12 Dec 2011

Eating Disorder A Tip to Help Your Child Manage Bulimia and Binging and Purging

Most kids with eating disorders have not yet learned to soothe their own painful emotions. This is partly what contributes to and maintains the need for an ED.
One of the common tools that will help your child manage her eating disordered behavior is to have a list of alternative behaviors and activities she can do instead of binge or purge. Here is a technique to add to this which will make it even more useful.

Have an agreement with your child that she will come to you when she is experiencing urges to binge or purge. A goal is for her to learn to evaluate the intensity of an urge.

An excellent means of exploring the intensity of an urge is to use a rating scale of 1 to 10 (1 being low and 10 being high). Use this number in conjunction with the activities the two of you have listed as alternative behaviors to binging and purging.

For example: If she rates an urge at an intensity level of 2; you could help her identify an activity that requires less distraction like reading a book. If she rates an urge at an intensity level of 9; then going for a drive to get her out of the house might be a better choice.
1) We want her to be able to distinguish between high and low levels of emotion
2) We want her to choose activities that will meet the level of her need for distraction.

This skill will also enable her to use different distraction techniques instead of utilizing the same ones every time. If she uses the same distraction over and over it will begin to lose its power to help her.

We want her to identify emotional intensity. We want her to learn the skill of meeting her own needs and soothing herself. These skills will lessen the need for eating disordered behavior to manage and alter her emotional states.

Do you want to learn more about eating disorders?
If so, download my free e-book "Eating Disorder Basics for Parents" here http://www.why-my-daughter.com/edb.html
Lynn Moore educates, coaches, and consults parents on how to help their adolescent with eating disorder behavior. She will help you figure out what kind of help you need and what you can do to help your child. This information is not a substitute for consultation with health care professionals. Each child's health issues should be evaluated by a qualified professional. Never read one article and try to implement what you read without more research and help; either from a coach or therapist.

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