Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Unwitting Destructiveness of Parents

As a child I was told 'finish everything on your plate. There are starving children in the world. How dare you be so selfish & not finish the food you have'.
When I was injured as a child I was given a treat, to make the pain all better. A lolly pop, or a biscuit.

Now I'm an adult, I'm obese, when I serve dinner I feel I have to finish everything on my plate, even if it's too much because my parent's words play in my head.

When I'm hurt, either physically or emotionally, I go in search of food to comfort me.

It's only now that I realise they set me up for a life long eating disorder when I was just a child. Taught me these bad behaviors that have stuck with me all these years. It's taken me 28 years to realise it, how long will it take to break this destructive behavior pattern?

Parents, don't do this to your children. When they say they are full, tell them 'that's ok'. Even if you have to occasionally send them to bed with less food than you think they should have, it won't kill them, it'll teach them to eat only when they are hungry and only enough to satisfy them.

When they are hurt, encourage them to talk about how they feel, to process their emotions and hug them. Do not teach them to quash their hurt with food. In the long run they'll probably come out the other end of their childhood better off for it.

I know I would have.

1 comment:

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