Julie Venn, a mom from Glenview, IL, recently had an unsettling experience while taking her 13-year-old daughter Riley to the doctor for her annual physical. In a Facebook post that was shared on Moms of Tweens and Teens, Julie laid out how a nurse practitioner grilled Riley about some weight she had gained since her last appointment — and it definitely didn't go over well.
First, the woman asked Riley a number of questions spanning from what her bedtime is to whether or not she consumes enough dairy to if she's enrolled in any sports. According to Julie, Riley mentioned that she was a competitive softball player and even admitted that seventh grade was a little challenging in the drama department. Then sh*t really hit the fan.
Julie explained that the nurse practitioner asked why Riley had gained a few pounds over the course of the year.
"'Tell me, RILEY, HOW CAN YOU EXPLAIN ALL OF THIS WEIGHT YOU'VE GAINED?' My daughter is speechless and her eyes begin to glass over," wrote Julie. "I am speechless and the NP goes on to explain to her that given what her previous weight was last year, the numbers just don't correlate with her current height. Has she been eating junk food or has her activity level changed?"
"Our girls need to be empowered and supported and celebrated. They already have to compare themselves to the ridiculous social media bullsh*t standards."
Julie jumped to her daughter's defense. "I LOST MY MIND," she said. "I had a literal, physical reaction. I put my hand up and said 'STOP! You need to stop talking to my daughter about her weight. She is 13, she is strong. She is healthy and she is PERFECT. You need to move on!'"
After backing off and finishing Riley's exam, the nurse practitioner asked to speak with Julie privately.
"I explained in no uncertain terms that she was out of line in the way she dealt with my daughter," she said. "Our girls need to be empowered and supported and celebrated. They already have to compare themselves to the ridiculous social media bullsh*t standards. I hammer home the importance of eating healthy, exercising and of course sports because we are sporty people but my god! Kids eat junk food! Kids sit around watching Netflix! Kids get heavier, lighter, taller, wider! IT'S NORMAL! Our young ladies need a break."
Although Julie doesn't deny that the US is plagued with childhood obesity issues — 1 out of 3 kids are obese, according to American Heart Association — Riley is not one of them.
The bottom line? "If my child has a problem or is OVERWEIGHT than a doctor needs to talk to ME — not my daughter," she said. To her, parents should be the first ones having this conversation with their child's doctor. After all, they do most of the meal and activity planning.
"LAST I CHECKED MA'AM I DO THE GROCERY SHOPPING and the meal preparation and the extracurricular scheduling for my children," said Julie. "She's 13! She responded that some kids have their own 'pocket money' and use it for junk. WTF. So we left the office and won't be back. The reason I am sharing this is because it is dangerous. Riley's response when we left was 'Mom, this is why kids have anorexia or feel like they want to hurt themselves.' She is exactly right!"
Julie signed off by writing a script for medical professionals to follow the next time they need to have a conversation about weight with a 13-year-old:
Let me tell you how exciting this time of your life is. I see you have started to grow into being a strong young woman and that is awesome! Know that some girls gain weight, some lose weight, some struggle with acne, some feel insecure but remember this — YOU ARE PERFECT just the way you are. As you mature, you will be responsible for more things that pertain to your body: hygiene, activity, menstruation, exercise, and healthy eating. This is just the beginning of a long, confusing, sometimes scary road to becoming a woman but it is worth it!
As you can imagine, Julie's message was well-received by other parents. Scroll through to get a peek at the reassuring comments.