I have always struggled with eating. Diagnosed with anorexia at the age of 11, my struggles with eating have taken many different shapes and forms. Life takes interesting twists and turns. Recently we started to work with Kate Bohner, along side Dr. Michelle Maidenberg – author of Free Your Child From Overeating.
Interestingly enough, many streams of my life came clearly rushing into one after finishing the book. Written as a handbook for helping parents to enable them to learn to work with their children about overeating. As a mother of two teenage boys I can relate to the day to day struggles we face as parents. The real message that rang true for me – how can I teach my children mindfulness in their life now?
Teenage kids today have the added stress of managing the world of social media. Their brains are still developing impulse control and how to process emotions. The constant input of snap chat, instagram, twitter, you tube sensations (plus the constant ESPN alerts in my house) create an endorphin rush over load.
As a parent, you are responsible for being aware of your own thoughts, feelings and judgement for acting in your child’s best interest. Maidenberg’s family based approach in her book provides a series of user friendly strategies for implementing behavior change. Deep in the pages of this urgently needed manual, Dr. Maidenberg applies the principles of mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy to her “strategies” that allow parents and children to work together to explore how thoughts, feelings and behaviors prompt overeating.
I find myself returning to strategy four that strikes a chord:
“There tends to be confusion about what mindfulness is and why it’s helpful. The most popular definition of mindfulness expressed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, is “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgementally.”
There is a story inside our head that we all want to believe…. what if we change the way we process the message by understanding children’s feelings, and behaviors. Kate Bohner offers some insight into meditation in her life. In November 2008, Bohner traveled to Thailand to live in a monastery. Meditation plays an important part of her success and secret to day to day life.
Maidenberg;s book debuts March 22nd, and is available for pre-order via Amazon.