4 Myths About Eating Disorders in Children

4 Myths About Eating Disorders in Children

If you discover that your child has an eating disorder, you may feel scared and disoriented. The last thing you want, then, is to further muddy the waters by believing false information. Unfortunately, many myths related to eating disorders in children make treatment more difficult for the affected children and their parents alike. To help provide some truth in the midst of chaos, here are four of the most common myths about eating disorders in children and the truth behind them.

It’s All My Fault

One of the first things that many parents think when they hear that their child has an eating disorder is, “It’s all my fault.” Although, that’s almost never the case. While there are certain comments that can trigger certain feelings in someone with an eating disorder, an eating disorder is largely linked to biological and environmental causes based on how an affected individual perceives the world around them.

They’re Doing it to Be Rebellious

Since an eating disorder is a negative behavior, some parents assume that their children are simply continuing in their disorder to be rebellious. However, once a child is in the throes of an eating disorder, they give very little thought to how it affects other people. Largely, an affected child is concerned with how they view themselves, an image that is grossly twisted due to the effects of the disorder.

It’s Because They Watch “That” TV Show

It’s certainly true that the impossibly thin waistlines of celebrities do contribute, at least to a certain extent, to eating disorders in certain individuals. However, children who spend much of their time watching TV will not necessarily be affected by an eating disorder. That’s why eating disorder treatment must be individualized to each child since the cause of an eating disorder can vary widely from child to child.

They Don’t Seem to Have a Problem to Me

Eating disorders constitute a wide range of disorders, only one of which is anorexia nervosa. In many cases, a child may not look unhealthy despite the fact that they’re struggling with some type of eating disorder. Therefore, if you notice other strange behaviors in your child, especially as it relates to food, there’s a chance that they might have an eating disorder.

Finding Help and Healing

Discovering an eating disorder, though important, is only the first step in a long journey. Once a diagnosis has been made, it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible so that you and your child can find relief. In the midst of treatment, it’s a good idea to join a support group so that you can find additional emotional help and healing from other families who have walked the same road.

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Tips for Helping Children Traumatized by Dog Bites]

Tips for Helping Children Overcome the Trauma of Dog Bites

Dogs may make faithful companions and playful pets, but it is important to remember that they are also animals with instincts. It is easy to forget this fact and leave your children alone with a dog, especially in a park or public area where you assume the animals are friendly. The reality is that 4.5 million children get bit by dogs every year. Protecting your child and helping them recover from the trauma of dog bites is an essential part of their healing.

Getting Medical Attention

Minor bites can often be cared for at home with basic first aid after your child is bitten by a dog. If the dog is unfamiliar, the bite is deep, the wound won’t stop bleeding, or if there are any signs of infection, go to the doctor or hospital immediately. Dogs can carry bacteria in their mouths that can harm children, and medical attention may be necessary. Serious bites need to be seen immediately by a medical professional.

Understanding How the Child Feels

Caring for your child physically after a dog bite is only one part of helping him or her heal. Many children experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after being bitten by a dog. This can be difficult for an adult to comprehend. Experts tell parents to imagine that they were attacked by an angry, open-mouthed bear that stands as tall as they are. This is the equivalent of a full-sized dog attacking your child. You can imagine the trauma you might feel after going back into the forest after a bear attack; the same is true for your child who must return to their own home or neighborhood after being bit by a dog.

Tips for Helping Children Overcome the Trauma of Dog Bites

Studies show that a high number of children experience PTSD after a dog bite. Look for and recognize these symptoms: excessive anxietyanxiety, poor sleep, decreased performance in school, irritability, withdrawal, altered appetite, reduced creativity and/or behavior problems. These symptoms may be present all of the time but may become more pronounced when a child is around a dog.

If your child was bitten by a dog, they must see a therapist as soon as possible. Studies show that the sooner a child sees a therapist after a bite, the better they will heal. The therapist will be able to assess your child and offer treatment options. Listening to your child, reassuring them that this was not their fault and encouraging education can also help them recover from the trauma.

