It appears that many children these days are coping with stress through unhealthy eating patterns that lead to an eating disorder. To help understand some reasons children develop an eating disorder and what a parent can do to prevent their child from developing an eating disorder, I have interviewed therapist Leanna Kobrin.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I received my BA from the University of Florida and then went on to receive my Masters in Health Science, Rehabilitation Counseling also from UF. I then obtained my LMHC. I completed my internship at the Renfrew Center for Eating Disorders in Coconut Creek, Florida and remained on staff after that for 2 years. I opened my own private practice in South Florida however moved to Tallahassee Florida a few years after that. I opened a private therapy practice here in Tallahassee in September 2008, specializing in the treatment of eating disorders.”
What are some reason children develop an eating disorder?
“Children develop eating disorders for a variety of reasons. Eating disorders are characterized by an inability to cope with ‘normal’ stress and/or feelings. The individuals’ eating disorder is their go-to coping. Whereas some teenagers complain to friends, yell, cry, write, etc, one who struggles with an eating disorder uses negative coping methods to deal with their stress. Eating disorders are not about the food. Food is only the catalyst for self loathing and negativity.”
What type of impact can an eating disorder have on a child?
“If left untreated, an eating disorder can comprise an individual’s life. Choosing negative coping skills rather than a positive coping can severally impact a person’s ability to function normally in society.”
How can parent prevent their child from developing an eating disorder?
“When it comes to preventing an eating disorder, love and support are the best ways. Parents can discuss feelings and encourage self expression to assist in this prevention. Praise and reinforcement are also helpful for a child’s upbringing. Encouraging positive coping, such as writing, music, talking, etc are helpful as well.”
What type professional help is available for a child that does develop an eating disorder?
“There are numerous professionals who specialize in the treatment of eating disorders. It is recommended that if your child is struggling, you find someone who specializes in this treatment to prevent any possible further distress.”
Thank you Leanna for doing the interview on how a parent can prevent their child developing an eating disorder. For more information on Leanna Kobrin or her work you can check out her website on www.leannakobrin.com.
Eating Disorders in Young Girls
Body Image Issues in Teens
Eating Disorders in Children