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Old 04-16-2013, 06:14 PM   #11
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Re: How to minimize the possibility of an eating disorder in children

As others mentioned, many times eating disorders have a basis in control in them. It gives the person a sense of power to control what they eat. They feel pride that they don't eat much. I"m sure there are a ton of resources out there that can give you advice and insight.
I also think the father is a key part. A girl who feels loved by her father for who she is will have a stronger sense of self worth. It's sad that that isn't available to all girls but a father figure or male grandparent I'm sure can help too. A father should tell his daughter that she is beautiful often. And he should tell his wife that too, in front of the children. Modeling healthy eating habits without making them strict or an obsession is important. Teach your daughter (and sons) how to cook, make her a part of planning meals, shopping and preparing. Make meals a fun family time, a time to communicate and share with each other. Meals, at least supper, should be eaten together as a family with no distractions.
And always keep the communication lines open with your daughter. Be a part of her life. dont' let her shut you out. You can often get a teen to open up by taking them away from all their distractions and friends and having time just the two of you often where you're doing something that allows you to talk without having to stair at each other (like driving in a car, going for a walk, camping)

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Old 04-16-2013, 06:25 PM   #12
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I don't know but I'm scared for my girls. I still struggle with eating and body image. I stand in front of the mirror with my 3 year old beside me and talk negatively about my body. I know I say "ugh I look so fat" and "I don't want to get fat" around her a lot. Just like my mom did with me when I was little. I want to break the cycle but I don't know how when I still deal with it myself.

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Old 04-16-2013, 06:42 PM   #13
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Re: How to minimize the possibility of an eating disorder in children

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I don't know but I'm scared for my girls. I still struggle with eating and body image. I stand in front of the mirror with my 3 year old beside me and talk negatively about my body. I know I say "ugh I look so fat" and "I don't want to get fat" around her a lot. Just like my mom did with me when I was little. I want to break the cycle but I don't know how when I still deal with it myself.

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I just lie. My instinct, when I'm with my daughter is to say, oh look, there's tiny beautiful Jammy and big ugly Mama. But I slap a smile on and say, aren't we two lovely ladies? I still don't like what I see in the mirror, but I've decided it's like fighting in front of kids - you grit your teeth and hold your peace so they don't see people they love being torn down.

FWIW, and I do hope this doesn't sound frighteningly creepy, but I've seen pictures you've posted of yourself, and you're lovely looking.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:43 PM   #14
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I have a son who has disordered eating at 5. He is getting soooo much better, it is from a medical condition as an infant. Anyway, it became very important, very early for us to be aware of food issues, since they told us this would be a problem for him, at 2 weeks old. We make sure to provide healthy, whole food. I don't buy "diet" stuff, but not crap either. I cook from scratch and try to make things rounded. We have treats once in a while. Fruits and veggies are always available. I am positive about all body types (including my own, which is hard, as I was hospitalized for bulimia as a teen). We talk about how different bodies look different, and it's good to be different. I talk about loving the strength and health of our bodies, and nourishing them with good things. I do compliment their appearance occasionally, like if they make their own outfit or something. "Don't you look handsome today! Great outfit!" But I go out of my way to compliment other things: bravery, being considerate, showing compassion, intelligence, ect.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:15 AM   #15
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Re: How to minimize the possibility of an eating disorder in children

In addition to creating an environment where all bodies are appreciated and healthy habits are encouraged, I think it is very important to watch for issues with anxiety and depression. Most people I know (have been in treatment so met a lot) who struggle with eating disorders were using this behavior to self manage symptoms of mood disorders. This also tends to be true of other self harmful behaviors like self injury and drug addictions. This was true for me. My environment had okay eating habits and not really any negative focus on bodies, but I had issues with anxiety that I was attempting to manage with food. My anxiety made me feel out of control and eating less and less made me feel more powerful.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:18 AM   #16
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Re: How to minimize the possibility of an eating disorder in children

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I just lie. My instinct, when I'm with my daughter is to say, oh look, there's tiny beautiful Jammy and big ugly Mama. But I slap a smile on and say, aren't we two lovely ladies? I still don't like what I see in the mirror, but I've decided it's like fighting in front of kids - you grit your teeth and hold your peace so they don't see people they love being torn down.

