I said something stupid and I don't know how to fix it - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sitting with a group of moms drinking coffee, one of the moms brought up competitive dance teams and how offensive she finds the outfits, the way the girls carry themselves etc. She really went for a bit. Then she brought up that the fact that one of her DD's friends (whose mom is part of this same group but wasn't present) is on a competitive dance team and now her DD wants to be on it to. She asked what we would do.

 

I said that there's no way I would have my DDs on something like that. At all.

 

Then one of the other moms said that all the dance places were really intense, and that all kid activities were intense.

 

I said that it wasn't the intensity I had a problem with, my kids have done some very intense activities. But, I wouldn't have my DDs that immersed in an activity that teaches that their values lies in being decorative. I said I have a problem with anything that sexualizes children.  I kinda went on a bit.

 

Now I regret what I said because I have no desire to be rude about the activity that another, even one loosely connected with me, has chosen for her child. How do I really know whether or not that specific dance team is even something I would approve/disapprove of for my own child? I was only going off what another parent was saying about dance teams in general.  May be it's a nice team and positive thing. How do I know?

 

Second, I see a massive difference between telling a parent who ASK me my opinion what I think, and indicating to others who haven't asked that their choices are *wrong*. May be the team is like Toddler and Tiaras, but even then, unless someone ask my opinion, it isn't polite or helpful for me to go around shouting it.

 

I regret that I said something that may get back to a parent and sound like I am judging her parenting choice. Yet I fear that trying to fix what I said which actually make it a bigger problem. 

 

I wish I had either just kept my mouth shut or re-directed the conversation. With hindsight, the whole topic was really gossipy because the mom who asked our opinions was without a doubt dissing the other moms' choices.  I wish that I had said that I wouldn't let my child do something against *my* values, but said it in a way that was respectful for other people having different values.

 

(All of the people in this story have children who attend the same, small school. The exact group that was present for coffee most likely won't meet up any time soon)

 

I want to re-do this conversation!


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#2 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 06:16 PM
 
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I would let it go so it doesn't become an issue.  I think if you try to re-start the conversation you risk making it a bigger deal than it is, you may also fumble your explanation and make things much much worse (I have done this because when I bring it up again I am nervous about doing it right).  A lot of people slip up and say things they don't mean to say. 

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#3 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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Lady, you gotta let this go. You opened your mouth and you said something you regret. You can't take it back, you can only laugh and let it go. It's okay. Everyone does it. If you go back and re-open the conversation, you're just going to make it worse. Don't worry, that could have happened to so many people here!


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#4 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's been 3 days, and I keep rehashing this STUPID conversation. banghead.gif

 

 

 

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#5 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 09:31 PM
 
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Oh I opened my big mouth the other day and it got back to the person.  It wasnt about the person just about the type of person and she took it that I meant her.  I kind of knew that it might appear that way but I'm a who cares type of gal.  Now my boss says I have to apologize... but he's the  numbnuts that told her what I said.  Look if she gets offended just buy her some vagisil and tell her to use liberally.  It's annoying that you can't have an opinion without treading lightly at all times.  I generally have this problem often due to my lack of filter.  Which by the way I've recently tweaked and have done much better at keeping my opinions to myself.  However I've been told it makes for a boring work day. 

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#6 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 06:36 AM
 
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eh, i totally agree with what you said, (and probably your elaboration on the theme), so they should not have asked what you thought if they were going to be offended by the response.  let it go! 


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#7 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 06:36 AM
 
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I'm totally like this, too. I regret things I say and can't let it go. I also really fear being misunderstood. It doesn't ever stop me from saying everything I think! It just makes me miserable. 

 

 

I think you should email the person who asked for the advice and say that you really regret going off on the dance teams without knowing enough about them, and tell her you hope your vehemence didn't bias her choice one way or the other. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

It's been 3 days, and I keep rehashing this STUPID conversation. banghead.gif

 

 

 

 



 


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#8 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 06:38 AM
 
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It's up to you how you handle the situation. If you are concerned that you miscommunicated yourself and how your comments might sound out of context if someone mentions them to the dance mom, maybe talking to her about the incident preemptively will make you feel better. You get a chance to correct yourself but you have to really have guts to do this. (I don't know if I'd have the guts honestly!)

