and do NOT shame her for how she feels. Explain how households are different and you’re there no never judge her so she knows she can confid on you! Be her advocate even if you’re just the older sister. Listen and talk is all I say. Therapy if things do not improve and your parents may be against it but show them and tell them with proof on why it would benefit

That is your moms job. But I’m assuming she feels you can relate to her. Have your mom get blood work to see where she is lacking nutrients. Not your responsibility your parents. Talk to her if you truly want to. You can also ask your family that was over. Wishing you all the luck :four_leaf_clover:

Your mom really needs to talk to her. I’m sorry but they have convinced her she’s fat and needs to starve herself :flushed::hushed:

1 Like

My grandparents were the same way. Try talking to her about your own experience.

Ok, as a mom… I should NOT say this but as a mom, I will.
Get a therapy app. Sign her up. Both of you use it. Quietly & secretly. Get her online to nutritionist information. Not woo junk, actual healthy tips for eating & simply be healthy.
The 2 of you can start Tai Chi or yoga thru YouTube.
My family was religious but not crazy. God made Dr’s for a reason. They even had them in Jesus’ time, remind your parents.

1 Like

Stop blaming other people and start helping your sister 24 not a child woman up

1 Like

Just be there for her. Tell your experience with it. I wish you the best of luck. :heart:

Your parents need serious help. You don’t pray that shit away…

I think you have a lot to offer your sister from experience. However if after you access the situation and offer help but it’s not reciprocated or you feel she needs professional help then ask your mom for that help in that way and state your reasons why and again share your own experience :two_hearts: your sister is lucky to have you and I pray this all works out without lasting repercussions​:cherry_blossom:

2 Likes

JUST BECAUSE YOU WENT THROUGH IT DOESNT MEAN YOUR OBLIGATED TO TALK ABOUT IT OR ANYTHING. As long as you are comfortable and doesnt cross any boundaries you have. Its your moms job to take care of her own kid. Not yours. If you wanna help great. But at your terms. Not anyone else’s

1 Like

Your her sister spend some time with her have some heart to heart conversations over some pizza be an example to her and help build her confidence and her judgement concerning listening to all the social crap

3 Likes

Have her research yhe consequences of eating disorders and when can happens to your body when its malnourished.

She wants to be just like them…( The Cousins) without therapy…she may become another Karen Carpenter…who looked in the mirror and saw an over weight body, when in reality she was skin and bones…it’s a mental health disorder…just be truthful to your sister…( your going to die if you don’t eat and I don’t want to barrie my baby sister.) It’s terrible to have to watch this happen . I’m so sorry…

Let her know what you went thru and tell her she can get help.

2 Likes

I know this is still a new issue, but you can’t just “fix” people. Love her through whatever she goes through & try to be the best role model you can. It’s sad your parents have taken that stance.

They need to wake up to reality, a Bible won’t heal her :woman_facepalming::woman_facepalming:

6 Likes

It’s physiological. She didn’t have that in her head before and I’m assuming she ate just fine then these cousins come around Putting things in her head and suddenly she won’t eat . Show her she can end up in the hospital getting poked with needles and having iv bags running into her system if she don’t eat and take care of herself order yummy food don’t offer her any just start eating and if you see her looking at the food then tell her how yummy it is and then finally offer her some , exaggerate about how good it is if you think it’ll help

Jump on this NOW !!! 13 is a crucial age and soooo easily influenced. Talk to her and stay tuned into her or you could lose a sister. Not everyone is strong like you. Pay attention

3 Likes

If your parents are giving you the parenting role then you need to tell them your sister needs professional help. The prayers do not fix this as you well know. How dare parents avoid their responsibilities. Tell them if you are going to do help then your recommend (outline what you recommend) and say that is what you are going to implement.

2 Likes

Tell her your story with no expectation of her reciprocating.

2 Likes

Maybe yr sister qilleespo d to u better.

Idk what state you’re in, but in my state you can go for medical care and consent for yourself at the age of 13. You do not need parental consent to be seen or treated

1 Like

I would definitely sit down with the parents and get them to open their minds, they need to realize she needs serious help. If they dont get her help she could end up dead.

1 Like

This is straight up child abuse! Your parents are failing your sister. Just call DCFS & tell them what is going on. They will get a case worker out there & then your parents will not have a choice but to get her help. It will be a court order. Please please please call them & get them involved before it’s to late for your sister. This is a very crucial time in development mentality & physically. If your parents are expecting you to take care of this please call them for help!!!

3 Likes

I think your parents are likely blinded by their beliefs. I believe in praying, but I also believe God intended for us to do for our selves too. That means getting help when it’s warranted.
With that said, your experience with this subject could really help your sister. It could educate her in a more realistic way, because you’ve actually struggled with it. I think it’s important to educate others, about our struggles, as long as it doesn’t cause you to relapse back into the very problem you’re trying to prevent. Be mindful of your mental health and triggers, and just talk to her. Sometimes that’s all we need.

7 Likes

Looks like your mom wont help. Maybe get her a dr appt with her pediatrician and explain the situation and how you cam go about it…

Get as much information you can about eating disorders. The harm it can do to a person’s body and mental health. Show her images of people that have struggled with eating disorders, ask her if that is what she wants to look like. Explain to her that it’s not about fat or skinny, 2 words I hate. It’s about healthy and unhealthy. You guys start an exercise routine, go in walks or swim laps in a pool. If your parents can’t help her please be there for here and help her the best you can. Eating disorders or horrible, and they can literally steal your whole life away from you.

