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Coaching Support for Parents With an Estranged Child

Having an estranged child is hard on parents, and getting coaching and support can help you reconnect. When children become estranged, it’s easy (and understandable!) for parents to slip into helplessness and overwhelm. While it’s talked about more today than it was 10 years ago, parental estrangement is still considered taboo by many people, soContinue reading “Coaching Support for Parents With an Estranged Child”

Parent Coaching for a Child or Teen with ARFID

If your child or teen has Avoidant Restrictive Feeding Intake Disorder, called ARFID, you want to find the most effective and healthy way to help them get back on their growth curve and expand their food and eating flexibility. ARFID is hard to deal with because it can look like the child is just beingContinue reading “Parent Coaching for a Child or Teen with ARFID”

Help! My sister blames me for my daughter’s eating disorder

Hello! Today I’m going to respond to a letter from a mom whose daughter has both autism and an eating disorder. Her sister’s judgment and criticism are making family events unpleasant, so I’ll review how to set boundaries and provide education to family members. The letter Dear Ginny,  My 11-year-old daughter was diagnosed with autismContinue reading “Help! My sister blames me for my daughter’s eating disorder”

I’m so terrified that I can’t sleep – what can I do?

It’s both exciting and stressful when a child returns from residential treatment for an eating disorder. Parents can optimize success by planning a recovery routine. Here’s a letter from a parent who’s going through this right now.  The letter Dear Ginny,  My child is coming home from almost two months of residential treatment. Before that,Continue reading “I’m so terrified that I can’t sleep – what can I do?”

How to handle guilt when your child has an eating disorder

There are many reasons parents feel guilt when their child has an eating disorder. The biggest one is that our society blames parents for kids’ behavior even though kids have their own unique biology, psychology, and social experience. Parents are just one part of the complex puzzle of child behavior. And yet, when something goesContinue reading “How to handle guilt when your child has an eating disorder”

3 reasons your child gets anxious when they eat

Does your child get anxious when they eat? Here are some things your child might do when they feel anxious about eating:  Feeling anxiety is mentally terrifying and physically awful. And you know what people want to do when they feel anxious? They want to avoid doing the thing that makes them anxious. It makesContinue reading “3 reasons your child gets anxious when they eat”

Podcast episodes for parents raising anti-diet kids

Here are four podcast episodes to listen to if your goal is raising anti-diet kids who are free from diet culture, weight stigma, and eating disorders. Diet culture is a set of beliefs that promotes intentional weight loss, thin bodies, and limited and privileged ways of eating. Basically, it says that fat bodies are badContinue reading “Podcast episodes for parents raising anti-diet kids”

Secrets to success: outpatient eating disorder treatment 

An eating disorder diagnosis can throw parents into a tailspin as they try to figure out the best course of action. The alarm you feel when your child is diagnosed is appropriate and necessary, because the sooner you mobilize treatment for your child, the greater their chances of recovery. It is never a good ideaContinue reading “Secrets to success: outpatient eating disorder treatment “

A parent’s guide to residential eating disorder treatment

Choosing to send your child to residential treatment for their eating disorder is a big decision. I have yet to meet a parent who doesn’t feel nervous and unsure about how to decide how to handle this. Following are some of the most common questions and my answers to help you make the best decisionContinue reading “A parent’s guide to residential eating disorder treatment”

Parent support for eating disorders

Getting parent support when kids have eating disorders can make all the difference in treatment and recovery. Parents are not the cause of eating disorders, and yet the way they approach treatment and recovery can make all the difference in whether their child accepts and ultimately embraces recovery. What causes eating disorders? The first (veryContinue reading “Parent support for eating disorders”

Parent coaching for a college student with an eating disorder

If your college student has/had an eating disorder, you may want parent coaching to help you support them in making the transition to school. College students are at high risk of eating disorders, and unfortunately things are getting worse. About 15% of college students were at risk for an eating disorder in 2013, but todayContinue reading “Parent coaching for a college student with an eating disorder”

Parent coaching for ADHD and eating issues

If your child has ADHD, you may want parent coaching to help with eating issues, ranging from very picky eating, forgetting to eat, disordered eating and eating disorders. Eating issues are scary for parents, but they’re not uncommon. More than 1/3 of people who have eating disorders also have ADHD. This rate is much higherContinue reading “Parent coaching for ADHD and eating issues”

