Should I be open with my kids that I have an eating disorder?

Should I be open with my kids that have an eating disorder?

I've always practiced being very open and transparent, but I don't want to trigger the same behaviours within them or make them overly conscious of their habits or mine.

So I think that's a great question.

And I think a really difficult balance here because if you want to be protecting your kids, so if you're engaging in damaging disordered eating behaviours, you really don't want to be kind of modelling that to them.

But at the same time, you don't want to kind of be pretending that nothing's happening. I think if you're struggling with an eating disorder, huge compassion to you.

And if you are doing things like trying to get help yourself, if you are really trying to improve your relationship with food, if your kids can see that maybe you're struggling sometimes, but you're really taking some active steps to change, that's going to be great modelling for them because of obviously, you can't just suddenly correct your relationship with food overnight because you've probably been struggling for years maybe, and it's a coping strategy.

So you've got to have compassion with yourself about that. But I think they will really look at you, and if they see that you are taking active steps to improve your relationship with food, if you are doing things to improve your body image, if you're doing things to help express your emotions more openly, they're going to pick up on all of that.

And that's just such valuable learning for them. And you're really modelling a healthy way of coping.

Harriet Frew

Eating Disorder Therapist

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