“My mom is 3 sizes smaller than me. If she thinks she’s fat, what does she think about me?”
A teenage girl said these words in one of my groups recently. Our struggle with self-image is one of the great tragedies of this decade—actually, of the past several. But it’s only getting worse. Social media is a breeding ground for low self-esteem. Kids are online and “on” continually. Their faces are posted on apps and website and transmitted via facetime, skype, and swipe. As David talks about in our Intentional Parenting seminar, the “imaginary audience” coined to describe what adolescents feel is no longer imaginary. It’s a reality. And it’s all blending together to the detriment of their—and our self-esteems. Continue Reading... Read More
Taylor Townsend is the youngest U.S. Woman to advance to the third round at the French Open since 2003. It’s an impressive feat for an 18 year-old. And, especially so, given that the U.S. Tennis Association tried to keep her out of the U.S. Open just two years ago until she lost weight.
What we—what our culture does to girls (and to boys) is tragic. I am astounded to hear girls in my counseling office talk about coaches and teachers who make comments about their weight and weight restrictions still in place for a variety of sports. We are living in a weight-obsessed society. And we are living in a society where up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders).
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We’re glad you joined us as we talk through eating disorders among kids today. This is an issue we feel passionate about. It is one of the most addictive struggles a child (or adult) can ever face and there is much you can do as a parent to help:
- What you model in your home in regard to food and body image is of the utmost importance. We tell parents often that your issues are often going to show up in the life of your child. If you struggle with your own body image or some type of eating disorder, get help—for your sake and theirs.
- Don’t make food an issue around your home. It is unhealthy to use food as a reward. But it is also unhealthy to focus on the fact that you are eating healthy all of the time. Eating disorders manifest themselves in a preoccupation with food and eating. Don’t further this by being preoccupied by food as a family. It is important to teach your child healthy eating, but not obsessive healthy eating... READ MORE