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To Sam

Being in the 91 percentile

Dear Sam, I dont know who else feels like this, but the one person I'd really like to please is my mum. She always puts on a 'mask' when our friends come over that makes her seem really nice but then she becomes very moody for the slightest reasons when around me. I try to be good and always tidy my room, get high grades, do my homework .etc. but she always finds something to get angry about like me relaxing on my iPad or having a second helping at dinner (where most arguments happen) Right now, my cousins are here (for Christmas) and she's been acting especially moody around me. Yesterday, one of my cousins kicked me and I got a big red mark on my ankle. She just forgived her instantly. If I had kicked someone she would have shouted her head off at me and sent me to my room crying! We were having breakfast this morning when I decided to have a bagel with chocolate spread. She kept saying (in front of all my family that I can't control myself while everyone else happily gobbled the rest of the Nutella. Sometime I walk in the room and she says: " I think your getting fatter" really randomly. I've told her that I like my body and she's being mean but she won't stop. What do I do?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

It's not okay for anyone to make unkind comments about your weight or what you eat. You did really well to explain to mum that you like your body the way it is. It sounds as though mum’s comments could make it really hard to hold on to the confidence you have in yourself sometimes. It can be hurtful and embarrassing when someone makes unkind comments about your weight or eating in front of other people.

It’s natural to want approval of a parent or carer and it sounds really difficult to feel like you don’t have it when you work so hard and do so well. It doesn’t feel fair when mum treats you differently to others.

When someone uses their words to make you feel bad about yourself, it’s emotional abuse, and it’s not okay. You’ve told me that you’ve been clear with mum and told her that she's being mean towards you. Standing up for yourself can take a lot of courage. You’ve asked me what to do now and it sounds as though you’re ready for things to change, having done everything that you can to change things yourself. You might find that talking to a counsellor helps. They could chat to you confidentially about what’s going on and what you’d like to happen next.

Another option is to talk to a teacher or trusted adult at school. They have a responsibility to look after you. And if they know that you’re being emotionally abused at home, they may be able to help you. I can't say what they'd do but in some cases they can get practical help or involve people or organisations who can help things to change.

You might also find our message boards helpful. This can be a great place to write about what’s happening in your life and get support from other young people in similar situations.

Take care,

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