Posts Tagged “Parenting”
How to Talk to Your Adult Child About Their Eating Disorder
Perhaps you’ve noticed some differences in your adult child’s behavior. These changes are mostly related to their eating and exercise habits, but extend to their general demeanor.
Maybe they push their food around on their plate without eating much of it.
Maybe they can’t seem to stop talking about their new diet and exercise regimen.
Maybe they deliberately avoid family gatherings that involve food.
Approaching your child about these behaviors may feel daunting. You might worry about upsetting them or creating distance in your relationship. While you understand that they are now in charge of their own health decisions, you are deeply concerned about their well-being. The situation is undeniably distressing. Though you cannot force your adult child into seeking help, your support, empathy, and guidance can empower them to take that crucial next step.
Read on to learn some helpful tips on initiating a conversation about eating disorder treatment with your adult child.
Episode 88: Seeking Help for a Child’s Eating Disorder with Aronson Kagiliery
Aronson Kagiliery joins Peace Meal to share her family’s journey of finding the right eating disorder treatment for her teenage daughter with anorexia. After exploring local options, she shares, her family ultimately traveled to pursue care at Veritas Collaborative. Most helpful to Aronson’s experience at Veritas were parent programming and weekend sessions, which affirmed that her daughter’s eating disorder was not her fault. She then offers insight on prioritizing treatment above a child’s other commitments, as well as providing support outside of treatment by refusing to let the eating disorder rule.
Reflecting on her daughter’s treatment and recovery, Aronson reflects on the importance of self-care and attending to her own needs—something she wishes she had done more. She describes what gradual healing looked like for her daughter, including the signs she knew her daughter was getting better. In a particularly touching moment, Aronson recalls her daughter sharing that she has days where she doesn’t think once about her eating disorder, a reality they never imagined was possible. To close, Aronson graciously shares words of wisdom for other parents supporting a child with one of these illnesses.
The Impact of Eating Disorders on the Brain and Academic Performance
You don’t know what to do. You’ve never had to worry about your twelve-year-old son before. His school report cards consistently reflect his conscientiousness, situating him comfortably at the top of his classes. He demonstrates the same drive outside the classroom, where he’s established himself as a dependable scorer for the school’s soccer team.
But something’s been off lately, giving you a gnawing feeling in your gut. Your son seems to be regressing to the picky eating of his childhood. His palette is increasingly limited these days, and he alleges digestive problems when asked to gather with the family for dinner. He used to have a tight-knit group of friends, but recently has been declining birthday party invitations and isolating himself. His soccer coach has called you and suggested your son take a leave from the team—he fainted during this evening’s practice.
You know you need to act, but you’re facing pushback from your son. He meets your concerns with heightened defensiveness, firmly denying that anything is wrong. He’s doubling down on his already rigid study schedule, convinced that any disruptions will derail his high-achieving track. You understand that school can wait, but you’re struggling to get your son on board with taking the time for treatment. Is it possible his reaction and this resistance are related to his unusual food behaviors? You reason it would be easier for him to continue his top performance if he wasn’t battling these food issues, but you can’t be sure. You need guidance from those who have walked this path before—that’s where we come in.
How to Support Your Child Returning to School with an Eating Disorder
You’ve braved the back-to-school aisles of your local retailer, reviewed your child’s class and activities schedule, established a transportation plan, and helped select a perfect first-day-of-class outfit. Whether school is already back in session for your family or your household is buzzing with first-day jitters, navigating back to school means working with your child to set them up for a successful school year.
If your child is navigating this school year with an eating disorder, how you define “success” won’t be limited to their academic performance. Rather, success means preserving their recovery during the transition into a new school year.
This season brings to the forefront the influence of body image and eating triggers distinct to the school environment. While it’s not uncommon for eating disorder behaviors to be triggered or worsened by periods of transition, your support and preparation as a parent can make all the difference in ensuring this school year is one that centers your child’s recovery.
How to Know if PHP/IOP Treatment is Right for Your Child
As a parent, you want nothing but the best for your child. So when it comes to finding the right program to treat their eating disorder, it’s important to pick one fully equipped with the specialized knowledge and tools necessary to meet their unique needs.
Many eating disorder programs offered today began with treating adults and later added services for children and adolescents. However, at Veritas Collaborative, our program was specifically built with children and adolescents in mind. Treatment at Veritas stands out in our ability to provide age-appropriate, best-practice care tailored to the unique medical, nutritional, and psychosocial needs of children and their families.
