F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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My 13-year-old D keeps asking from the hospital if we are proud of her when she finishes 100 percent of her meals. It is not very often but when she does it, she wants that compliment. According to Eva Musby's book, we should not let her eating disorder voice hear she has done a good job. Merely saying, job done is enough but she keeps insisting we say we are proud of her. What is the psychological reason behind it? Is there any other way we can answer this question?
pjdj you are posting on the providers forum so you wont get the support you need. Can you go back and post on main forum ? Its in big letters and says Around The Dinner Table for Parents and Caregivers.
Son diagnosed @ 12.5 yrs old with Severe RAN 2/11. Co-morbids - anxiety, Active restriction for 3 months. He stopped eating completely 2x. He needed immediate, aggressive treatment from a provider who specialized in eating disorders, adolescents and males. We got that at Kartini Clinic. WR since 5/11. 2017 getting ready to graduate slipping lost 8lbs. Fighting our way back.
pjdj I have moved your thread to the main forum from the providers forum. 

As for your question, there is nothing wrong with telling your D that she has done a good job. The main reason for not complimenting our children about meals is that for many of them they find the compliment excruciatingly unpleasant. They feel guilty about having eaten, they have defied their disorder. Telling them they have done well can make them feel even worse. 

As for your response to your D, how does she respond if you do compliment her. Does it encourage her to do better or does it seem to cause distress? This illness is not rational or logical, because some people don't feel they should get compliments doesn't mean you daughter feels that way, nor does it mean it is harmful if you do compliment her. 

I would suggest initially saying next time she asks, something like "it must have been really hard for you to complete your meal. You have been very brave" and  see how it goes. 

D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
Maybe give a reply like "I'm always proud of you."   This way it's not just about the meal eaten.   My D never, ever wanted us to say good job, or any type of congratulatory phrase after eating.   Hang in there!