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Skids subjected to 6 hours a week of intensive crossfit training - abuse or just odd ball?

Kasey21's picture

I have a topic ongoing in the Courts forum and thought to ask you all what you think. Our BM is an exercise freak (cannot spend a day without feeling the pain in her muscles after intense workouts). Anyhow now she has the skids at the same crossfit gym for 6 hours each week. SS11 told me he threw up last week because it was so intense but BM made him go back for more. SD15 seems to like it but she is fast becoming a mini BM. They have stopped eating when they are with us......will only eat plain grilled chicken (and I mean truly plain) no carbs at all. Chicken and fruit. Thats their entire diet and they get upset if asked to eat anything else. They are both under weight for their age, very tiny. And SD15 throws herself on the floor to do push ups as soon as she has eaten the chicken and fruit. This is not normal and looks like abuse to me........but I don't know if the newly appointed GAL would be interested. I don't want it to look like me being just mean but I am truly concerned about these kids. Having said that, they are not my kids and DH just grumbles and says "oh thats all BM". Frustrating. Do you guys consider this a form of abuse??

SMof2Girls's picture

I'm not sure if it's abusive or not. Teaching kids about nutrition and exercise is important .. and pretty contradictory to what we see from a lot of BMs on this site.

It sounds a little excessive, but 15yo seems old enough to be involved in this decision. If SD15 was miserable with mom's diet/plan, I suspect she'd lax a bit at your house.

How often do you have the kids?

As for SS11; not sure if I'd necessarily believe his account of things. But you and DH know the skids better than I do.

I think if limiting a kid's diet to lean chicken, fruits, and veggies is considered abusive, then so should fast food dining at every meal ...

Peaches's picture

That sounds like too much to me. Any health nut knows that the cool down period is just as important. And any parent knows that children need a balanced diet.
That being said, I trained in martial arts 7 days a week for 4 hours after school every day for close to 6 years. But I loved it. It was a second hone for me. But you never saw a kid or adult being pushed to continue after they've puked. That is too far.

sbm014's picture

I agree I don't know of it is abuse but it does sound more extreme. I mean it is good for kids to know balance and excessive but eating then doing push ups just seems odd.

I know in our house we try to eat healthy balanced meals - and I walk 2-3miles a day but would never expect SS5 to go sometimes DH will go with me if SS isn't here. Though again he is 5 and active and we try to eat balances were at BMs I dunno what he eats.

I don't think it would hurt for you to talk to your DH and express your concerns however I think if anyone brings it up in the case it should be him.

christinen's picture

When I first read that the skid threw up, I immediately thought it is too much.. But after thinking about it, I exercised much more than 6 hours a week at those ages (sports).. 6 hours a week really isn't a lot.. But Crossfit I have heard is very intense.. If they don't like it, I think they are old enough to speak up to BM about it. Do you think she is forcing them to exercise?

Kasey21's picture

Thank you I didn't know that. The skids want to please BM. She has already told sd15 that she is chubby and wont get any more icecream. The doctor recommended she see an endocrinologist as she is not growing normally and BM said no way. DH keep s his head deep in the sand.

stormabruin's picture

I don't know enough about the BM or about the mentality of the kids to say in this case, but I do worry that sometimes parents contribute to eating disorders in their children this way.

It's good for parents to be active with their children & to encourage a healthy lifestyle. However, I think some parents don't realize that the things they say & the things they focus on, a lot of times creates an unhealthy mind in their children.

Parents don't want their kids to get fat. They say things like:

-If you eat this, you'll get fat.
-If you don't do this exercise, you'll get fat.
-You have to exercise every time you eat so you don't get fat.
-You're so thin & pretty.
-You're getting a little chubby.
-You need to eat less.

While meaning well, such statements can be harmful to a child's mind. They make them fearful of food. They make them feel like only thin is attractive. They make them feel shame for having fat on their bodies.

That is not a healthy lifestyle, & often leads to eating disorders for the sake of maintain an "approved" weight/size.