After a dog bite, your child will need help in recovering from the trauma physically, mentally, and emotionally. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to guide them in this healing by getting them the medical assistance they need and listening to their fears and concerns. The proper care and treatment may be expensive, so talk to a personal injury lawyer to get compensation to care for your child.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Acne and Hygiene

How to Talk to Teens About Acne and Hygiene

Teens’ acne can be devastating for a child’s self-esteem. While there are many products on the market, it is important to find the right strategies that target the underlying causes of your teen’s acne. Since this is a sensitive subject, you might be wondering about how to even bring this up without hurting your child’s feelings. These tips will get you started on opening up a dialogue with your teen about how they can get clearer skin.

Choose a Comfortable Time to Talk

Talking to a teenager can sometimes be challenging, especially when it pertains to something that makes them uncomfortable. Start by making sure that you have your teen’s full attention. Turn off the television, and try to talk to them away from their siblings just in case this is a sore subject. Then, start off by asking open-ended questions to see how your teen feels about their acne. Let them know that they have your support and understanding to find ways to end the cycle of new pimples appearing.

Have an Action Plan in Mind

Your teenager probably has no idea of what they can do to get their skin clearer. In fact, they may even be doing some things that make the problem worse such as scrubbing too hard or using the wrong products. Suggest visiting a dermatology clinic with your teen. There, they can learn about what is causing their acne. They can also get treatments that help to clear their pores and end blemishes on their skin.

Set Them Up for Success

Your teenager’s treatment plan will likely consist of in-office care along with things that they can do at home. If your teen is prescribed medication, then help them set up an alarm system that reminds them to take it on time. Teens may also need you to set their bathroom up with the hygiene supplies that they need to keep their skin clean. Stock up on anything that your teen needs and store it in a place that your child can access it as needed.

Help Them See Their Progress

Once your teen is working on a treatment plan, it helps to provide them with some encouragement. Take before and after pictures that you can use to see what works. Your teen can also keep a journal to track how they feel emotionally as their skin clears. Keeping the conversation going helps you adjust your teens’ acne treatment plan as you learn what works the best.

Watching your teen struggle with skin problems is upsetting. You might even remember when you had your own problems with acne. Remembering what it was like as a teen helps you approach this subject with sensitivity so that you can guide your child to solutions that work.

As a parent, you need to lead by example. Here are ways to take 5 mins of daily self care.

Making a Home Tactile-Friendly for Autistic and Sensory-Sensitive Children

Making a Home Tactile-Friendly for Autistic and Sensory-Sensitive Children

If you have any children with autism or other conditions that make them at risk for sensory overload, you need to make your home as beneficial to them as possible. With some mindful resetting, your home can become a source of comfort for everyone who lives there. These are some of the things we recommend doing to make your home more tactile-friendly.

Offer Different Sensations

Having different sensations to touch can help make children with autism more at-ease. Having a variety of wall tiles and textures is a natural design for many homes, as it wouldn’t be a very compelling design if everything looked and felt the same. You should notice which tactile sensations your child is most drawn-to and find ways to include as many as possible.

Adjust the Bathroom

The bathroom can be one of the least-inviting places for autistic individuals, thanks to how hard its surfaces are, as well as risks for getting hurt. You can modify your child’s bathroom so that they don’t feel so intimidated by it. For instance, you can introduce safety measures so floors are less-slippery and they have an easier time getting in and out of the bathtub. You can also use things like cushions on toilet seats and super-soft towels to help them feel soothed in the bathroom.

Avoid Risky Situation

Touching things can help to relax children with autism, but it can also mean that an accident is liable to occur when you least expect it. Depending on your child’s level of awareness, you might need to put certain items out of their reach. Curiosity about something like a glass vase could lead to a major mishap. You shouldn’t be restricting them from engaging their senses, but you should make sure they’re able to do so without any risky scenarios playing out.

Find Out What They Like

Some autistic children may love sitting on corduroy couches, while others not be able to stand such a sensation for even a moment. There’s no way to know exactly what your child will be able to handle, but the best thing to do is to listen and pay attention. They might have discomfort with certain materials but not be able to articulate it. Watch for their reactions and do whatever you possibly can to make things more bearable for them.