 

Otherwise, I suspect the lesson here is: go gentle on other people's decisions in a public forum. I put my foot in my mouth in a few conversations when I was in college. I was living in a much more ethnically diverse area than I grew up in and there's a few comments I wish I could take back. But since I can't do that, I've chalked it up to learning experience and feel I was lucky to have a chance to boarden my horizons.


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#9 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 06:49 AM
 
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Let it go.

We all do things like that occasionally. I try hard not to gossip but every once in a while I get a bit caught up in a friend's ramblings and say something I regret a bit. But it's just human nature to 'judge' & gossip and I'm sure that as long as you're doing your best, a reasonable person will see that it was just one random out-of-character thing, you know? IF the other mom even hears about it, which I think isn't all that likely.

If she does hear about it, she can bring it up to you & you can ask her to tell you more about the dance group and show that you really are open-minded and just got caught up in a moment. But I wouldn't bring it up yourself, everyone else has probably already forgotten about it & moved on.

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#10 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 07:11 AM
 
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I think it is unlikely to get back to the dance mom - and if it does, the dance mom will either blow it off or ask you about it. 

 

If someone came to me saying a friend did not like the dance program my kids were in because she thought it was inappropriate, I would respond accordingly:

 

1.  Blow it off if I had no worries about the program

2.  Call the person who said something if I wanted to explore their concerns more or if I was offended (unlikely!)

3.  Be annoyed with the person who told me so-and-so said the program was inappropriate.  Why are they trying to cause drama by spreading gossip?

 

In almost all circumstances, I would blow the conversation off - I am not going to be annoyed with someone based on second hand info.

 

 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

It's been 3 days, and I keep rehashing this STUPID conversation. banghead.gif

 

 

 

 



How about a visualization?

 

When I keep rehashing something beyond the point of usefulness, I will imagine the thought in a bubble and I will blow it away.  Some people imagine the idea in a box that they can look at any time they want to, but do not have to look at all the time.  For this issue (which is small) I would literally use the blowing away bubble imagery - but do whatever works for you.

 

 

 

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#11 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 07:41 AM
 
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As someone who grew up on dance teams and twirling baton, I have to say that I agree with you 100%. My mom wanted me to do those things because she didnt, and it was a form of reliving childhood for her. Let it go --so what, you have an opinion about something that you feel passionately about. It sucks that the conversation was in the context of another mom, but really, it doesnt change your opinion. If it comes up again, I would say something like, "I said too much last time, (insert name of mom) is perfectly capable to make good decisions for her children. Im sure (her DD) will be more than able to handle it."


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#12 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 11:32 AM
 
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I have anxiety disorder and this is just the kind of thing that would get me into a tizzy. Through therapy I'm learning how to deal with these things by just accepting that it happened, it can't get undone, and asking myself- what do I know to be true? What I would know to be true in this situation is that I have an opinion, I voiced it when specifically asked, and I've learned that I'm not all that comfortable voicing my opinion so vehemently like that in certain company. I also know to be true that I'm a kind compassionate person and I'm truly not interested in hurting another Mother.

 

What is not known to be true is if it will ever go any further so there is no sense in coming up with those scenarios in my head. Look at it like a little blip and just say "Well, that happened, didn't it?" Imagine that - I'm human and made a mistake :)

 

Sorry to get all therapy on you, I realize you don't have anxiety disorder like me, but I take comfort in these little tools that I'm learning.

 

ETA: I would not contact anyone to address this, IME it doesn't help.

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#13 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allisonrose View Post

If you are concerned that you miscommunicated yourself and how your comments might sound out of context if someone mentions them to the dance mom, maybe talking to her about the incident preemptively will make you feel better. You get a chance to correct yourself but you have to really have guts to do this. (I don't know if I'd have the guts honestly!)