How to help a child who is binge eating

Watching your child when they’re binge eating is stressful, but you can help. Your confident support before, during, and after binge eating episodes will help them recover. Here are my top five tips to help your child during a binge eating episode: 1. Remember that the binge is a symptom of a problem Seeing yourContinue reading “How to help a child who is binge eating”

Daughter accuses me of being an almond mom

Today I’m going to address a letter from a mom whose daughter accuses her of being an almond mom. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this term, so I’ll start by giving you a quick overview.  An almond mom is a trend that blew up on TikTok in late 2022. It’s driven by girlsContinue reading “Daughter accuses me of being an almond mom”

Getting support for your child’s eating disorder

If your child has an eating disorder, you want to get support for yourself as a parent. This is because eating disorders don’t only affect the person with the diagnosis – they affect everyone. And often parents becomes overwhelmed, stressed, and burnt out with the caregiving required when a child has an eating disorder. TheseContinue reading “Getting support for your child’s eating disorder”

FBT Parent Coaching for a Child or Teen with Anorexia

If your child or teen has anorexia, you want to find the most effective and healthy way to help them gain weight and reduce their symptoms. Many parents find themselves stuck in a hard spot. They believe their only option is to convince (often beg!) their child to eat. If that doesn’t work, they thinkContinue reading “FBT Parent Coaching for a Child or Teen with Anorexia”

When your child with anorexia threatens suicide

Today we’re going to hear from a parent whose daughter has anorexia and has threatened suicide during meals. Obviously, this is a tough topic, but it’s not uncommon so I’m going to give you a practical, step-by-step approach that I’ve seen work well. The letter Dear Ginny,  My daughter is 12 and we’re doing FBTContinue reading “When your child with anorexia threatens suicide”

I’ve got my own eating disorder now

Today we’re going to hear from a mom whose daughter has an eating disorder, and now the mom is experiencing her own eating issues.  The letter Dear Ginny, I’ve spent the past six years trying to help our daughter recover from anorexia. We have tried every treatment, and it’s been a very expensive uphill battle.Continue reading “I’ve got my own eating disorder now”

So tired of the arguments about the eating disorder

Today we’re going to hear from a dad struggling with arguments, both about eating disorder behaviors and almost everything else. As most of us know, arguments with teenagers are frustrating and often counterproductive. So what to do instead? Let’s dive in.  The letter Dear Ginny,  My teenager has an eating disorder. It’s been a fewContinue reading “So tired of the arguments about the eating disorder”

How can I convince her I know the best treatment?

Today we’ll hear from a parent who wants to convince her daughter that she knows the best eating disorder treatment, but her daughter refuses to listen. I’ll talk through what this parent can do to increase her influence and support her child’s eating disorder recovery.  The letter Dear Ginny,  Our daughter is 23 and hasContinue reading “How can I convince her I know the best treatment?”

Mom’s worried about daughter’s eating disorder

Today we’re going to hear from a parent who is worried all the time about her daughter’s eating disorder. Her loved ones are getting annoyed, and she is wondering if her worry makes sense.  Worry always makes sense, but how we handle it can make the difference between feeling supported and loved and feeling evenContinue reading “Mom’s worried about daughter’s eating disorder”

Should parents back off eating disorder treatment?

Sometimes parents are told to “back off” eating disorder treatment so a child can choose to recover. I’ll tell you why this all-too-common advice is terrible, and what you can do instead. The letter Dear Ginny, Our 16-year-old son has an eating disorder. He has been seeing a therapist for anxiety and participating in anContinue reading “Should parents back off eating disorder treatment?”

Is anxiety in charge of your family?

Today we’re going to hear from a parent whose child has an eating disorder, but it’s anxiety that is really a problem. We’ll talk through what happens when anxiety and an eating disorder are effectively running the show in a family and what you can do to stop it from happening.  The letter Dear Ginny,Continue reading “Is anxiety in charge of your family?”

Sibling rivalry after an eating disorder

Today we’re going to hear from a dad who is worried that his son is angry with his daughter, who had an eating disorder. Sibling rivalry is normal and expected throughout life, but it’s definitely something to pay attention to during an eating disorder crisis and recovery. The letter Dear Ginny,  A year ago, IContinue reading “Sibling rivalry after an eating disorder”

There’s still so much to do

Today we’re going to hear from April, who is feeling a bit stuck with her daughter’s recovery progress. While her daughter is weight restored, April still sees a lot of signs of the eating disorder and isn’t sure what to do about it.  The letter Dear Ginny, My daughter is 15 and we’ve been dealingContinue reading “There’s still so much to do”

