Most people at some point or another have heard that eating disorders are about control. Control for what you might ask? There are several possibilities; one of which is the person feels she has no control over her environment, but she does have control over what she does or does not put in her mouth. No one can force her to eat, thus she has a perceived sense of control.

Most people at some point or another have heard that eating disorders are about control. Control for what you might ask? There are several possibilities; one of which is the person feels she has no control over her environment, but she does have control over what she does or does not put in her mouth. No one can force her to eat, thus she has a perceived sense of control.

Another possibility is the eating disordered behavior can be a way to distract, mask and numb feelings your daughter does not know how to deal with. When she numbs her emotions through not eating or other means, she may be trying to regain control of her emotional state.

Let’s consider going with the resistance if you will, and cooperate with her desire and legitimate need for control. The reality is you both want control over her eating behavior. You want her to eat; she wants the opposite and is resistant to any attempt you make to get her to eat more.

So, how can you as her parent give her a healthy sense of control?

When you feel the resistance and the power struggle beginning, try to think about what in her behavior would be considered a good quality. Here are a few ideas about what that could look like; and for now just know it is important to use the word “respect” and we can talk about that further in a future article.

  1. I respect your commitment to eat healthier and you will be able to make more choices about food when you are eating enough to take care of your body.
  2. I respect your determination to look thin and I look forward to the time when you will focus that determination on hearing your own voice instead of the Eating Disorder (ED).
  3. I respect your single-mindedness and I look forward to the day when you apply that focus to getting well.
  4. I respect your desire for privacy and you will have more privacy when I can be sure you are not purging.
  5. I respect your desire to eat with your friends and you will be able to do that more when I know you are eating enough to take care of your body.

I think you can see from these examples the positive qualities we are highlighting. Also how we have used those positive attributes to point her in the direction of using the control she truly does have.

It will take time, practice and your own determination to learn to relate to your daughter in this new way, and you will see a big difference in her responses as you move toward more respect and give her a healthy sense of control.

Read more: http://health.ezinemark.com/eating-disorders-what-you-can-expect-when-your-daughter-has-anorexia-4f3c3cfb02c.html