Friday, October 26, 2007

Skinny Boy

Nothing really eventful yesterday. We did get our flu shots -- and as usual, the boys did great. N went to see his pediatrician and was given some prevacid to help with his stressed stomach. For a long time I thought he had a touch of the stomach flu -- but as the stomach pains persisted and became acute when we was having a fit -- I thought it could be "hyperacidity" (doctor's word not mine).

I just finished reading "Skinny Boy" by Gary A. Grahl. It was good/helpful to see the author's perspective in many ways. This segment was at the end of the book. I'm afraid that I'm guilty of a lot of these things (1, 3, 5 and 7). But they are also many of the things that I'm trying to change.

"If you're the parent of someone with an eating disorder: 1) What expectations do I have for my (son)? Are they realistic. or am I trying to vicariously live out what I want through my son? 2) Do I feel at ease expressing genuine emotion in my son's presence? 3) Am I okay with granting my (son) permission to "stretch his wings," or do I feel the need to protect him like a mother bird? 4) When was the last time I hugged my son and told him I'm proud of him (not for what he's accomplished but for who he is)? 5) Have you provided your (son) with support and encouragement while at the same time allowing him to experience the consequences of his own decisions (unless safety is in imminent danger)? 6) How have I embraced his unique personality without trying to break him like a wild horse? 7) How much do I take responsibility for my (son), constantly attempting to control how he thinks, feels, and acts, instead being responsible to him?"

Note (added in 2011) - Reading this book was the first exposure that I had to the old, very-inaccurate idea that parents' control issues cause anorexia.  I have since come to understand that anorexia is a brain disorder and is not about control issues at all.  Finding the balance for giving a growing child independence is an issue for every family regardless of whether that child has an eating disorder.

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