FWIW, and I do hope this doesn't sound frighteningly creepy, but I've seen pictures you've posted of yourself, and you're lovely looking.
Thank you
That's good advice, really. She's 3 now and I need to get it under control before it's a memory she has when she's older like I do; my mom, sister, and I standing in front of a mirror talking negatively about ourselves. Sadly we still do it when we get around each other.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:55 AM   #17
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Re: How to minimize the possibility of an eating disorder in children

hmmmm.....good responses. I don't know the answers but I suppose try not to focus on body, not talk negatively about fat, try not to focus on food, everything in moderation.


Drives me crazy in my boys.....they have a very skewed view of what fat is. The older two are very skinny, one is all muscle, other just very skinny. But they will say I'm fat.....I'm between 116lbs last weigh in months ago, maybe more like 120lbs now, not sure and 5'6 ish. I explain to them that I'm not fat, I'm skinny(IMO) and try to explain this the best I can without throwing a larger than me person under the bus. ODS also looks at the calories on foods, but also the sugar and sodium. I think this is not obsessive but more out of how much sugar is in an item as I won't buy some cereal if it's high.....except for treat. They eat candy/cookies/ice cream....I'm just weird about cereal.


It's a hard thing as you also try to teach them that some foods are fattening/not good for you. Ditto with soda and fake stuff.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:06 PM   #18
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Re: How to minimize the possibility of an eating disorder in children

I know what NOT to do: spend years accusing a little girl of being anorexic because she is skinny, lecture her on the evils of eating disorders and threaten her with punishment if she should ever attempt it.

Yeah... I can totally understand why my mom, a few of her friends she recruited, and some of my aunts would want to protect me from eating disorders, but their approach was a trainwreck. I was 7 years old and completely oblivious to eating disorders when they started this. I only became aware of eating disorders because of their overzealous attempts to scare me. *sigh*

I was just a picky eater and skinny. That's all. :-/
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:19 PM   #19
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Re: How to minimize the possibility of an eating disorder in children

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Originally Posted by jam's mum View Post
I just lie. My instinct, when I'm with my daughter is to say, oh look, there's tiny beautiful Jammy and big ugly Mama. But I slap a smile on and say, aren't we two lovely ladies? I still don't like what I see in the mirror, but I've decided it's like fighting in front of kids - you grit your teeth and hold your peace so they don't see people they love being torn down.

FWIW, and I do hope this doesn't sound frighteningly creepy, but I've seen pictures you've posted of yourself, and you're lovely looking.
This. I absolutely know without a doubt the majority of my image issues come from watching my mother diet, starve herself, take diet pills, and cry over how awful and "fat" she was when I was young. It was ingrained very early that being skinny was important, not intentionally, she never said it to me but she never tried to hide her insecurities either. I will lie through my teeth as far as this subject is concerned, I do not want my dd's to become me in this respect.

I still don't know how long I will wait to tell my kids that I have an eating disorder, I don't feel like I will ever get completely past it. I still yo-yo back and forth, though I do have it under more control now than I ever have. I also keep my dh on board and any time I slip he is there to help me get back on track.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:36 PM   #20
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Re: How to minimize the possibility of an eating disorder in children

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It's important to give her compliments about thing that don't relate to weight and beauty. Also never put yourself down. If you ever call yourself fat or ugly in front of her, stop. Girls look to their mom as a role model for how to feel about themselves.
The bolded and never call another person fat or anything bad. I guess what I am trying to say is make an environment where a person's worth isn't their size or beauty.
You can still have Barbies, you can still talk about pretty. I am very open with my DD about how most models are underweight and way to skinny. We also talk about how no size is perfect.
Make sure you are always open to her on every subject and that will help to.
I know it has to be hard. I am over weight, was begged by Dr's for years to gain. I didn't have an eating problem, well maybe eating to much, I just had a high metabolism. PCOS kicked in and bam the weight piled on! There are days I wish I could find those Dr's and say, here I gained, you happy?
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