1 Like

Tell her about ur experience the bad and ugly. Sorry but the other girls are trying to fit into a cliche that society tells us to

I have an eating disorder. It started around 13 and now I’m 27 and 90lbs. Mine is mainly centered around my OCD and anxiety and I’m just now getting treatment for it.

Malnourishment can cause so many issues like tooth decay, heart complications, fragile bones, infertility, etc. It’s dangerous and every day I wish I had acknowledged my disorder sooner.

She needs early intervention like therapy before it gets worse.

2 Likes

Talk to your sister… provide her with needed info about the damage an eating disorder can and will continue to cause years to come… it’s your responsibility as a sister and adult to guide her from harmful habits or reach out to others who can help intercede

1 Like

Talk to her from your perspective as you had to deal with it as a child. Let her know you are there to listen and talk. Not just “pray it away” and ignore.

2 Likes

You talk to her alone. You seem to be more open minded about things and you have been through it. She needs some that’s not going to just “pray it away” she just might open up to you more than your parents anyway.

1 Like

So sad because even if it is the likeliness she will get any support or help is slim to none.

1 Like

Talk to her about the healthy way of looking healthy. Sit down and show her pictures of people with eating disorders and people who work out and eat a healthy diet. Ask her what one she likes best. Then help her to make better choices in diet and find a work out for her to do.

3 Likes

I agree with all the advice to tell your parents straight out if you want my help, this is what I want to do, start with acknowledging the problem and making a doc appt, and we have to all be involved and on the same page…
… but first tell your sister that you will be doing this, and give her a chance to sort herself out…the threat of it all might be enough to sort her mind out

1 Like

Show her photos of anorexic sufferers and explain that after a while even though they get skinny, what they see in the mirror is very different to what their body actually is and that they have no control by that point and become dangerously skinny to the point their bones poke out. Scare her with reality. Homeschooled kids can be very impressionable as they lack a social aspect public school kids get naturally. She would be better off for it, But needs to realise the dangers of fads turning into full blown mental health disorders.
Even show her the different visual trick memes like the blue/green - pink/grey shoe where people see different colors looking at the same image.
Take her to a doctor if none of that works and let them explain to her the dangers, the fact her teeth will fall out in a few years from vomit and ultimate lack of nutirion and the fact more than half of the idiots on tiktok do not even have perfect bodies they pull their trackies up over their hips to hide any blubber and it makes them look shapely! Its all tricks and imagery, Not actually having a perfect body. There are tiktokers who focus solely on teaching people how to do the same with clothes, filters and poses.
Show her photos of the kardashians before they were famous vs now as that is cosmetic surgery, Not food intake!

2 Likes

Wow, I’m sorry you are being made to do this. There is no easy way to go about this, but honey if your what 24? And still in high school you need to get an adult you can trust to help you. Maybe the pastor at church? Sounds like your mom needs some help.

Show her the trauma it can cause from YouTube videos and loving her in her own skin videos from famous people who also struggled with a disorder

This might just be me, but sounds like she needs mental help before we start using scare tactics to make whatever mental issue is present worse.
Eating disorders develop as a response and in addition to other mental illnesses. Which is why they’re so hard to treat. Mental illnesses begin earlier in women, and go unnoticed for longer because we mask, and we desire to fit in.
This is her undeveloped brain’s way of shouting “I need help now!”
You wouldn’t hand a suicidal person a weapon, and you shouldn’t shove pictures of others with eating disorders in her face. For instance, if she’s struggling with body dysmorphia- that tactic would encourage the eating disorder because her brain would tell her she was too “fat” instead of working like a logical mentally healthy person’s and she seeing there’s an issue. Plus it just sends the wrong message. We don’t have to beat others who are down to make a point.
Mental issues should be handled with caring professionals who are trained to diagnose, and she needs intervention! In some states, you can be treated by a mental health professional without parental consent. My concerns are that she’s presenting with an eating disorder, but may in fact be struggling with something else.

Trying sitting down and talking to her maybe share your story with her find out what’s triggering her to feel the need to have control over her life eating disorders are more than just not eating…amazing what just treating her how you would of wanted to have been treated :thinking: … I mean no disrespect

Your pàrents need to gröw up and put their child first. Pràying really does nöthing. She needs therapy.

2 Likes

Your sister needs help by the sounds of things her cousins got into her head and now she may want to follow. You need to explain how un-healthy and deadly eating disorders are. Your parents can believe in what they want but when it has to do with the health, safety and well-being of their child they need to pop out of their bubble because if they don’t get her help she could end up in hospital because they are ignoring what is going on. I don’t use a bible but if I had to get my son into therapy i would, no thought about it.

Take her on a sister date. Talk to her like a human. My niece is 13. She responds well to this.

I would bring her in the kitchen and have her help you make some of her favorite meals explaining that food is the source of everything our bodies need to survive and thrive.

Well the bible isn’t a bad thing they just putting it in gods hands

She’s yur sister set her down in the kitchen n say now eat n I mean it be firm

Unfortunately, no disrespect to anyone, none of the tactics help. Show her a anorexic girl she will stare longingly, tell her she’s lost weight, she will try harder it’s working. I am sure you know this. She needs psychiatric help, it’s the only way and if things get bad they will section her and keep her safe.

Unfortunately until she is ready no one can help her. It’s just like an addict. I had an eating disorder as a teen and unfortunately ended up hospitalized when I got pregnant at 17 and wasn’t “allowed” to eat alone because I would eat and throw it up. It’s not that I didn’t want to eat or I didn’t know the consequences I couldn’t. I’m 29 years old and food still disgust me. I obviously have moved past and I eat. But it will always be disgusting to me, I struggle hardcore. And I messed myself up hugely because now I never feel hunger, I have to set alarm to eat and I can usually only get one meal in.