Thursday, June 28, 2018

Steps You Should Take If Your Child Is Being Bullied

You do all you can as a parent to keep your child safe but how helpless might you feel to protect your child when you realize they are being bullied. There are steps you can take to support your child and intervene in productive ways.
  • Listen carefully to your child when they report the bullying. Be supportive and thank them for sharing this.
  • Don’t direct the child to ignore the behavior. This undermines the seriousness of the situation and ignoring is not an effective method for handling bullying.
  • Don’t assume your child has done something to provoke the bullying.
  • Find out as much as you can about the bullying. When and where did it happen? Who was involved and did any adults witness it?
  • Don’t encourage physical retaliation. It could make matters worse and your child could get suspended or expelled.
  • Keep your emotions in check. You don’t want to react in an emotional way but instead come up with a plan that is smart and rational.
  • Report bullying to school officials as it is not likely to stop without their involvement.
  •  Let school staff know that you want to work with them on a solution. If you feel their plan is not appropriate or adequate work with them to develop a plan of action that you are satisfied with. Ask for changes in your child’s schedule to reduce contact with the bully.
  • If the bullying does not stop, contact school staff again. Be prepared to go to higher ups in the school district if necessary.
  • Do not contact the parents of the bully(s). It can make matters worse. School administrators should contact those parents.
  • Seek support from other parents. Consider working in the community to shed light on this issue. Perhaps an expert on bullying can speak at the school or the school can get involved in an anti-bullying program.
  • Encourage your child to make contact with friendly students in their class. Help facilitate those friendships by inviting these positive friends to your home.
  • Boost your child’s confidence by helping them develop their talents or positive attributes through music, art or athletic programs. These activities are good places for your child to meet like-minded peers.
  • Talk to your child about seeking help from adults when bullying behavior occurs. Let them know that reporting bullying is not the same as tattling.
  • If your child is being targeted because of a learning disability or lack of social skills, consider getting help through counseling and social skills groups so they can improve their interaction with peer groups. The bullying is still wrong in these cases but helping the child develop social skills can help them feel less set apart from peers.
  •  Make sure that your child always feels safe and protected at home and keep lines of communication open.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder. It affects 3.5% of women and 2% of men. 

Binge eating disorder (BED) is characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large amounts of food, quickly and to a point of feeling uncomfortably full. The person has a sense of loss of control during the binge. Afterwards they experience shame, guilt and disgust with themselves. Purging is not a part of the disorder. 

Those who suffer from BED may be secretive about their eating. They may not practice normal eating behaviors and instead skip meals or only eat small portions at a meal and may engage in sporadic fasting and repetitive dieting.

There are health consequences associated with binge eating disorder. Many of these consequences are related to unwanted weight gain due to binge eating. These can include Type II diabetes, high cholesterol levels and heart disease as a result of elevated triglyceride levels. 

Binge eating disorder is strongly associated with depression, anxiety, guilt and shame. Possible risk factors include genetics, mood disorders, trauma, abuse and neglect and problems with family or other significant relationships.

Effective treatments available for binge eating disorder include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and psychotropic medications. A nutritionist can help those suffering with BED help regain normal eating patterns and learn about proper nutrition and having a balanced diet.

For more information on BED visit the following: 
BEDA Binge Eating Disorder Association
ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) 
National Eating Disorder Association

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Traits of a Healthy Marriage

We have all heard that “Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce.” Arguments over the divorce rate continue to be an ongoing debate. Some studies suggest that the divorce rate in the U.S. is declining and that the rates are somewhere between 40-50%. Regardless of the statistics, there clearly are many people struggling to find a way to make marriage work. It may seem that the odds for a successful marriage are not in our favor however with resolve and commitment it is possible to have a long and healthy marriage.

Here are 6 traits of a good marriage
  • Accept your partner as they are.  Entering a marriage expecting you can change your spouse is a recipe for disaster.
  •  Put your relationship first.  When making big decisions consider how it will affect your partner. You are part of a team now. Don’t make choices that will put undue stress on the relationship.
  • Be kind and respectful in your relationship. You won’t always agree with your spouse and at times you will get angry but you can still remain considerate of the other’s feelings. You can focus on criticizing and hurting your partner or you can be kind in expressing your hurt and anger. Kindness is always a quicker path to resolution.
  • Don’t keep secrets. You can’t build trust with a partner when secrets are being kept and once trust is lost it’s hard to rebuild.
  •  Consider “divorce” a dirty word. Couples who frequently refer to divorce are more focused on their exit strategy and lack the commitment they need to heal and strengthen their marriage.
  • Live in the present. You can’t change anything that has happened in the past. It’s important to be forgiving and accepting in order to move forward. Couples who continually dredge up old hurts get stuck in their anger and resentment.