Eating Disorder in Teens: How Parents Can Help

Teens are extremely conscious about their physical appearance, which is fine as long as they stay healthy. The problem occurs when they develop a negative impression of their body, which consequently gives rise to psychological and physical issues, the most common being eating disorder. It is a physical state in which the kid starts eating an inadequate or excessive amount of food, which naturally affects his physical and emotional health. Overcoming eating disorder is very challenging not only for the child suffering from it, but also for the parents. If you are parents of a child who has developed this disorder, then you may follow these tips to help him recover from it.

Learn Everything about Eating Disorder

You cannot help your kid without getting to know what he is going through, and the only way to know this is by learning everything you can about eating disorder among teens, its types, causes, symptoms and cure. There are three main types of eating disorders, namely Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge eating. Each of them has a totally different impact on kid’s health. You need to identify the one your kid is suffering from so that you can help him accordingly.

Do Not Attach Rewards with Food Consumption

Kids with eating disorders either eat too much or too less. In both the cases, it is never recommended to attach rewards with food consumption. Do not use bribe as a tool for controlling your kid’s food intake as it will show your desperation and he may use it against you. You must understand that overcoming eating disorder is not just about eating the right amount of food, but also about changing kid’s mindset as most of the kids suffering from this disorder show symptoms of distress, low self-esteem, and a sense of helplessness.

Remain Calm and Patient

Do not lose your patience during the whole process. It is obviously difficult, especially when you know that your kid’s health and well-being is at stake, but you cannot afford to panic. There may come a time when your kid becomes rebellious, harsh, or demanding, but still do not lose your temper. Instead, handle him with love and care. Stay as calm as you can. Keep giving him pocket money as usual, take him out for a picnic, go out on dinners, watch television together, etc. Try to keep his life and routine as close to normal as possible so that he does not feel like a patient suffering from a serious disease.

Be There for Them

Kids get frightened very fast, especially when they know they are not well. You must ensure that they do not feel lonely and depressed. Keep telling them how much you love them. A warm hug or a kiss on the forehead is all it takes to give them the strength they need to battle and eventually overcome the problem. This will help you in dealing with the emotional side of the disease as it is very common for kids to develop symptoms of depression and anxiety while suffering from eating disorder.

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