Children with autism and similar condition can become very overwhelmed and uncomfortable by materials common to many households. It’s important to understand what your child can and cannot tolerate. Through these efforts, they can feel much more relaxed and be better able to cope.

Sensory Overload Prepare Your Car for Sensitive Children

Sensory Overload: Prepare Your Car for Sensitive Children

Preparing your children for long journeys in the car can be difficult. When you have sensory sensitive children, it can be even more challenging. Here are some helpful tips that you can implement to ease the effect your car has on your sensitive children and ensure they have a great trip.

Integrate Safe Features from Home

A change of environment can be extremely overwhelming for a child. When taking a trip in your car, you should try to incorporate many safe features from your own home into your vehicle to make the change less apparent to your sensitive children. This could be taking pillows or blankets from their bed. If they have a favorite cup they’re used to using, then bring it. You know the items in your home that make your child feel safe. Incorporate as many as possible into your vehicle.

Get Your Mechanics Checked Out

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to traveling with sensitive children is the possibility of unexpected delays or accidents. It’s a good idea to take your car into the auto shop to get its mechanics checked over. Any noise issues should be handled. If there are any hindrances to a smooth ride, such as tire flat spots, then get them replaced with Nissan tires. You want to prep your car ahead of time to ensure that it has a smooth ride for your passengers.

Prep with A Map Ahead of Time

If you’re undergoing a family road trip, then you should prep your child for the sites ahead of time. You can do this in a number of ways, like having them craft a map of the sites. By sharing what to expect with your children, they can better mentally prepare for the journey. When the sites come along, it will no longer be an unexpected and scary incident. Rather, they have had the time to prepare their mind for the site and will be able to go along with it.

Promote Relaxing Times

Long trips are some of the hardest to take with sensory sensitive children. To help keep their nerves at bay, you should implement a mandatory relaxation period every few hours. This is a time where everyone in the car is quiet. You can play some classical music, put on a movie that your child loves, or something similar. Whatever promotes relaxation in your sensitive kid should be used during this relaxation time to allow their brain to rest.

Life is full of challenges. When you take your sensory sensitive children on a road trip, you should try to prepare them beforehand. By implementing the tips above, you’ll be sure to have a nice road trip with your children.

How to Help Special Needs Children Cope With Divorce and Separation

Helping Special Needs Children Cope With Separated Parents

Divorce can be hard on children. It can be even harder, though, on those children who have special needs. Divorce and separation are a huge interruption to the way they’ve lived their lives and they may not have the tools to cope on their own. Below are just a few ways that you might be able to help your child out.

Try to Stick to Routines

Most children with special needs thrive on routines. Even if you cannot keep your normal routine because of a change in your housing situation, striving for some degree of consistency is a must. Try to keep bedtimes, meal rituals, and daily activities going in a way that’s similar to what happened before. While nothing’s quite the same as it was, you can provide your child with some sense of normalcy.

Reduce the Emotional Stress

Reducing the emotional stress around your child is usually a good idea. For most, this means working with a good legal separation attorney and keeping all of the legal interactions between spouses solely in the legal realm. While you certainly can’t expect to totally shield your child from everything that’s going on, you can take steps to ensure that he or she isn’t exposed to unnecessary emotional stress.

Avoid Overstimulation

Don’t go too far in trying to make your child comfortable during the divorce. Suddenly introducing new things can actually have severe effects, so try to keep things as normal as possible. Don’t try to ‘fix’ your child’s emotions with grand gestures or with overly elaborate treats—this will only further confuse your child and make the situation more difficult.

Seek Out Help

Finally, it might be reasonable to seek out professional help in this situation. Finding a counselor who works with special needs children can be useful, especially if he or she also has a background in family therapy. This professional can help to give you individualized guidance that will help your child to more easily adapt to the new situation.

While you cannot make a divorce or separation easy on your child, you can take steps to minimize how uncomfortable he or she will be. You will still have to deal with changes and emotional issues, but you can blunt their impact to some degree. In time, you’ll be able to find a new normal that will let your family move on and find a measure of peace as you adapt.

