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Meaning, purpose, and eating disorder recovery

What purpose does an eating disorder serve?

Bridget’s daughter Sadie has an eating disorder. “It’s so hard to watch her,” says Bridget. “It seems as if her entire purpose in life has become her body. I can’t understand why this happened. I’ve never taught her or modeled that her body is this important. So why is this…

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loneliness eating disorder

Loneliness and eating disorders: a guide for parents

Jill is beside herself with worry. Her daughter Melody has an eating disorder and is struggling with loneliness. Between treatment, COVID restrictions, and starting high school, she has become very isolated. “She has always been more on the introverted side,” says Jill. “But it’s gotten to the point where I’m…

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The 3 types of stress and eating disorders

The 3 types of stress and eating disorders

Monique is very worried about her daughter Maya. After a few years of struggling to deal with stress, Maya is now deep into an eating disorder. Monique and her husband Leonard are dedicated to helping her recover, but they are worried that stress is a major ongoing problem.  “I worry…

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Reasons why a child might be emotional eating

Reasons why a child might be emotional eating

When you think your child is “emotional eating,” it typically raises red flags. Most parents worry that emotional eating will lead to weight gain and long-term health complications. Some parents worry that emotional eating is an early sign of an eating disorder. So let’s find out what emotional eating is,…

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Mental health checklist for eating disorder recovery

Mental health checklist for eating disorder recovery (free download)

If your child has an eating disorder, recovery means more than simply gaining weight and/or stopping eating disorder behaviors; it means becoming mentally healthy. Eating disorders are frequently misunderstood, and people don’t always realize that mental health, not just eating disorder recovery, is the goal.  That’s why I’ve put together…

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Emotion coaching when your child has an eating disorder

Emotion coaching when your child has an eating disorder

Emotion coaching is a 5-step method developed for parents by John Gottman, PhD that can be applied to eating disorder recovery. The emotion coaching method builds emotional intelligence and creates positive, long-lasting effects for children, from toddlers to teens and young adults. It’s evidence-based, easy to learn, and regularly used…

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Childhood eating disorders: rates, risks, and treatment

Childhood eating disorders: rates, risks, and treatment

Childhood eating disorders have become a major concern, and parents are understandably panicked when their child needs to be hospitalized and begin treatment for these life-threatening mental disorders. Anorexia is now the third most common chronic illness among adolescents. Eating and feeding disturbances affect about 19.8% of kids ages 11-17…

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Parental burnout and eating disorders

Parental burnout and eating disorders

If your child has an eating disorder, then there’s a good chance you’re dealing with parental burnout. This describes a parent who is mentally and physically depleted. This depletion can lead you to feel like you are failing at parenting, and, unfortunately, parental burnout is associated with worse behavior from…

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How to handle the Fourth of July with an eating disorder

How to handle the Fourth of July with an eating disorder

Jamie is worried. Her 13-year-old daughter Kayley has an eating disorder, and their annual family reunion for the Fourth of July is around the corner. This event is typically a highlight of their year. Filled with family and friends, four generations, and lots and lots of food.  “I just can’t…

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Sending your child to summer camp with an eating disorder

Sending your child to summer camp with an eating disorder

Summer camp is a great opportunity for your child who has/had an eating disorder to feel a sense of belonging, community, and independence. And since these things are essential to mental health, summer camp can be a great prescription for moving forward and embracing recovery. Here are six things to…

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Eating disorders in children: symptoms, evaluations & treatments

Eating disorders in children: symptoms, evaluations & treatments

Eating disorders are a serious problem, and children are not immune to their symptoms and complications. 9% of the U.S. population, or 28.8 million Americans, will have an eating disorder in their lifetime, and most begin in childhood or adolescence. The number of children with eating disorders has increased significantly…

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The risks of accommodating an eating disorder

The risks of accommodating an eating disorder

Rachel was at the end of her rope. After years of trying to help her daughter Lily claw her way out of anorexia, it simply wasn’t getting any better. Sure, there was COVID to blame. The pandemic made Lily even more socially isolated, and online treatment didn’t seem to be…

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Myths you should ignore to prevent eating disorders

Health myths you should ignore to prevent eating disorders

So many of our cultural health norms are not actually healthy, which is why I’ve put together a list of the four health myths you should ignore to prevent eating disorders. Look, it’s not our fault that we’re confused about health. We’re surrounded by powerful industries that create and reinforce health…

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SMART goals parents can set when kids return to college after an eating disorder

SMART goals parents can set in eating disorder recovery

Vicky is feeling really nervous because her 19-year-old Alex (they/them) wants to go back to college after eating disorder treatment. Alex is highly motivated to get back to school and manage their own life, but Vicky feels deeply unsure about exactly how that will work.  “I can’t get over the…

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Kids’ body image report: 4 brutal facts

3 brutal truths about kids’ body image

I’m going to level with you: I didn’t like writing this article about the brutal truths about kids’ body image. As someone on a mission to empower parents to raise kids who are free from body hate, it hurts my heart that this research indicates that our kids are definitely…

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