I thought about it, but I can't figure out a way to do that without including the context, which would bring up the fact the one of her DD's friends has a parent who feels like her chosen activity for her own DD is turning her DD into a pedophile's dream girl.  I'd like to avoid that conversation.

 

I wish real life had a block feature like Mothering. I wish that I could block all comments from the mom who started this conversation and then just not respond to them.

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#14 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 12:04 PM
 
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Hi, OP, 

 

Please take the following with a grain of salt - but it sounds to me that you're judging yourself for being judgmental. 

 

Yes, you were being judgmental for thinking that all dance activities are certains ways or others - you recognized that in one of your posts above, I believe.  But it seems that after the discussion ended, it also has been bothering you that you had those thoughts at all and for having shared them with others.

 

If I'm way off the mark - sorry, just wanted to throw another idea.  Otherwise - you didn't do anything bad, you were just being human.  Be kind, forgive yourself, and let go.

 


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#15 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 12:57 PM
 
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Linda honestly, don't feel bad. hug2.gif  I'm so prone to putting my foot in my mouth and can tell you from experience that these things do tend to blow over and disappear. I just don't think there is any way that you can address this without making yourself, and the other mamas who were there, look bad. I really doubt that this will get back to the mom in question and I bet you anything it will mainly be forgotten.

 

The opinion you voiced is actually one held by many mamas out there. Even mothers I know who are the exact opposite of me in many of the choices that they make for their families, tend to think that way about dancing troops, pageant situations, etc. So I bet that many of the mothers present shared your view at least somewhat and wouldn't say anything. I don't think anyone would think that you were intentionally thinking about the mom who wasn't there, the dancing mom, and I doubt anyone would want to hurt the other mother by trying to make that connection and then purposefully sharing it.

 

It sucks. I've been there....but be easy on yourself. It's something we all do from time to time and it feels rotten because you really AREN'T the kind of lady who would go around talking badly about people in front of mutual friends. It's okay. Every mother there has done that before. Take heart!


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#16 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 01:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post

I have anxiety disorder and this is just the kind of thing that would get me into a tizzy. Through therapy I'm learning how to deal with these things by just accepting that it happened, it can't get undone, and asking myself- what do I know to be true? What I would know to be true in this situation is that I have an opinion, I voiced it when specifically asked, and I've learned that I'm not all that comfortable voicing my opinion so vehemently like that in certain company. I also know to be true that I'm a kind compassionate person and I'm truly not interested in hurting another Mother.

 

What is not known to be true is if it will ever go any further so there is no sense in coming up with those scenarios in my head. Look at it like a little blip and just say "Well, that happened, didn't it?" Imagine that - I'm human and made a mistake :)

 

Sorry to get all therapy on you, I realize you don't have anxiety disorder like me, but I take comfort in these little tools that I'm learning.

 

ETA: I would not contact anyone to address this, IME it doesn't help.



This is great advice.  Thank you Hoopin' Mama.  I'm going to adopt that "therapy tool" in my own life.  I have issues with anxiety (social and otherwise) and this seems like a change in perspective that could really help me.  It seems like a matter of letting go of control (or rather a false sense of control).  Take what we know to be true and leave behind all that other stuff that our minds just make up and worry about...


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#17 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 02:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AverysMomma View Post

Lady, you gotta let this go. You opened your mouth and you said something you regret. You can't take it back, you can only laugh and let it go. It's okay. Everyone does it. If you go back and re-open the conversation, you're just going to make it worse. Don't worry, that could have happened to so many people here!


This.  Just let it blow over.

 

For the record, my daughter was on a competitive dance team, and it was an awesome experience for her.  She's an adult, and has never been sexualized or "Decorative".  It's a very good activity.  So, you are slightly misinformed, but with what we see on reality TV these days, I can see how you would think that.  Just try to remember not to be judgmental of an activity without really knowing about it.

 

In all fairness, I think most cheerleaders are dippy and shallow.  So, I judge without knowing the truth all the time, and nobody listens to me.  So, don't let what you said make you feel bad.  You are welcome to your opinion, and people need to respect that.

