This is for all the mothers in the world who have kids with weight issues.
My child is overweight and I’m extremely concerned for her because I know from personal experience how painful it is to grow up with a weight problem. What can I do to help her lose weight and have a more normal childhood? ~ From “Concerned in Colorado”
That’s a tough one and you may not like my answer. You must know that mothers who have children with eating disorders of any kind, fat or thin, are involved in a very enmeshed relationship, which means that your efforts to control their weight and help them will probably be rebuked.
In fact, they’ll probably go in the other direction. So, as tempting as it is to really manage their situation and manage their weight, it’s likely to have absolutely the opposite effect.
I know it’s tempting to try to help by controlling, but a child with an eating disorder doesn’t want their mom meddling, trust me. I went through it with my mom and it’s not a pleasant experience, and I made my mother more miserable by going in the other direction.
The best thing you can do is to take care of yourself, be healthy yourself, and (this is extremely important) love them unconditionally.
Overeating is a way to anesthetize uncomfortable, painful feelings.
Your child is overeating because she or he is in pain. You didn’t cause the pain, but by being empathetic, you can help him or her feel more open to you.
Shower your child with love, put aside your own concerns and thoughts of yourself. Try to be present with him or her as much as possible.
Now, this may not solve the eating disorder. But knowing that he or she is using food to cover up feelings that are uncomfortable and painful will help you have compassion. The fact that you are being present and loving and caring–not managing and controlling–is going to have the biggest effect.
Just be present, caring, and loving. And don’t forget to let it go.
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