How to Help Teens Struggling With Body Image Issues

How to Help Teens Struggling With Body Image Issues

As the parent of a teenager, you need to recognize the signs of unhealthy body image. If you don’t take action now, your teen’s diminished self-esteem could follow them into adulthood. Here are a few tips to help kids who are experiencing body image issues.

Monitor Their Social Media

Social media has made it easier than ever for teenagers to stay connected to the outside world. Unfortunately, these sites can contribute to body image issues. Many teenagers equate getting likes on social media with being attractive. Some will even go to the extent of editing their photos to make themselves look different. Teens who don’t receive any positive feedback often start to feel inferior. When interacting with your child, take time to discuss the importance of not allowing others to dictate their worth.

Stress the Importance of Exercise

Research shows that even a small amount of exercise can help improve body image. However, the purpose of regular exercise isn’t to transform your teen’s body. Active teens naturally tend to have a higher level of confidence. Simply working out 30 minutes a day can have a positive impact. You should also encourage your teen to become involved in sports.

Seek Professional Help

Oftentimes, parents can’t do it all on their own. If you notice your teen is dealing with an eating disorder, don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help. Inpatient eating disorder treatment will enable your teen to get their life back on track. These programs are designed to do more than just treat a serious medical condition. They also give teens the proper guidance and mental support.

Be Positive

Puberty can be a challenging event for some teenagers. It’ll take some time for them to become completely comfortable with their changing body. The last thing they need is any negative criticism about their appearance. Always strive to make your teen feel good. Nothing beats having a good support system. At least a few days a week, make it a point to eat together. Teens who participate in family meals are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.

Be a Good Role Model

Whether you’re a big brother or mother, be a good role model for the teen in your life. They could view you as a source of inspiration. You should make self-confidence a big point of emphasis.

Teenagers have it rougher than you may think. Poor body image isn’t a problem that will disappear overnight. With a little help, your teen can gradually start to overcome their struggles.

4 Good Parenting Tactics to Help Teenagers With Addiction

4 Good Parenting Tactics to Help Teenagers With Addiction

Parenting is full of challenges, and you might have never dreamed that you would be the parent of a teenager who deals with addiction. While you might feel as though you did something wrong, the truth is that many teens fall prey to addiction. Your teen’s addiction might be rooted in an underlying mental health disorder, or they might have simply given in to peer pressure. Either way, these four tactics all help you to continue to be a good parent by supporting your child through their recovery.

Open Up the Channels of Communication

Teenagers tend to get secretive when they are in trouble, but this is usually a sign that they need your help. Talk to your teen openly about the things that you have witnessed that make you think that they are dealing with an addiction. As you do, make sure to use an empathetic tone that encourages your teen to open up rather than clamp their mouth shut. If you can get them to talk about their issues, it’ll be easier to help them get into a treatment program.

Give Them a Safe Environment to Begin Their Recovery

Willpower alone is not enough to help most people stop misusing drugs or alcohol. Teenagers are especially susceptible to things such as giving in to negative peer pressure if they try to recover from addiction alone at home. For this reason, you need to find them a safe place to begin their recovery. A residential inpatient program that is designed for teens helps your kid break away from the friends that they use drugs or alcohol with. It also allows them to feel comfortable working through the underlying reasons for their addiction in counseling.

Choose to Help Instead of Judge

Your first instinct might be to get mad at your teenager. You may even feel like you have raised them to know better. While your feelings are valid, you also need to remember that guilt and shame are emotions that drive addiction. If you need help figuring out how to handle your teen, then consider talking to their counselors. You might be able to take part in group and family therapy while your teen is in their treatment program that helps you know how to respond as a loving parent.

Provide a Structured Home Life Upon Their Return

Once your teen completes their treatment, they will still need to protect themselves against relapse. During the transition home, keep things simple by sticking to a set of agreed upon rules such as your teen having a consistent curfew and time to be home from school. Your teen may also need to continue to attend after care counseling to strengthen their ability to stay sober.

You can’t turn back time and go back to your teen’s earlier childhood years when you could stop them from doing drugs or using alcohol. However, you can help them to look toward a brighter future by continuing to be involved in their life. Make sure to connect with your child every day, and use the things that you learn in family counseling to help them maintain their sobriety as they mature into adulthood.