Clara’s story: eating disorder accommodation

Clara was 15, and her parents Tina and John were terrified that her eating disorder was not budging. “I think it started when she was about 12 years old and she started complaining about her body,” says Tina. “Then I noticed she was restricting food and skipping meals. She began exercising a lot more thanContinue reading “Clara’s story: eating disorder accommodation”

How to prepare for return from residential eating disorder treatment

A child’s return from residential eating disorder treatment is both exciting and terrifying for a lot of parents. So today we’re going to hear from a parent whose child is returning from residential treatment. Like so many parents, she is afraid of what could happen and feels very, very stressed about it. I’ll talk through whatContinue reading “How to prepare for return from residential eating disorder treatment”

What is HAES and how can it help with an eating disorder?

If you have a child who has an eating disorder then you might have heard of the HAES approach to health and recovery. So what is HAES, and why is it so important to eating disorder recovery? I’ve done my best to distill this significant and nuanced concept to its most important points. What isContinue reading “What is HAES and how can it help with an eating disorder?”

My kid has an eating disorder & I’m headed for divorce

Today we’re going to hear from Ashley, who says her marriage is headed for divorce as she struggles to help her son recover from an eating disorder. This is a really hard place to be, but many people find themselves here at some point. So I’m going to talk through some ways to consider theContinue reading “My kid has an eating disorder & I’m headed for divorce”

Burnout when your child has an eating disorder

Today we’re going to hear from a mother who is suffering from burnout after more than two years of caring for her child with an eating disorder. She’s having trouble functioning and wonders what she should do.  The letter Dear Ginny,  My child has an eating disorder that we’ve been dealing with for more thanContinue reading “Burnout when your child has an eating disorder”

Can I change my daughter’s eating disorder treatment team?

Today we’re going to hear from a parent who thinks their child’s eating disorder treatment team is not working out. Since this parent is paying for treatment, they would like to insist upon a change. I’ll talk through why this makes sense, but also why they might want to try a different approach. The letter DearContinue reading “Can I change my daughter’s eating disorder treatment team?”

Coping with an eating disorder at family holiday events

Today we’ll hear from a parent whose daughter has an eating disorder and the parent is concerned that her extended family will trigger the eating disorder during holiday gatherings.  The letter  Dear Ginny, My daughter has an eating disorder and this is our first time seeing extended family since it started. Going into the ChristmasContinue reading “Coping with an eating disorder at family holiday events”

Why can’t I talk about her weight?

Lots of parents who have kids with eating disorders ask me why they can’t talk about weight. This is because whether you’re mentioning it as praise or criticism, weight is a highly sensitive topic that parents should be really careful about. I’m going to tell you why that is and give you some ideas forContinue reading “Why can’t I talk about her weight?”

Daughter blames mom for everything

Today we’re going to hear from a mom whose daughter blames her for everything from serving dinner to getting a divorce. Feeling blamed is something most parents can relate to, so I’ll walk you through how to think about this and how to respond more effectively when you feel blamed. The letter Dear Ginny,  MyContinue reading “Daughter blames mom for everything”

Negotiating with a child who has an eating disorder

Today I’m going to respond to a dad who is exhausted by the non-stop negotiating that happens during mealtimes with his child who has an eating disorder. I’m going to share my favorite approach to this situation, which is based on FBI hostage negotiation techniques.  The letter Dear Ginny, I’m so exhausted by mealtimes. IContinue reading “Negotiating with a child who has an eating disorder”

Child with eating disorder is never happy anymore

Today we’re going to hear from a parent whose teenager has an eating disorder and never seems to be happy. While the parent is trying really hard to make the child happy, it’s just not working. The letter Dear Ginny, My teenage daughter has an eating disorder, but my main problem right now is thatContinue reading “Child with eating disorder is never happy anymore”

How can I stop yelling at my child with an eating disorder?

Today we’re going to hear from a parent who is having trouble with yelling at their child who has an eating disorder.  I’m going to talk through how this parent can start to respond differently and in the process deepen their connection and relationship with their child. The letter Dear Ginny, My child has anContinue reading “How can I stop yelling at my child with an eating disorder?”