Does you DH take issue with it at all? Has anyone asked if it's something they want to do or enjoy doing? Does BM make them participate? Are they underweight?

Talk to a doctor about it. Get their thoughts.

As others mentioned, they are old enough to decline. They may hesitate for fear of disappointing BM, but they do have a choice.

Kasey21's picture

My own kids did lots of sports too as did both DH and I but this feels different. They want their muscles to burn and then roll on pipes to ease the pain. I walk two miles every morning before work. Dh uses his treadmill and we consider ourzelves normal I suppose. Crossfit gives them a workout of the day so while they go to the gym twice a week they workout every day. As for their diet BM believes in the clean food movement. So restricting childrens intake is worrying. Good point in that we don't call constant fast food abuse. But I do see an eating disorder in SD15s future and that scares me. DH will talk with the GAL.thanks for all your thoughts .

Drac0's picture


I was on the swim team in my youth. I used to train 10 hours a week. Dad was convinced I was headed to the Olympics. I just didn't have it in me; not mentaly anyways. I just did it because that is what Dad told me to do. would have loved to try other things, but I wasn't really good at anything else. So I swam enough miles to take me to the moon and back. So no, I don't think it is abuse per se, but like my father, this BM isn't necessarily doing wonders to encourage SS11 and SS15. Exercise is great - but true sporting champions are not born in a vacuum.

ocs's picture

The exercise thing is ok, but are you sure the 11yr old is going to a gym? I don't know of any that would allow an 11yr old... but I'm not in the US.

Your SD however, is headed straight for body image issues.

One of my friend's skids lived with her BM and her bf, they became strict vegans and fitness fanatics, and now skid is 19. She is no longer vegan, but has very strange ideas about health and very sad body image.

My DH is super fit, and very active- I'm moderate. He encourages SD13 to be active, but its not forced.

Kasey21's picture

I think I need to clarify. I am talking about intensive workouts at a cross fit gym and daily workouts (every day) at home. There has to be "pain" or its not a workout. And then rolling on pipes to get rid of the pain. And leaving the dinner table immediately to do 150 push ups in the living room or garage. This after eating nothing but grilled chicken and fruit. These are children. What adults do is one thing but kids?? Especially children who are already underweight. I am very aware of normal exercising. And myself and DH strongly believe in exercise (school sports or even professional sports). My skids were in after school sports and weekend sports until BM turned the corner. Oh yes I forgot to mention that on their week's vacation with BM and her BF, they were all expected to spend three hours on a hot beach lifting heavy ropes and running up and down the beach.....on vacation. Perhaps this type of exercise IS normal, that is why I am asking. I still think that throwing up because of an intensive workout (at age 11) and then being persuaded to go back that same time borders on poor parenting. Most likely my use of the words forced and extreme are too much. I am simply concerned at the level of intensity for children. True that they cannot be forced however emotional blackmail is another form of "forcing" IMHO

amyburemt's picture

can the other parent go talk to the pediatrician and explain his concerns? If a kid is throwing up, it may be too intense. as for the food, kids do need SOME good fat and oils in their food and a certain level of carbs just so they  maintain good growth and good organ function while they are growing. 

Rags's picture

see it.  My SIL is much like the BM that you describe and my niece and 2 nephews will not eat when she is anywhere nearby other than to nibble a bit on rabbit food and vegan protein.  When she is not present... they eat like starving Ethiopian children.

They are all absolute carnivores when their mother is not around. Not that she eats healthily. She is a vegan but survives on Dr. Pepper and crappy candy. Her vegan demonstrations are pretty much all for show. She is an avid runner and manic exercise fanatic and runs several marathons each year.

I find the polar opposite eating behaviors of my niece and nephews to be very telling.  They are extremely protective of their mother because they know she is nutty as a fruit cake but when they don't have to put on airs in front of her... their behaviors are indicative that they clearly understand that she is nuts.