While seeking care from experts who can also empathize with your family’s experience of an eating disorder, no one can hold that space quite like another family who has or is going through it as well. Supporters of parents and professionals with children themselves, Cherie Monarch and Becky Henry, share some words of wisdom:
- Eating Disorders and Parenting in 2015: Families are not to blame, they can be a great ally in recovery. “Paradoxically, the most effective way for us to challenge and disrupt the eating disorder is to develop our own habits of radical acceptance, loving detachment, self-care, etc. Remember: we do not control our children, or the symptomatic behaviors that their illness generates. We can, however, control our own behavior—including our responses to the disorder’s conduct.”
- If it Were Cancer: Cherie Monarch “When I was walking this journey with my loved one, it really helped me to reframe every step of the process in terms of cancer. If it were cancer… The thing that is important to quickly understand is that food and stopping behaviors is their chemo. Without chemo they will die. Without food, they will die.”
- Don’t Look in My Lunchbox: Cherie Monarch. A letter to educators. “So, before you speak, please think carefully about your words. You see, my child respects you. They look up to you as their teacher. Imposing your beliefs and your nutritional needs on my child may compromise their health and mental state. Please teach them that all foods fill a need – always nutritional, sometimes celebratory and always nurturing.”
- What We Wish Eating Disorder Professionals Would Consider Before Recommending That My Loved One Attend College: Cherie Monarch. On risks of college and eating disorder recovery.
- What We Wish Eating Disorder Treatment Centers (and Families) Knew: Cherie Monarch. 25 parental requests to be seen as allies and not enemies in recovery. “Please remember that I am a witness and am an asset to recovery. I likely have vital information. Please use me as a resource.”
- Three Reasons to Set Firm Boundaries and Enforce Them: Becky Henry