Safety for Your Special Needs Child in Your Home

Safety for Your Special Needs Child in Your Home

If your child has special needs, then you know that you need to set up unique environments to assist them in functioning safely. Your home is no different. Have you thought about house safety for special needs? Here are a few different ways to ensure that your home is safe for your special needs child.

Put Code Locks on Doors

While it’s hard to avoid keeping all unsafe products from your home, you can keep them confined to one area that is under a lock. Rooms such as those that you store your cleaning materials, furnaces, or even basements with stairs can be easily avoided by putting a code lock on the door.

It’s best to opt for a code lock over a traditional key for the lock for a couple of reasons. First, it’s easier when you’re maneuvering around your home to simply know a code than to have to stop everything and go grab a key. Second, if your child figures out the code, you can simply change it without having to change out your hardware.

Outlet Protectors

One thing that can help protect your children is homeowners insurance, which can help fund medical visits due to faulty home materials. You should also take the initiative to make your home safe. You should do your best to ensure your child’s protection from dangerous things like live power throughout your home.

There is an abundance of outlet protectors on the market that you can purchase to keep your child from being able to stick random objects in receptacles in your home.

Cover Sharp Objects

It’s important to take the time to walk through your home and look for any sharp objects. Certain special needs children will be as safe as any other child around sharp objects, but if you have a child who has a fascination with reflective surfaces or a lack of ability to recognize danger, you should cover them.

Things like metal radiator grates can be sharp enough to puncture the skin of your child. It’s best to cover these sharp objects with a specially crafted cover to ensure your child can’t see them and accidentally hurt themselves.

House safety special needs

Hidden Switches and Shut-Off Valves

When it comes to the stove in your home, it can be a real hazard for your special needs child. By having hidden switches or shut-off valves installed, you can rest assured they won’t be able to turn on the switches when you’re not watching.

These hidden switches or shut-offs should be installed in inconspicuous places. You should ensure that your child is not in the room when you reach to turn the switch or shut-off valve on or off.

House safety for special needs is a little more intricate. You have to think about everything that could be potentially dangerous if they don’t hold that instinct of fear from things like hot objects.

The above four tips are a great place to start when creating a safe environment in your home for your special needs child. You should pay attention to your child’s specific needs in all things, though. What works for some children will not work for others.

Helping Children With Special Needs With a Move

Helping Children With Special Needs With a Move

Moving is hard for everyone, but children with OCD and autism tend to struggle the most. Your child likely thrives on a routine, and moving tends to mean having to readjust to an entirely new living situation. Although your child may exhibit more symptoms during the moving process, you can use these tips to help them quickly acclimate to their new house.

Encourage Them to Help Pack

Your child with autism may be confused or upset to discover that everything they care about has been packed up. Especially if you try to do it when they are not at home. A child with OCD may also be extremely worried about the status of their belongings during the move. To help with these issues, have your child help pack their personal items. While you may handle the majority of the packing, it can be reassuring for your child to help. You can ask your child to carefully wrap breakables and organize items that go together in the same boxes.

Include Them in the Planning Process

Children with autism and OCD do best when they know what to expect. Using age-appropriate language, talk to them about some of the decisions that you make when you are working with the new home builders. For instance, you can show your child the floor plan of your new house before you move in. This will help them know where their bedroom is located. If your new home is near your old one, you could take your children there as it is being built. This way they can see the process with their own eyes.

Make Their Bedroom an Oasis

Moving to a new house usually creates at least a few days of chaos before everyone settles in. During this time, your child can use their room as a place to retreat to when they feel stressed. Plan to set up your child’s room first. They’ll be able to regulate their behavior better, when they are surrounded by familiar furniture and toys.

Involve Them with Setting Up the Rest of the House

Your child also needs to feel comfortable in the rest of the house before they can successfully adjust, and they may have a sense of ownership over certain shared items such as their video game systems.

Give your child simple tasks that help them feel more in control over how things are set up. For instance, an older child might want to organize their video games in the living room. Or a younger child may want to designate a quiet space, where they can play with their toys.

