Sunday, April 29, 2007

What do you wish your child's school knew about eating disorders?

I'm in the beginning stages of putting together a presentation to give to staff at middle and high schools on eating disorders from the parent's perspective and especially anorexia. My goal is to a) create empathy for students and families dealing with an e.d., b) explain the severity of such e.d.s, c) offer specific practical information on how schools can support families dealing with e.d.s, and d) offer a list of things they shouldn't do, both in general ("anti-obesity" curricula, public weigh-ins, etc) and in specific when dealing with a child in crisis.

So I pose the question to my readers: What would YOU want your child's school to know/do differently when it comes to anorexia and e.d.s? Your input will help me create the most effective and compelling presentation.

4 comments:

Cool Shoes said...

I have sons. I want them to know about that their food needs are higher proportionately than their female peers and that it's OK. I want any discussion of food to be about nutrition and energy needs, and not about what's "fattening."

mary said...

For starters I don't believe that all the fitness tests are accurate nor essential in teaching about nourishment or physical fitness. My daughter failed every fitness test and she was the schools fastest girl runner! What chance did the non sports interested kid have?
In my opinion, they aren't looking for fitness, they are merely doing statistics work to show who and where has the most fit people and that annoys the daylights out of me. It's district against or compared to district, state against state, and even country against country. Who's the fittest? Who's the least fit? Pay us now and we'll post the data. Maybe they ought to pay the participants of this study. With that bit of paranoia out of the way.....they might consider leaving the health assessment to the family Dr, the person who we PAY to do this. If they determine our kids can participate in an activity, as they require for most sports anyway, THEN they can continue to offer them P.E.
And for health class how about they begin with teaching about how essential FAT is in our body, a necessary ingredient for health? And remembering to eat the cookies in life along with our grains, fruits, veges, proteins, and fat?
And, that people come in all sizes and we need to be teaching TOLERANCE regarding our differences. The harm they cause on an emotional and spiritual level is a far bigger crime. I know of more than one person who left school because they could not bear to take gym class because it was so humiliating whereas art is just a an optional course in most schools today. The art,whether music or painting, the most soul feeding courses are irrelevant to most school systems or at best considered electives even though EVERYONE who creates feels more alive for the invention of creating.

Most people I know who've died young did so in automobile accidents...not cause their butts were big! Not because they failed a frigging fitness test. Next was cancer.
I don't know Harriet, but I think the emperor is stark naked again and I don't know how to get the whole darn country off the obesity scare either. I guess it begins one at a time so good for you. [I'll be there in spirit...you can use my words]
Good luck with your presentation. I do understand that a defensive approach never works but sometimes calling a scam a scam is what sends shivers down their spine.They already know the main purpose for their 'concern'. We have to see with our eyes wide open and sadly many parents let the schools do their thing because it's a bother to speak up.

Harriet Brown said...

Great feedback, both of you, the kind of information that helps me organize what I think, too.

The emperor is certainly buck naked, and his butt is NOT too big. :-)

mary said...

I know I got into a whole other area of this whole topic but I know you are a sorter of words. I'd be real trouble for the system if I got off my butt and got involved. Maybe soon. Like you Harriet, I have my passions, but I have been taking a rest and perhaps getting a second wind. It's safer if I compose myself.
Feel free to email me anytime. I think I put one???