 

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#18 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the input!  I'm feeling better about it all.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post
 If it comes up again, I would say something like, "I said too much last time, (insert name of mom) is perfectly capable to make good decisions for her children. Im sure (her DD) will be more than able to handle it."


I like this a lot and will use this line if it comes up again.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post

 

I've learned that I'm not all that comfortable voicing my opinion so vehemently like that in certain company. I also know to be true that I'm a kind compassionate person and I'm truly not interested in hurting another Mother.

 

What is not known to be true is if it will ever go any further so there is no sense in coming up with those scenarios in my head. Look at it like a little blip and just say "Well, that happened, didn't it?" Imagine that - I'm human and made a mistake :)


 

This is awesome. Thank you. kiss.gif



Quote:

Originally Posted by MamaMunchkin View Post

 

 but it sounds to me that you're judging yourself for being judgmental. 


 


 

you are right!  And it really clarified something for me. I used to be really judgmental, but I done a ton of personal growth work on letting go of that. I think this bugged me so much because I do seeing being judgmental as a character flaw, and one that I'm now supposed to be past.

 

I would like to be perfect.

 

Oh well, may be next lifetime.

 

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Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
For the record, my daughter was on a competitive dance team, and it was an awesome experience for her.  She's an adult, and has never been sexualized or "Decorative".  It's a very good activity.  So, you are slightly misinformed, but with what we see on reality TV these days, I can see how you would think that.  Just try to remember not to be judgmental of an activity without really knowing about it.

 

In all fairness, I think most cheerleaders are dippy and shallow.  So, I judge without knowing the truth all the time, and nobody listens to me.  So, don't let what you said make you feel bad.  You are welcome to your opinion, and people need to respect that.

 

 

I'm glad your DD had a good experience.

 

I was going by what the mother who asked for opinions said about it, not about from any personal experience. I think that's part of why my reaction bugged me so much -- I just jumped on her bandwagon.

 

I'm making a mental note to avoid other people's bandwagons.

 

 

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#19 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 03:09 PM
 
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My anxieties around social situations also lead me to rehash way past the point when doing so is productive. I've practiced consciously saying to myself to stop thinking about it. I am very firm with myself (which sounds kind of silly writing it out) that I should not get think about what happened.

 

On a more personal growth kind of way, I think it would be useful for you to re-examine dance as an activity. Someone above used "dance troupe" in the same context as beauty pageants, but they are not the same at all. As someone who is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I've discovered dance as an adult, and really it's helped me to be comfortable with my body in much the same way that I think yoga has done for you. Learning to be in control and to use your body for your own activities is highly beneficial, and quality dance troupes require hard work and excellent physical fitness! Dancers really aren't window dressing at all. Both my son & daughter are in dance, and it's been a really helpful - and completely non-sexualized - experience for them. I would put it on par with soccer (which both of my children also play) in terms of teaching them to control their bodies and for the sheer physicality of the activity. I know there are problems in dance (over-sexualization, pressure surrounding what one eats, etc.), but those types of problems exist in pretty much all physical to some degree.


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#20 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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hug2.gif I tend to rehash conversations over and over again, especially ones where I stick my foot in my mouth. Like everyone else said, just let it go. I've been there myself someone gets on a tangent and you just jump on that train and then want to kick yourself later. This whole post though, just shows what kind of a person you are. It is bothering you, eating at you, for someone that does this thing regularly, doesn't think about it later. You care so it bothers you.

 

 

 

And on a side note, I'm sure that a couple years ago I would stuck my foot in my mouth very similarly about dance teams and yet here I am with a DD that now does competitive dance. eyesroll.gif Never thought that would be our life but it is now and while some studios are certainly very much like the show Dance Moms, because we live very rurally, our studio can still be good but has people that are more likely to go home and feed cows then to sit there and apply fake eyelashes to small children. We manage to escape many of the issues that surround competitive dance. And I'm very pleased that our team include a number of girls that don't fit the mold that most people think when they think competitive dance. 


