Do you keep your sneaky eating secret from your kids?
The media frequently reports on the rise of obesity and eating disorders in young people. The former can be caused by emotional eating or simply bad food choices. The latter may be more complex; rooted in low self-esteem and body confidence issues. Whatever the trigger is for disordered or unhealthy eating patterns is, parents need to be aware of changes in their children’s eating patterns.
They may understandably be reluctant to put their kids on a diet for fear of triggering obsessive dieting or eating disorders, and this is a legitimate concern. Extreme dieting can not only lead to eating disorders, but also to obesity. Of course, not all youngsters who diet go on to develop an eating disorder, but many parents are unsure how to tackle this delicate issue.
Parents may also be uncomfortable with confronting their own food choices, but whether you like it or not, you are a role model for your kids. Your kids are likely to copy your dietary choices whatever they are. This might sound obvious, but it’s easy to overlook the impact of your habits on your children. If you have weight issues or are always on a diet, your behaviour will be noticed, consciously or unconsciously. Mums or Dads who overindulge after the kids have gone to bed underestimate their offspring’s observation skills. If the fridge is full of chardonnay or the bin is full of chocolate wrappers, your secret won’t be secret for long.
Parents who report that their children have a very different lifestyle to theirs often naively (or optimistically) believe that their behaviour hasn’t or won’t be noticed or copied by their offspring. “It’s ok, my kids eat plenty of vegetables” or “the boys are really sporty...” Whilst this is, of course, good news, children will often adopt the bad habits or emotional eating or drinking patterns of their parents in their teens, twenties or later in their adult life. If you (as their role model) turn to food or alcohol for comfort or when bored, it is quite likely that this ‘coping strategy’ will be learned by your children. It is therefore beneficial to address any eating issues that you or your partner has in order to avoid your children following your example. A hypnotherapist could help you to change your habits and relationship with food which is likely to positively impact the whole family.
Hypnotherapy Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.
About Lorraine Mcreight
Lorraine McReight is an award-winning hypnotherapist with a therapy centre in Wimbledon. She is principal of London Hypnotherapy Academy & editor of the professional journal, Hypnoversity. She's also development director of the NCH (National Council for Hypnotherapy) & is a fellow of the APHP (Association for Professional Hypnosis & Psychotherapy).