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Eating Disorders: a guide for parents who have a child with an eating disorder

If you have a child who has an eating disorder, your world has likely been turned upside down by the diagnosis. We have created this video to help you figure out how to move forward.

1. Get informed

Eating disorders are complex, and they are misunderstood. Eating disorders are very serious, but full recovery is entirely possible, and you can help! Find out what eating disorders are, and what they are not.

2. Build a team

Eating disorders require professional care and treatment. You wouldn’t hire a vet to treat your child if she or he had diabetes – don’t hire a non-specialist to treat your child’s eating disorder. At a minimum, your child should receive psychotherapy and nutritional counseling. She or he may also need hospitalization, inpatient and/or outpatient care. Studies have shown that family therapy and education can have a big impact on healing.

3. Make some rules

An eating disorder is not as simple as food and weight, but because the disorder is based on behaviors tied to food and weight, your whole family will need to make some adjustments in how they treat weight, food and body size. You’ll also want to learn some emotional hygiene, which includes learning how to talk about feelings in a healthy way.

There is help available. Please let us know if there is anything in particular we can do to help you through this time!

Ginny Jones is on a mission to empower parents to raise kids who are free from eating issues, body shame and eating disorders.

She’s the founder of and a Parent Coach who helps parents navigate disordered eating, eating disorder recovery, and other challenging emotional and behavioral issues.

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