My 13 year old son uses food for comfort, suggestions?

Hanny - posted on 08/12/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My oldest son told me last week he has a problem with food. He uses it to comfort himself or eat stress away. An emotional eater. I guess he does it, because it's learned behaviour and I am not a good example in this. He's 13, excellent grades, gifted, plays basesball, has trouble making new friends and is stepping into puberty full blast. "Why do you think we are on this earth?", etc. My son is bigger than the children in Western Europe, where he's growing up. He's an American child, with broader hips, broader shoulders and full upper thighs. Yes, he gets bullied about that and it has weighed on him. Eating comforts him in that pain. He could stand to loose about 10 pounds now and I know he will loose rapidly, riding his bike to school and playing basesball again. He likes to go swimming, as well. I'm not really worried about that. It's the emotional eating that disturbs me. I've ordered a book by Dr. Phil about this and made an appointment with our family doctor. Before sending him to a psychiatrist (which is too much I think), anyone with suggestions?

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Kierre - posted on 08/12/2011

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My 14 yr old was hiding this eating disorder , not to well, i kept finding the garbage! but I talked to him about using food to stuff emotions down and what kind of affect that has on the body. then we watched that show Biggest Loser and a girl said the same thing, that food made her feel 'better' like a good friend....I explained to him that it may feel good, but for how long? and food only lasts short term and then you are feeding the emotions more and more to fill the feeling of emptiness or loneliness or what ever the feeling s are that stimulates the eating, We did some counseling together, not psychiatry but family counseling to learn how to recognize the feelings then focus on them and give them what they want so that we can get rid of them, instead of stuffing them down with food.
This eating issue was about friendships and his poor relationship with his Dad and when we discussed the true feelings and talked thru what it wanted, or He wanted , the truth set him free of seeking comfort in food. all he really wanted was acceptance and somehow along the path of talking he realized that becoming fat was not the answer. He is actively in sports and is was joining the wrestling team that put weight into perspective!! they weigh in ever match and the team needs wrestlers to be in a certain weight class to optimize points for wins!! team sports are the best!!! keep up the good work and have faith in him

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