The Power of Family-Based Treatment in Adolescent Recovery
Family-based treatment (FBT), also known as the Maudsley method or Maudsley approach, is widely regarded as the treatment of choice for children and adolescents with eating disorders. Extensive research has consistently shown the efficacy of FBT, and our experience at Veritas Collaborative supports these positive results. Specifically, we have observed that adolescent patients who engage in FBT achieve the most favorable outcomes when compared to non-FBT treatment approaches utilized for this age group.
At Veritas Collaborative, we use this evidence-based treatment method because we understand that involving a patient’s family in treatment is essential to their successful recovery.
3 Ways PHP/IOP Can Help Adults Balancing Treatment and Family Life
Eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses, and yet, research shows that a majority of diagnosed, suffering adults will not seek treatment for their symptoms or concerns. We know that early treatment is critical when navigating the challenging landscape of an eating disorder. The longer one delays care, the greater the risks are for an extended duration of illness, heightened social isolation, increased body shape concerns, deeper internalization of eating disorder-related cognitive distortions, and worsened mental and physical outcomes, including a heightened mortality risk.
The treatment of eating disorders often requires practitioners of all disciplines to engage in challenging conversations with their patients. Managing ambivalence, preferences, and resistance to recommendations for entering specialty eating disorder care are known concerns when working with adults affected by eating disorders. For adults with children, concerns about care often revolve around leaving behind family.
3 Reasons to Recommend PHP/IOP Treatment for Your Adolescent Patients This Summer
Summer can be a hectic time for families. With vacations planned, camps booked, and social gatherings scheduled, your patient’s family may hesitate to seek eating disorder treatment. Unfortunately, these illnesses leave no room for putting off care. The “right time” for treatment may, in fact, be this summer — not because the timing is perfect, but because the sooner an eating disorder is treated, the better.
Eating disorders are severe, potentially life-threatening illnesses. Adolescent patients are particularly vulnerable to their effects, as they are in a critical stage of development physically, emotionally, and mentally. Therefore, it is critical to get your young patients the help they need as quickly as possible. As a healthcare provider, you play an essential role in identifying the signs of an eating disorder and referring young patients to the right resources. Early intervention is crucial to protecting their overall health and achieving positive treatment outcomes.
How Does School Work in Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Treatment?
If your child is suffering from an eating disorder, we understand the pain you’re experiencing as a parent. You want your child to get the help they need, but you’re also worried about them falling behind in school or missing out on childhood experiences. These concerns are completely valid. Your child’s health must come first, however. Early intervention is key to a successful, long-lasting recovery from eating disorders. Fortunately, prioritizing treatment does not mean that academics have to go ignored.
At Veritas Collaborative, we serve the whole person on their path to recovery, including supporting our child and adolescent patients’ academic progress. In our higher levels of care – including inpatient and residential – we offer a range of onsite education options, allowing your child to make progress in their academics while prioritizing their treatment.
A Day in the Life of an Adolescent Patient in PHP/IOP Care
Seeking help for an eating disorder takes tremendous courage. We applaud you for taking this brave first step toward helping your child heal. By pursuing the right level of care for your child today, you’re giving them the best chance at achieving full and lasting recovery.
Your child’s upcoming admission into Veritas Collaborative’s partial hospitalization (PHP) or intensive outpatient (IOP) program will put them on the path to healing, restoring their health, and getting them back to the things that matter most to them. We understand that the most daunting parts of eating disorder treatment aren’t always related to food or body, but rather all the unknowns. You might be wondering: What does an average day look like in treatment? or What types of eating disorder therapies will my child encounter? or How are parents and communities of support involved in treatment?
We’ve crafted this blog to alleviate any anxieties surrounding the components of our intensive eating disorder treatment programs. Read on to learn about what to expect from these levels of individualized, support-driven care.
A Day in the Life of an Adolescent Patient in Inpatient and Residential Care
Eating disorder treatment is a big step – especially when your child will be leaving home to receive care. It’s normal for both you and your child to feel some anxiety about upcoming inpatient or residential eating disorder treatment. After all, you are taking a very brave leap into the unknown! Knowing what to expect during treatment can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety. Our clinical team also understands the apprehension surrounding treatment. We promise to be right beside you, offering support and guidance on your first day – and every day – of the treatment journey.
Adolescent Inpatient and Residential Care Schedule Overview
A day in the life of an adolescent patient in an inpatient or residential program is full from start to finish. With a focus on around-the-clock support and care, all patients and families are provided with the structure and skill development needed for lasting recovery back in their home environment.
Throughout the week, your child will take part in treatment interventions and hands-on culinary experiences to develop skills and equip them to maintain their recovery once they return to their everyday life. Some therapy sessions, nutrition sessions, meals, and culinary experiences will include families so skills can be discussed and practiced with caregivers and communities of support. Your child will also have structured time built into the day for schoolwork so they can keep up with their studies while they receive care.