Thinking about your child’s ability to adjust to a new environment is essential during your move. Although you may need to practice a bit more patience during stressful moments, you can keep them to a minimum by simply planning ways to prevent meltdowns. By talking to your child about your plans and getting them involved in each part of the move, you can help them learn to love their new home.

The Truth About ADHD Sleep Problems in Kids

The Truth About ADHD Sleep Problems in Kids

Children with ADHD often experience sleep problems that may keep them from getting adequate rest or cause them to feel tired and sleepy in the daytime. While each individual with ADHD symptoms will likely have different levels of various sleep-related issues, here are four of the most common among children and ways to help them.

Bedtime Anxiety

While it is natural for some kids to balk at bedtime, preferring to stay up and continue playing, children with ADHD may feel anxious and uncomfortable about going to bed. This may be due to the need to rest quietly in bed or the expectation that they will have difficulty going to sleep. Parents can address this issue by providing a natural and consistent bedtime routine that kids can become accustomed to. Washing up, brushing their teeth, hearing a story or relaxing music, and praying according to the family’s spiritual beliefs can be linked in a secure network of phases that help to reduce anxiety and prepare the child for bedtime.

Difficulty Falling Asleep

In bed, however, sleep may remain elusive for these children. Relaxing their minds and bodies for the night could be challenging for some. It is important to have comfortable bedding and surroundings wherever the child sleeps. This is especially important if for children who are traveling or sleeping in an unfamiliar environment. A memory foam mattress for RV travel or home provides a secure foundation for bedtime, molding to the child’s body size and proportions for comfort. Bed linens in favorite colors or themes may also help a restless child to settle down for the night.

Interrupted Sleep

Many kids wake up at night to go to the bathroom or ask for water, but children with ADHD sometimes wake up frequently at night and have trouble getting back to sleep. They can be taught a self-soothing response to night awakenings, such as lying still with eyes closed and counting to twenty or changing sleep positions. Soft music on the bedside table might be switched on to ease the child back to sleep.


Difficulty Waking Up

Due to the possibility of restless sleep or other factors, a child with ADHD might have difficulty getting up or staying awake in the morning. A fun or supportive wake-up routine can be helpful. For example, offer a favorite breakfast food freshly served at a specific time like seven a.m. or let the child do a favorite activity like play video games for fifteen minutes before breakfast if he or she is up on time.

Supportive gestures like these can make living with ADHD a little easier. Help your child manage sleep problems related to ADHD by trying the above tips.

4 Tips to Help Children with Eating Disorders

4 Tips to Help Children with Eating Disorders

Dealing with an eating disorder is never easy, and it may be an even more sensitive issue when your own child is struggling with it. Helping children with eating disorders can be challenging, but by remembering a few tips, it is possible for you to open up your child to the possibility of future recovery.


Choose the Right Time to Talk

Talking with your child is the most reliable way to get results, but it is important to do it right. You want to pick a good time to engage your child so that they are not distracted or constrained. You do not want to engage them in the middle of a conversation because it will catch them by surprise. Be sure to choose a time when both of you are emotionally calm and will be able to sit down and discuss thing as necessary.

Explain Your Concerns

Always avoid lecturing whenever it is possible. You want to talk to them on a one on one level, as this will allow them to feel listened to, which, in turn, will encourage them to listen to you. Refer to specific behaviors and situations that you have noticed, and discuss why they may be a source of worry for you. The goal at this time is to express concerns about your child’s health.

Always be Patient and Supportive

It is natural for your child to shut you out during this trying time. It will take a little bit of time before they are willing to admit that they are having a problem. The most important thing that you can do during such a time is to be as open and supportive as possible. Listen to them and be patient as they come to terms with what is bothering them.

Look into Clinical Options

Once you and your child have opened up to the idea of looking into outside sources of help, it is important for you to begin thinking about the treatment options for eating disorders. Here, you can discuss clinics and speaking with the appropriate experts. Make sure that your child feels as involved in the process.

Like with any other such issues, speaking with a medical professional will provide you and your loved one with the most reliable long-term results. You want to make sure that your child knows you are there for them and that the opportunity to recover is always present, no matter how difficult the struggle may be for now.

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