When your child is scared, you want to protect them. When your child is sick, you want to make them feel better. But what if your child doesn't want you to help at all? This is one of the greatest fears that parents can have when dealing with problems concerning their children. This is especially true in the case of children that have eating disorders.
A child with an eating disorder is probably already feeling a great deal of emotional stress which probably led them to the disorder in the first place. In addition, as tough as it may seem, some of the stress and angst they are feeling may have come from the parents at least in some part. This makes trying to deal with a condition such as an eating disorder incredibly hard because the child may not want to communicate with parents about the condition whatsoever. The fact is, however, eating disorders are incredibly dangerous to both the young men and women and must be treated as quickly before serious harm comes to the one suffering. The trick is knowing exactly how to confront the child so as to make treatment possible at all. Oftentimes, it is the parent rushing in headstrong that helps to exacerbate the problem and pushes the child further away.
Once you've identified your child is probably suffering from an eating disorder, it is important for the parents to remain calm and decide on the best possible plan of action to help combat the condition. It is helpful for the parents to begin by writing down some things they want to say first before actually having the conversation. This helps them to organize their thoughts and present the conversation in the best possible light. It also helps the parents to work through some of the issues they may be dealing with about the problem as well.
The next step is to work toward opening the lines of communication between the child and the parents. This could simply be involving the child in some of the adult family discussions and even letting them know about some of the problems that parents may be facing as well. Oftentimes, when a child realizes that their parents are dealing with the emotional stresses as well and sees them as somewhat normal, they may be open in confiding with their parents that they are dealing with their own issues as well.
When finally deciding to move forward and have a conversation with the child, it is important to do so when everyone is in an even tempered mood and the conversation can occur naturally. The last thing that you want to have happen is to create an intense argument that only worsens the condition and makes the gap between parent and child that much bigger. If you can have an open and honest discussion and let the child know that you understand what they're going through and you want to help them overcome the issue, they may be open in discussing it with you at this time.
One thing is for certain. You have to do what you can as a parent to not only identify the problem that exists, but work to the best of your ability to treat it. Eating disorders are a true nightmare both for the sufferer and for those around them. In the worst scenarios, they can even lead to death so this is nothing to take lightly or refuse to deal with. Seeking the help of a medical professional who has experience at dealing with eating disorders is strongly recommended as well.