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Woman Wonders If She's Wrong For Secretly Feeding Her Neighbor's 13-Year-Old Daughter Who Is Always Hungry And 'Under Fed'

Photo: Shutterstock
feeding neighbor's hungry daughter

When you become a parent, it’s your responsibility to make sure you give your child the best life possible. That means supporting them and providing for their basic needs. But what if there was a child who wasn’t yours, but was in need of your help? Would you lend a hand, or stand back if their own parents decided everything was fine?

That’s what one woman on Reddit is asking after explaining a situation occurring right next door to her.

The woman explained that her 13-year-old neighbor is forced to live her parents’ “gym/health influencer” lifestyle.

This includes abiding by their nutritional advice, getting bi-weekly weigh-ins, and only being allowed to shower once per week.

Photo: Reddit

The poster’s children are around the same age as Nina, who regularly complains about being hungry. So, as any mother would do when there’s a child in need, the poster has Nina over for dinner three times a week (sometimes more frequently, sometimes less), and even offers her showers.

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Since Nina’s parents weigh her bi-weekly or monthly, they noticed a “dramatic” weight gain.

“Her parents just aren’t feeding her enough and the food they do provide is simply not enough... Well just before Christmas Nina had her weigh-in and she had, according to them, ‘dramatically gained weight’ for the 2nd time (they are literally exaggerating the weight gain and are acting like it’s a horrific thing to gain weight). They put Nina under a lot of pressure and she cracked, she told them that she would eat at my house,” the woman wrote.

Unfortunately, the neighbor's parents lost their minds over this, coming over to her house. Her husband had to diffuse the situation and tell the neighbors she “wouldn’t be feeding Nina anymore.” But, as the woman asks, “If a kid is hungry shouldn’t they be fed? Shouldn’t that kid be allowed to just rest and not constantly be doing a million sports and exercises before they can just be allowed to unwind?”

The woman also mentions that it’s not like she’s feeding Nina junk food; in fact, she’s providing her healthy meals like vegetables, salads and chicken, which it seems she’s not allowed to eat at home. Though there’s no mention of the type of foods Nina is allowed to consume at home, we can only assume it’s not nearly enough for a growing girl. No young, growing girl should be subjected to being weighed, and her food intake meticulously recorded. It’s way too much pressure for a teenager to have to deal with, especially when, according to OP, it appears that they may just have a fear of their daughter being overweight.

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Most people were in agreement that the mother was right for helping the girl — and suggested she bring in social services.

"They’re traumatizing her in prime bonding and learning years and force feeding her a slew of eating disorders," one person wrote. "You’re an angel for being so kind to this girl," they concluded.

The woman updated her post to note that she did, in fact, contact social services, which is likely the right thing to do, as the Office of the Administration for Children & Families notes that the family's treatment of their daughter could be considered child neglect.

Photo: Reddit

At this age, teenagers are extremely self-conscious about the way they feel, smell and look.

Putting an adolescent through something like this is damaging to their development, and that’s clearly something the poster understands. So, no, the OP isn’t in the wrong in any sense of the word; she’s just a mother who knows that another child needs her help.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who has written hundreds of articles about relationships, trending news and entertainment, and astrology.