Thursday, January 3, 2008

More on the Magic Plate

We went out of town this past week. We've also been pretty busy trying to squeeze out the last drops of our Christmas break. So, I haven't posted.

N has done okay, but not great. He's been fluctuating between feeling okay and listening to his anorexic thoughts. He's also been very cranky, which of course rubs off on us all. I've mentioned this before, but sometimes I think that is more because of puberty and his becoming a teenager than it is about the anorexia. We have the expectation that all members of our family act kindly towards each other. We've always had a happy home where we love and even like each other. I can see N wanting to assert his independence, though. He is learning that he has opinions and he wants things his way. But then he sees that he has created friction in our home and then he feels guilty. He can be as hard on everyone else as he is on himself.

School started again this morning. N was on time. We were really good about starting bedtime early last night. N was asleep by 10:00 pm last night. It's not great, but it is an hour earlier than normal. We've have pink-eye and colds amongst the rest of us. We were all tired last night and even T & I were in bed by 10:00.

I had a question asked in the comments about the Magic Plate concept. I must confess that what I know about it is from the Parent's Support Forum & the Maudsley website. But the main idea is that N doesn't choose his foods or quantities. Instead we present him with a plate with all the foods already on it -- hence the plate "appears" in front of him. This allows us to not battle over every calorie and food (which we do). We've had to reimplement this concept with N because he was trying to negotiate every food and every meal. He was really mad this week when we informed him that we were returning to this practice -- and we placed the plate in front of him. But like usual, once he realized that it wasn't optional, he relented and ate. He really hasn't thrown too many fits since then. There have only been one or two battles, which were more intense, but short lived.

We are meeting with a Pediatric Infectious Disease doctor this morning as we explore any possible strep connections. I'll post later about the visit.


Mikey said...

Gosh, that must be hard for him to deal with, especially at first; taking away all his control, choice and knowledge of calories in the food!

I can see why it would work though. It's an excellent way of dealing with food and mealtimes, and a way to break the cycle of counting and obsessing.

Has he ever outright refused to eat what's on the plate? What would happen if he did?

Wendy said...

It was hard. He was pretty angry. He has refused before -- the first time we tried it. But after sitting at the table for several hours, he realized that we were serious. He finally ate his food. He resists here and there now, but it has never been that bad again.