Teenagers girls have a notoriously tumultuous relationship with their bodies. They are changing and continue to change throughout their teen years. Add on hormones, peer pressure, and media pressure, and it’s no wonder that almost 3% of all adolescents are diagnosed with an eating disorder, and possibly many more remain undiagnosed.
Eating disorders are, of course, not just something that girls will experience, but they are the majority of sufferers, with 80% of teens suffering from bulimia and 75% of teens suffering from anorexia being female.
Though you cannot stop an eating disorder per se, you can absolutely work to improve her relationship with her body and keep track of the signs and symptoms so that if your daughter does develop an eating disorder, you can get her help ASAP.
Know the Signs of an Eating Disorder
Your daughter might never suffer from an eating disorder, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared. Knowing the signs, like:
- Binge eating
- Mood changes
- Always afraid of weight gain
- Excessive Exercise
- Bathroom use immediately following meals
- Swollen cheeks
- Raspy Voice
It can help you recognize if your daughter is suffering from bulimia. Ideally, before it becomes so ingrained in her that it takes years for her to recover. The earlier the treatment, the more successful the recovery, so if you do spot these signs getting her help from a center like Eden Treatment can be a lifesaver.
Don’t Compliment Her Body
There are so many ways to praise your daughter. Compliment her accomplishments, her smart thinking, how funny she is, how strong she is, and so on. Saying she looks pretty is fine, but if that is the only compliment, then that is the only thing she is going to think she is worth. The same applies if you or anyone else in her life is overly fixated on her weight.
By changing the narrative and finding new things to praise her about, she will have new things about herself to be proud of.
Work to Find her Active Passion
Everyone has one thing that they love to do that is related to exercise and finding that sport or activity can help you stay active and healthy throughout her life. Take advantage of open days, sample sessions, and community courses to give her a chance to try out sports she is interested in on a budget.
Be a Strong Support System
Above all else, your daughter needs to know that she can turn to you through thick and thin. She should be able to come to you after an argument because she needs help and not feel scared to do so.
This sort of trust and support takes time to develop, but build the foundations now, and she will always have that support with her through every stage of her life, and you will enjoy a strong bond that is nigh impossible to break.
Our relationship with our body is a complicated one. Still, by having other things to be proud of, a healthy lifestyle, and a strong support system, we can overcome feelings of doubt. Your daughter won’t have the ability to build these systems herself, so do the hard work for her so that she can grow up healthy and happy.