How to Help Children Build a Healthy Relationship with Food
Diet culture is so ingrained in our society that we sometimes can’t even see it. It’s in media messages that tell us that being thin will make us attractive, popular, and successful. It’s on grocery store labels that say foods are “guilt-free” or “sinful.” It’s in conversations about the latest diet or the food someone is “being so bad” for eating.
In a culture that regards some bodies and foods as good––and others “bad”––it’s no surprise that children might start to develop unhealthy relationships with both. Unfortunately, a negative relationship with food and one’s body can play a part in the development of an eating disorder. Although a child’s environment alone cannot cause a biopsychosocial illness like an eating disorder, it is the factor we can work together to change. Parents have the opportunity to create a healthy environment around food and body image in their home, which can have an incredibly positive impact on their child’s development.
In this blog, we will delve into how parents can help their children develop a healthy relationship with food and body image.
Tips for Going Back to School in Eating Disorder Recovery
It’s back-to-school time for parents and students across the country. Big changes in routine are an adjustment for anyone, and especially for people in eating disorder recovery. In addition to shifting schedules, these individuals often face additional difficulties this time of year. This article covers the potential triggers that can come with going back to school, as well as strategies for coping with these challenges in eating disorder recovery.
Student Mental Health Crisis
In 2021, more than a third of surveyed high school students in the U.S. reported experiencing poor mental health during the pandemic, and 44% said they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year, according to a recent CDC study. In a 2020 survey of 1,000 parents around the country, 71% said the pandemic had taken a toll on their child’s mental health.
How to Support Your Child with ARFID
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is a newer eating disorder diagnosis that is not as well known as conditions like anorexia and bulimia. Once classified as Selective Eating Disorder (SED), ARFID most commonly affects children and young adolescents—and of course, the parents caring for them. Navigating how to support a child with an eating disorder can be a challenging journey, one made even more difficult when the eating disorder is not widely known or discussed.
In this blog, we will provide an overview of ARFID, its warning signs, and helpful ways to support your child affected by this type of eating disorder.
Being You: The Body Image Book for Boys: A Q&A with Charlotte Markey
Charlotte Markey, PhD, is a world-leading expert in body image research, having studied all things body image and eating behaviors for her entire adult life (25 years!). She is passionate about understanding what makes us feel good about our bodies and helping people to develop a healthy body image. Charlotte loves to share her body image wisdom with others and is an experienced book author, blogger, and professor at Rutgers University, Camden. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her son Charlie, daughter Grace, husband Dan, and their dog, Lexi.
Here Charlotte tells us about her new book, Being You: The Body Image Book for Boys, why discussions of body image and mental health need to become more normalized for boys, how parents can help their sons build a positive body image, and more.
How to Help Children Develop Positive Body Image
While the United States is making strides in eating disorder representation, education, and advocacy, there is still so much work to be done. Educating ourselves on eating disorders is essential in spotting the signs in ourselves and in others. Because of this, it is of the utmost importance that parents understand the environmental risks for eating disorders in their children, including the unrealistic body ideals that are often pushed in the media.
There are three factors that contribute to an individual getting an eating disorder: biological, psychological, and environmental. Although environmental factors are not the only factors contributing to the development of an eating disorder, it is one type we can protect against. While we cannot shield our children from the negative messages they may receive or the impossible beauty standards idealized in our culture, we can create a home environment that includes education on eating disorders, the celebration of body diversity, and praising each other for our traits and our accomplishments unrelated to appearance. Below are five ways to help protect the next generation against the environmental factors that contribute to eating disorders.
Episode 47: Body Image in Adolescents with Charlotte Markey
Charlotte Markey, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology and Health Sciences at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey. She has researched body image and eating behaviors for nearly 25 years, and is the author of The Body Image Book for Girls: Love Yourself and Grow Up Fearless.
Charlotte joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to discuss adolescent body image. Offering research and practical insight into the multifaceted topic, she notes that body image encompasses far more than whether we like our bodies. She touches on its various dimensions and implications in the everyday lives of adolescents and teens.
Episode 7: Kristine’s Recovery Story
(TW: Rape). Peace Meal’s Recovery Series aims to share stories of those in eating disorder recovery in hopes of starting conversations, breaking stigmas, and encouraging healing. Kristine Irwin is a mother, advocate, and a survivor of rape and bulimia. It has been 14 years since her rape and she has been free of bulimia for 11 years. Kristine has taken time to heal and grow, which lead her to write the book Voices of Hope and start an organization against sexual assault called Voices of Hope.