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#21 of 22 Old 11-08-2011, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post

I've discovered dance as an adult, and really it's helped me to be comfortable with my body in much the same way that I think yoga has done for you. Learning to be in control and to use your body for your own activities is highly beneficial, and quality dance troupes require hard work and excellent physical fitness! Dancers really aren't window dressing at all. Both my son & daughter are in dance, and it's been a really helpful - and completely non-sexualized - experience for them. I would put it on par with soccer (which both of my children also play) in terms of teaching them to control their bodies and for the sheer physicality of the activity. I know there are problems in dance (over-sexualization, pressure surrounding what one eats, etc.), but those types of problems exist in pretty much all physical to some degree.


 

What's odd about my little tirade is that I don't have anything against dance at all. My 13 year old takes a ballroom dancing lesson every week, and both my kids took tap and ballet through our city's parks and rec program when they were little. I agree that dance can be a lot of fun, great exercise, and a lovely way to enjoy being in our bodies.

 

I don't agree however, that the types of problems related to body image and sexualization that *can* occur in *some* dance programs exist in all physical activities to at least some degree. Some activities, such as dance, gymnastics, cheer leading, and figure skating have high rates of eating disorders associated with them.  I think some activities (including competitive dancing) have a greater *potential* to be problematic than others. Here is a quote from eating disorder web site:

 

 

Quote: from http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/

 

Athletes:

• Risk Factors: In judged sports – sports that score participants – prevalence of eating disorders is 13% (compared with 3% in refereed sports).
• Significantly higher rates of eating disorders found in elite athletes (20%), than in a female control group (9%).
Female athletes in aesthetic sports (e.g. gynmastics, ballet, figure skating) found to be at the highest risk for eating disorders.
• A comparison of the psychological profiles of athletes and those with anorexia found these factors in common: perfectionism, high self-expectations, competitiveness, hyperactivity, repetitive exercise routines, compulsiveness, drive, tendency toward depression, body image distortion, pre-occupation with dieting and weight.

 

 

My kids big activity was swimming, and at their peek, they were practicing 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, and we were traveling as a family (with our swim team) one weekend a month. There really weren't any issues with what the kids wore, what they weighed, or what they ate. Competitive swimming requires a cap and goggles, so every body looks dorky. Team suits are selected on the basis of them staying put when driving and doing flip turns and cutting down on resistance. Food issues were limited to what would give you energy during endurance events.

 

One thing I found with such an intense activity was the that attitudes of the other families had an impact on us, and that my kids looked up to the older kids on the team.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peony View Post
And on a side note, I'm sure that a couple years ago I would stuck my foot in my mouth very similarly about dance teams and yet here I am with a DD that now does competitive dance. eyesroll.gif Never thought that would be our life but it is now and while some studios are certainly very much like the show Dance Moms, because we live very rurally, our studio can still be good but has people that are more likely to go home and feed cows then to sit there and apply fake eyelashes to small children.

 

orngbiggrin.gif  I'm sure that many, many factors play into whether a competitive dance team works out to be an overall positive thing for a girl, or a negative thing. How the team itself functions and the attitudes of the coach have got to be a huge, huge factor.  What the other families involved are like is a big factor, and the more hours a week that a child is practicing/performing, the bigger influence the other girls/mom will have.  What the mom is like, how she deals with issues, and what kinds of things she says to her DD is massive, and I wonder if it is the most important factor.
 

Being more immersed in dancing isn't something that flowed for us, and looking back (my kids are now both teens) and I honestly don't know how I would have handled it if they had wanted to go that direction. I let them make a lot of their own choices, and I tend to focus on the positive side of things rather then getting hung up on fears. I doubt that I would have forbidden one of my DDs from being on a dance team (once I had really checked it out and felt that it was OK) if that's what she wanted to do based on statistics and my own fears. It's just not how I make parenting decisions. shrug.gif


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#22 of 22 Old 11-08-2011, 07:43 AM
 
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I say just let it go.  I think you might now be in the over analyzing stage.  But, FWIW I have a 15 yo boy who plays ice hockey with an eating disorder

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