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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sunny6
Has anyone seen issues concerning control pop up well after wr?  While anorexia is associated with control, has it seeped out into other parts of life beyond food?  We have seen some issues that could be considered normal teen behavior of arguing for later curfews, going out in a school night, etc, but what about trying to control sibling behavior, parent conversations that have nothing to do with the child, removing items of other family members from the house because they don't like them, and refusing to want to go do activities with the family when asked and then getting mad later because we either didn't go or claim that we don't ever do anything together?  There has been a lot of secretive behavior where items disappear and time is spent searching for them to either find them in a very odd spot or our child say, I think I saw it over there (which is not a place we would find such items).  We are also seeing a lot of compulsive cleaning of their room and many items they had to have a year or two ago when they were really sick now get binned.  
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ValentinaGermania
A lot of patients have OCD behaviour during refeeding and in recovery. Some always NEED to wear the same shirt, NEED to use this plate and no other, this chair and no other, things must happen in a special routine, I can make you a LONG list. It all increased a bit more around WR and slowly (very slow indeed) faded away in the year after WR here.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Barberton
Sunny6,

Look through Tabitha Farrar's blog posts as she has one about 'stealing' that I recall which might answer some of your questions.

I view this whole journey as forcing me to up my parenting game. Being direct, setting boundaries, and speaking difficult truths were all things I was not comfortable with. I gave the ED a lot of room and would not pull my d up on behaviours because I was worried about how it would impact the rest of the day I had to get through. But as soon as I started to apply 'tough love' and set the boundaries of acceptable behaviour, things actually improved. 

Do you have a psychologist or someone similar on your team that you could speak to about this? 
D fell down the rabbit hole of AN at age 11 after difficulty swallowing followed by rapid weight loss. Progressing well through recovery, but still climbing our way out of the hole.
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Foodsupport_AUS
My experience of control has always been around trying to control other people's food behaviours. Certainly other "rules" seemed to pop up with my daughter. How in control do you feel ED is with your child at the moment? Despite weight restoration are there other ED behaviours - as mentioned above theft and what I call "squirreling" seem to be pretty common behaviours- or just the odd ones? If the latter it may be there is something else going on. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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sunny6
Thank you for your responses.  I have been working with the team and they keep telling us to let our child have as much control of other areas of their life as possible and puck your battles, which remain around food.  I have argued back that the rest of the rules in the house have been posted and they are expectations of everyone in the house.  Normally, our child is very compliant with the rules, but every once in awhile, we see these outbursts of control.  There is speculation that there may be a secondary condition, but they will not diagnose that until our child turns 18.  Sometimes it is almost like if I am following your food and eating rules then I need/want control somewhere else.
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MKR
Dear sunny6,

Spot on! All the behaviours you described were there from the beginning except curfews (was keen on early nights). What hurt us most was her trying to control siblings. So you need to assert yourselves as the parents. 

WR is time to come up with a contract for the child. Simply put: 

1. Behaviour A: expectation; reward; consequence.
2. Behaviour B: expectation; reward; consequence. 
3. Behaviour C etc.

I had attached a sample in my earlier post. Our rewards/ consequences were mainly on amount of supervision, the more she complied, the more trust she earned. Material awards did not appeal to her as much.  You make your own contract, every family is different. 

Tabitha's podcasts were the ultimate eye openers for us!!  She explains the thinking behind her past behaviours. 

Well done on WR! I am so glad you are at this stage where you can tackle the residual ED. 

All the best 👍👍
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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