Help for Men Who Have Loved Ones with Eating Disorders

On 11/14/14, I did a Twitter Chat with the Academy for Eating Disorders on this subject.
Here is the Storify from the chat: http://sfy.co/azks

man_listening_in_group.jpgMen who have a loved one struggling with eating disorders report feeling impotent in the presence of an illness they describe as irrational, unpredictable, cunning, powerful, stubborn, clever, baffling, devious, unfair and unjust. They struggle to understand and articulate how the eating disorder crisis affects their own lives. They are angry and grieving over how the illness’s arrival altered relationships with their loved ones and hijacked their families.

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Part of the Solution

What do we tell our sons about the birds and the bees? Thanks to Robin Farr and Dr. James Emmett, I just read a compelling letter from a father to his six-year-old son--about sexual violence.

I’ve considered what you and I might talk about regarding dating and sex. I know that I want you to treat girls with respect.  That, no matter what, she feels safe in your company and that whatever behaviour you engage in is something you both want.

And for the longest time that, plus a healthy dose of biological information, seemed to be good enough. But not anymore. I see now that it’s not enough to hope you don’t grow up to be a rapist. My vision for your future needs to be bigger.

I want you to grow up to be a boy who stands up when someone makes a demeaning comment about a girl. I want you to be a man who speaks up when you see sexual harassment at work. I want you to be an example of how men are supposed to treat women. That you become part of the solution to violence against women, and not sit silently by and be part of the problem.

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Listening to Dads

men_laughing.jpgWhat are the unintended consequences of spending more than 20 years discussing and writing about men who have children and/or stepchildren? I have to set aside some of my expectations when sitting down to talk fathering with another dad. 

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Dads, Daughters, and Sex

bw_dad-dtr.jpgFact: your daughter or stepdaughter needs a healthy sense of sexuality in order to be a healthy and happy woman.

Open, positive conversations with mothers and fathers about sexuality give our daughters a better foundation from which to deal with some of the world’s ugly realities, like sexual assault and abuse. It’s much easier to balance the positive and the negative when we consistently paint the whole picture, and not focusing only on the perilous scenarios.

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Parenting in a Commercial Culture

kids_unbranded.JPGRaising kids in today’s noisy, fast-paced culture can be difficult. For good or ill, modern kids are exposed to a wider world of marketing—and parts of that world are still foreign to us parents.

Fortunately the Center for a New American Dream has brand new Tips for Parenting in a Commercial Culture to help parents (and caregivers) protect children from intrusive and harmful advertising.

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