6 Strategies To Prevent Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse in Youth
By Laura Cipullo RD CDE CEDRD CDN and Mom
Start the New Year, with self care! Moms and Dads, here are 6 tips to help your tweens and teens create a healthy self-care regimen that will decrease the likelihood of developing eating disorders and substance abuse.
- Focus on overall self care, not weight.
- Ask your children: “How does your food choice make your body feel? Energized or tired? stable or shaky?”
- De-emphasize dieting.
- Health is achieving mental and physical wellness through lifestyle changes.
- Encourage expressing negative feelings via words, art, and music.
- Gift journals or crafts for your teen to use to express their feelings when upset.
- Help your child expect and accept body changes during adolescence.
- Educate them on hormones, body changes and social changes in a neutral tone. Honor each individual’s body shape and help buy clothes to suit their individual shape.
- Educate your children on feelings and coping skills during puberty.
- Encourage your children to sit with feelings even if they are uncomfortable doing so – this helps to teach resilience.
- Involve the family.
- Allow family members to lend a listening ear or give a hug when needed. Parents do not need to have all of the answers.