Ways Parents Can Prevent Eating
New Life Ministries
With magazines and television commercials presenting models with
"perfect" bodies it is easy for your children to become
anxious about how they look. As a parent, there are some things
you can do to encourage a healthy self-esteem and prevent your
child from developing an eating disorder.
1. Examine your beliefs and prejudices about weight and appearance.
Develop and communicate acceptance and respect for yourself and
other people, regardless of weight. This will reduce some of the
pressure your children feel to change their bodies.
2. Help your children to notice and draw self-esteem from their
positive qualities, not only from the way they look.
3. Help your children to define their values and to determine
what is really important about themselves.
4. Talk to your children about cultural, media, peer, and social
pressures to lose weight.
5. Discourage the idea that a particular diet or body size can
reliably lead to happiness. Discuss with your children celebrities
whose lives are dysfunctional and filled with problems even though
the celebrities may have “perfect bodies”.
6. Demonstrate balance in eating. In moderation, all foods can
be eaten and enjoyed.
7. Demonstrate balance in exercise. Exercise for fun, not weight
8. Do not model or encourage dieting. Accept and talk about the
fact that diets don’t work and the dangers of altering one’s
body through dieting.
9. If your child’s health would benefit from weight loss,
he or she can better achieve this through moderation in eating
and exercising for fun.
10. Do not avoid activities that call attention to your weight
or shape, such as swimming, sunbathing, or wearing shorts.
11. Trust your children’s hunger. Beginning in infancy,
most children know when they are hungry or full. Honor their signals:
do not force them to eat or stop them from eating.
12. Let your children know that you love them no matter what
13. Listen to and respect your children. Guide them and encourage
them to develop healthy values, but don’t insist that they
accept your views.
14. Respect women. If you put down or treat women unequally,
your daughter will feel put down too, and your sons may continue
this tradition of emotional violence against women. This cycle
can lead to eating disorder behavior in both boys and girls.
15. Do not use food as a reward or punishment. Do not label foods
as good or bad. Do not label eating habits as good or bad.
16. Do not struggle over who is in control of the child’s
body. Children sometimes eat when they are not supposed to or
refuse to eat when they should. Don’t engage in a power
struggle at these times.
17. If separated or divorced, let your child know you want to
be part of his or her life.
18. Know the warning signs of eating disorders.
Used by permission of New Life Ministries. If you'd like more
information about Parenting materials, call us at 1-800-NEW-LIFE
or visit our Web site at www.newlife.com.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.