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Eating Recovery Center In The News: PsychCentral

Jamie Manwaring, PhD, Primary Clinician of Child and Adolescent Services at Eating Recovery Center, and Mehri Moore, MD, Founder and Medical Director of The Moore Center, are featured in PsychCentral's Weightless blog on how to help kids cope with stress. Read an excerpt of the blog below or to read it in its entirety, click here. 7 Ways to Help Kids Cope with Stress Stress can spark disordered eating. While the relationship between the two is complex and varies by person, many people turn to food — or away from food — in times of stress. Controlling food intake becomes a way to cope. In other words, “many people react to stress by under- or over-eating,” according to Jamie Manwaring, PhD, a primary clinician at Eating Recovery Center’s Child and Adolescent Behavioral Hospital. When stress strikes, kids may also seek comfort in bingeing or restricting how much they eat. Parents and caregivers can help their kids learn to cope with stress healthfully and create a safe and open environment. Here are expert tips on how to help. 1. Help your child create more downtime. Kids who are driven and perfectionistic can unwittingly increase their stress. “For children and adolescents, overscheduling and the desire to achieve in multiple clubs, AP classes [and] sports can cumulatively lead to stress that is dealt with in unhealthy ways, such as disordered eating or exercise,” according to Manwaring. That’s why she suggested helping “your child decrease the amount of clubs, activities, and competitive sports in their lives to allow for more play and downtime.” It’s important for parents to be proactive, especially “when you have a perfectionistic child who may have difficulty making these decisions themselves.” Plus, downtimes teaches kids “how to regulate themselves and realize that they do not have to be constantly on the go,” said Mehri D. Moore, MD, founder and medical director at The Moore Center. 2. Be a role model for stress relief and reasonable schedules.  “Parents also need to model, as much as possible, balance in their own lives between work, family and fulfilling their own needs so their children can learn from example,” Dr. Moore said. 3. When your child comes to you, give them your full attention. In other words, avoid distractions like electronic devices. Don’t scan your cell phone, for instance, Manwaring said.

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