How to Survive the Holidays When Your Child Has an Eating Disorder

Holidays can be hard when your child has or is recovering from an eating disorder. Some tips to make the holidays a little easier are to have simpler holidays, not compare this holiday with previous ones when everything seemed “normal”, and get help. This can be a great time of love and laughter. This is the year to have a simpler holiday. Don’t try to attend every Christmas party or outdo your neighbors. Don’t expect everyone to be in the Christmas spirit. Spend quality time together without the pressure of having to perform. For families further along in the recovery process,going to church or helping out a family in need might help put things a little more in perspective. Christmas music can almost always help add some holiday cheer. Have a lot of compassion and extend grace during this time. This holiday probably won’t look like previous ones, and that may be harder for your other children to understand, but talk with them and involve them in other fun things. Make new traditions, even. Be flexible, but also set boundaries. Also, don’t be afraid to seek help from a qualified therapist. Not only does the child suffering through the eating disorder need therapy, but so does the rest of the family. Everyone in the family is affected when a child has an eating disorder, and the other children need a safe place to express their fears, anger, and guilt, as well. Holidays can be a healing time if they are handled with care.

Key Points:

  • 1When your child is struggling with an eating disorder, the holidays can be a complicated time for the whole family. With that in mind, our PFN Steering Committee shared their best tips on how your family can have a peaceful and healthy holiday season.
  • 2Focus on taking care of yourself, your family, and your family member suffering or recovering from an eating disorder.
  • 3Make a concerted effort not to fall into striving for the perfect family holiday represented in the commercial and media world.

Singing holiday music increases endorphins and creates connections to others, which is another protective factor in keeping ED quieted

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