Published: June 21, 2011
Updated: June 21, 2011
Parents often play an integral role in helping their child recover from an eating disorder. But helping a child overcome his or her disorder often causes untold stress on the parents' own physical and mental health.
Recognizing this, the Duke Center for Eating Disorders and the UNC Eating Disorders Program teamed together to create "Caring for Yourself is Caring for Your Child," a new project that supports parents whose child suffers from an eating disorder.
The two-year project is designed to encourage parents of children with eating disorders to engage in self-care to reduce their own stress and anxiety. Our goal is to show parents that self-care will give them the confidence, support, and energy needed to actively participate in their child's recovery.
Self-care can be as simple as taking personal time by going for a five-minute walk or reading a fun book. Self-care doesn’t have to be done alone -- parents can go out to lunch with a supportive friend or on a date with their significant other.
More formalized self-care can be participation in a parent support group or talking to a therapist.
The project's Web site, CaringIsCaring.org, provides parents with the tools to take care of themselves during their child’s recovery process. Parents are encouraged to visit the site for resources and examples of self-care that clinicians and parents have found helpful.