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If your child develops an eating disorder, you might be unsure about how to solve the problem and how to act on it. Eating disorders occur when your child tends to either eat in excess, or eats too less. The behavior of your child is also subjected to change because of an eating disorder. It is likely for him to get withdrawn, rude, and touchy. This makes it difficult for you to deal with them at a time when communication is necessary. Here are some essential tips that you should follow in dealing with eating disorders in children:
- You should get advice about how to talk to your child. It will help you in realizing that your child is likely to be defensive as their eating disorder is a form of coping. Hence, it is normal for a child to be reluctant about letting go of it. If your child is undergoing treatment, the treatment team has a vital role to play. However, your constant love and support are also very important.
- It is important to talk to your child about the condition, even though he cannot accept that he is having a problem. Communication is an essential part of treatment, which you should never ignore. You should not blame or judge your child, and refer proper resources to him. You have to be prepared for a negative response from your child.
- You should educate yourself properly about your eating disorder. Abstain from talking to your child about his appearance, even in the form of a compliment. Use ways for boosting your child’s self-esteem and confidence.
- Abstain from referring to weight problems and diets followed by other people. You need to assure your child that you will be there for him, no matter what. You should talk to him about activities he should get involved in, in a positive tone and approach.
- Coping with the meal times of your child suffering from an eating disorder is very important as well. Consult your child’s treatment team to know about ways of arranging your meal times ideally.
- Take your child out for shopping and agree on having meals that are acceptable, from both your and his end.
- You should have an agreement with your whole family regarding meals, which will help to set the expectations of everybody. Agree on not talking about fat content, calorie content, or portion sizes during meals.
- You must abstain from consuming low calorie food items in front of them. Try to keep the meal time atmosphere positive and light hearted. Do not focus on others during meal times and teach your child to concentrate on his own meal. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.