Help your child recover from an eating disorder

Today I’m going to address the question of how parents can help a child recover from an eating disorder. I’ll talk about the most important thing that I think parents can do that nobody ever talks about. The letter Dear Ginny, My 12-year-old daughter went to a treatment facility for orthorexia six months ago. WhenContinue reading “Help your child recover from an eating disorder”

Child won’t talk about food and eating

What do you do when your child has an eating disorder and won’t talk about food and eating? It can feel impossible for parents who desperately want to help but can’t break through this barrier. Today I’ll respond to a parent whose son has an eating disorder and refuses to talk about food and eating. ThisContinue reading “Child won’t talk about food and eating”

Unmotivated in eating disorder recovery

Today we’re going to talk about a child who has returned from being in treatment for an eating disorder and is now unmotivated for recovery.  I’ll talk through what this parent can do to help her child stay on the road to recovery and discuss an important technique to help with emotional metabolism, which IContinue reading “Unmotivated in eating disorder recovery”

Food fear in eating disorder recovery

Today we’re going to hear from a parent whose child is facing food fear during eating disorder recovery. She is afraid of food and her list of safe foods is getting smaller and smaller. I’ll talk through what food fear feels like and provide some advice for the parent so that she can help herContinue reading “Food fear in eating disorder recovery”

Son has gained weight – is it binge eating disorder?

Today we’re going to hear from a dad who is worried because his son has gained weight, and he wonders if it’s binge eating disorder. I’ll talk through some of the things to consider and help him make some decisions about moving forward.  The letter Dear Ginny,  My son was chubby as a kid, butContinue reading “Son has gained weight – is it binge eating disorder?”

Getting through panic attacks with an eating disorder

Today we’re going to talk about panic attacks, and how to get someone through a panic attack when they have an eating disorder. I’ll share some thoughts about how to view panic attacks and a powerful technique for soothing your child when they have a panic attack. The letter Dear Ginny, My daughter has anContinue reading “Getting through panic attacks with an eating disorder”

Child is non-binary and has an eating disorder

A child who is gender fluid, transgender, non-binary, or otherwise gender creative may need special treatment for their eating disorder. The fact is that the intersection of eating disorders and gender identity can be a bit tricky, and it’s best to get specialized, trained care. This can be challenging, so I’ll walk through some ofContinue reading “Child is non-binary and has an eating disorder”

When you’re not allowed to run during eating disorder treatment

It’s fairly common for a treatment team to ask people not to run during eating disorder treatment. This can be complicated since many times being athletic is a major part of a person’s identity and social life. The decision to pull a child from sports should never be taken lightly. But sometimes it is necessaryContinue reading “When you’re not allowed to run during eating disorder treatment”

How to set a boundary when Grandma talks about weight and diet

Do you have a grandma who talks about weight and diet a lot? If you do, then I’m going to walk you through how you can protect your child from the dangers of weight and diet talk. This is especially important if your child has an eating disorder. But even if they don’t, intervening inContinue reading “How to set a boundary when Grandma talks about weight and diet”

My daughter is intermittent fasting in eating disorder recovery

Sometimes people who have recovered from an eating disorder can slip back into restriction with compelling diets like intermittent fasting. These diets have a sneaky way of convincing people that they are healthy and an ideal way to eat. But any form of restriction is dangerous territory during recovery. In this article, I respond toContinue reading “My daughter is intermittent fasting in eating disorder recovery”

How to get someone with anorexia to eat

How can a parent get their child who has anorexia to eat? One of the symptoms of anorexia is food refusal, which can lead to screaming matches at every meal. While parents are tasked with getting enough food into their kids’ bodies, your child may be determined to not eat anything. This sets parents upContinue reading “How to get someone with anorexia to eat”

TED Talks for eating disorder recovery

There are thousands of TED Talks on almost every topic you can imagine, but are there any that are good for eating disorder recovery? Luckily, there are! And while I don’t include some of the most obvious choices that are directly related to eating disorders, that’s largely on purpose. Talks about eating disorders can beContinue reading “TED Talks for eating disorder recovery”

Movies for eating disorder recovery

If you are in eating disorder recovery (or have a family member in recovery) and are looking for movies to watch, here are a few that I recommend. You’ll notice that I haven’t listed any movies that are actually about an eating disorder. This is because I have yet to find a movie that coversContinue reading “Movies for eating disorder recovery”

What are the causes of eating disorders?

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses, but what are the causes? Considering that millions of individuals worldwide have eating disorders, this is an important question. And despite the natural assumption, eating disorders affect people of all races, ages and gender. They’re also not limited to people who “look sick.” The majority of people who haveContinue reading “What are the causes of eating disorders?”

Poems for eating disorder recovery

Poems can be an excellent way to reflect on eating disorder recovery. They can help us tap into our feelings and thoughts about bodies, food, our identity, and our place in the world. Most of all, they can help us consider what healing and recovery means for us as individuals, since one size does notContinue reading “Poems for eating disorder recovery”

What is eating disorder recovery?

