Parenting is difficult, especially at first. It takes a while until we get the hang of it, but most of us do just fine as parents once we settle into the role. Each milestone and experience along the way brings with it the need to learn new things and to acquire skills that give us the tools to help our children thrive. We have to learn new math, keep up with the technology that our kids are using, be on top of busy schedules and after school activities, and address problematic behavior. We feel like if we can survive the terrible twos, school supply shopping, and endless performances and recitals, then we are ready to face anything.
And then adolescence hits and throws us a curve ball. Parenting a teen requires different skills. Some of them we learn intuitively, some we learn from watching and speaking with fellow parents, and some we learn from books or the internet. We have to step up our parenting game to deal with the considerable challenges that are required to parent a teen, especially in these complicated times. Still, most of us manage to find our footing and to weather the inevitable storms that are brought on by teen hormones and testing boundaries.
Many of us are solid, confident parents; that is, until the eating disorder hits. And then, all of a sudden, we find ourselves on unstable ground, struggling to stay upright. We know that we need new tools and skills, but where do we get them from? The internet is both a blessing and a curse; there is so much information out there, but is it reliable, or can it potentially be harmful? Competence and capability is often replaced by confusion and insecurity, accompanied by intense fear.
We at F.E.A.S.T. know exactly how you feel. Our slogan is “We are here because we’ve been there.” And more than anyone else, we know what it is that families need in order to fight their loved one’s eating disorder: education, empowerment, and support. This is why we developed a new service called “First 30 Days”–to deliver all of this in one potent package. In just 30 days, parents can transform themselves into empowered caregivers who are educated about many different facets of both eating disorders and caregiving.
You can’t learn absolutely everything that you need to know about caring for a child with an eating disorder in 30 days, but “First 30 Days” will give parents a powerful jump start and enough information and skills to continue on their own on day 31. And if day 31 (or 131 or 231) feels too overwhelming, or if parents have questions throughout the “First 30 Days” service, they have access to our Parent Support Lines team who are there to answer questions, offer encouragement, and suggest additional resources. “First 30 Days” is broken up into easily manageable, short segments because we know that parents who are dealing with their child’s eating disorder are short on time.
“First 30 Days” is currently being piloted during the month of September. If you or someone you know can benefit from this innovative service, please feel free to sign up here.
We are soliciting donations to keep this service going so that we can continue to offer it beyond the pilot period. You can either donate by scrolling to the bottom of this page or by using our general donations page. Every little bit helps!