Parents

If your child shows signs of an eating disorder and is younger than 18, get medical and psychological help immediately. People can die from eating disorders.

If your child is older than 18, encourage them to talk to a therapist, counselor, or physician. Because they are a legal adult at age 18, the decision to accept or reject help will be theirs.

If your child shows signs of an eating disorder, avoid denial. Denial just wastes time, and the sooner treatment is begun the better for all of your loved ones.

If your child’s doctor recommends hospitalization, do it. It may save your child’s life! If family counseling is recommended, try it. Model healthy, effective coping behavior for your loved ones.

Eat together as a family at least once a day. Try to keep meal times social, happy and fun. Even if your child does not eat, have them sit with you at the table.

Never engage in power struggles over food. You will lose. You are not the food police. Let the therapist deal with food, eating, and weight issues.

Take care of yourself. Avoid turning to alcohol, drugs, or anger. Participate in a stress reduction activity, and take time out from the eating disorder.