What is eating disorder recovery, and how do you know what it looks like? It’s a harder question than it may seem to be. Because the fact is that just as every eating disorder is unique, every recovery is unique, too. Defining recovery can be a tricky business, especially since one person’s recovery can lookContinue reading “What is eating disorder recovery?”

10 things I wish the world knew about eating disorders

Facts And Real Confessions About Living With an Eating Disorder I asked hundreds of people who are in recovery or recovered from their eating disorders which facts about eating disorders they want to share with the world. Their answers might surprise you! Here they are … in their own words: 1. My eating disorder isContinue reading “10 things I wish the world knew about eating disorders”

Are eating disorders genetic?

Almost every parent who has a child with an eating disorder asks: are eating disorders genetic? And the underlying secondary question is: is this my fault somehow? So let’s address the real question: are parents to blame for eating disorders? Did they pass along genetic code that caused the eating disorder? No, parents don’t causeContinue reading “Are eating disorders genetic?”

Story: My marriage nearly fell apart during my child’s eating disorder

In this story, we look at parent coaching for Amelie, whose marriage almost fell apart during her daughter Maggie’s eating disorder. Maggie started showing disordered eating behaviors when she was eight years old, and the couple almost immediately locked horns over what it meant and how they should handle it. Maggie is now 12 andContinue reading “Story: My marriage nearly fell apart during my child’s eating disorder”

How parents may accidentally contribute to eating disorder development

Sometimes parents accidentally contribute to their child’s eating disorder – it’s never on purpose, and it’s not the sole cause. But since parental behavior does have an impact on a child’s eating disorder, it’s helpful to take a look. It helps if parents understand how their behavior can impact a child’s eating disorder. This wayContinue reading “How parents may accidentally contribute to eating disorder development”

Story: my adult daughter is estranged because of her eating disorder

In this story, we look at parent coaching for Alicia, whose adult daughter Quinn is in eating disorder recovery and has become estranged. Quinn told Alicia that she has bulimia since the age of about five, but Alicia never knew. Soon after entering treatment for her eating disorder at 32, Quinn told Alicia that sheContinue reading “Story: my adult daughter is estranged because of her eating disorder”

Story: I had a mental breakdown because of my daughter’s eating disorder

In this story, we look at parent coaching for Christina, whose daughter Olivia has an eating disorder, which triggered a mental breakdown for Christina. Olivia was originally diagnosed with anorexia when she was 11 years old and underwent treatment. Christina thought the eating disorder was gone until she found out that Olivia, now 15, hasContinue reading “Story: I had a mental breakdown because of my daughter’s eating disorder”

Resolve to accept your child’s weight

Weight is a major hot-button issue in our culture, and it can be hard to accept our child’s weight. We have been told that it’s our responsibility to keep our kids healthy, and it is. But the lie is that keeping kids healthy means keeping them thin. Those two things are completely different. Raising aContinue reading “Resolve to accept your child’s weight”

Story: My daughter lied about her bulimia

In this story we meet Carol, who says her daughter lied about her bulimia. Carol knows that Jessie is purging frequently, but every time she brings it up, Jessie becomes aggressive, denies it or just ignores her mother. Carol doesn’t know what to do. She’s scared that Jessie will permanently damage her body. But sheContinue reading “Story: My daughter lied about her bulimia”

Story: My daughter is gaining weight

In this story, we look at parent coaching for Gina, whose 8-year-old daughter is gaining weight. Her daughter Becca’s pediatrician raised alarms about her weight at a recent appointment. Gina knows that she has a lot of fear about her daughter’s weight. But she also knows that her own body image and eating issues couldContinue reading “Story: My daughter is gaining weight”

Feel your feelings to help your child recover from an eating disorder

Sometimes when something goes wrong with our kids, we think that we need to clamp down our feelings and just get stuff done. And that might be necessary sometimes. But a big part of eating disorder recovery is learning to feel feelings. Your child is going to learn to process their feelings, and it willContinue reading “Feel your feelings to help your child recover from an eating disorder”

Story: My adult child has anorexia

In this story we take a look at parent coaching for an adult child who has anorexia. We meet Lee, mom to Olivia, who was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa at age 13. Lee can’t sleep, and refuses to speak with Olivia until she gets treatment for her eating disorder. But Olivia is 26 years old,Continue reading “Story: My adult child has anorexia”