Thursday, March 20, 2008

Abnormal Eating Patterns

Actually lack of conscience is next but I want to do a little research on that one before I say anything. So I am skipping today to abnormal eating patterns. Children with RAD sometimes see food as way to control adults. We become way to emotional about food. I guess that is part of the reason so many of us battle our weight. They know if they want to freak out mom just refuse to eat or sit and eat unusual amounts until it is all gone. They will come home from school and say "No one else wanted their hot dog so they gave it to me." I ask how many. "14". Now whether that is true I don't know because they are also chronic liers but it would not surprise me. Then they often feel sick and have a headache. Hoarding food: It is not unusual for me to buy a box of ice cream bars and have the entire box disappear in a few hours. I find wrappers hidden in their rooms of things they have taken. I once had an entire box of Slim Fast bars disappear over night. They can be extremely picky and refuse to eat most foods. You cannot control what they eat completely. Many people give them a baggy of food to keep in their rooms. Food cannot become emotional for you or it becomes a bigger deal for them. If mine are hoarding in between meals and not eating at meal time I cut out snacks and start watching them more carefully in between meals. They are also sometimes trying to fill an emotional void with food. It is good during snuggle time to feed them sweets from your hand to their mouths. Anything somewhat like mother's milk is good: vanilla ice cream, caramels. That was hard for me because I am big on my kids have nutritional meals. This is an important part of their healing because it takes them back to infancy and nursing. So spend some time snuggling your child, laughing, singing nursery rhymes and feed them sweets while you do it. They will also during meal times let food fall from their mouths, chew loudly and do their best to gross you out. I just say "You are using bad manners. You can come back and eat when we are all done." Then they can go sit on the couch until we are done and come back when we are finished. Food is a big control battle if you let it become one. Tell yourself repeatedly that it is not that big a deal and that you don't care. Good luck!


Kimmy said...

Brenda: Food issues were one of the first "signs" that something was not "right" with my stepson. It was four years after my first encounter with him stealing food from us until we were given a diagnosis of attachment disorder. Had I known at the beginning what I know now, our lives would have been so different.

Brenda said...

Don't feel bad. It took us 9 years to get a diagnosis and we had about all the symptoms showing at our house. It just hadn't gone to the extreme it did with your child. We also did not have younger children in the home to worry about.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just want to say (if it helps at all) that I had been diagnosed with RAD, and two years later I developed an eating diorder. I don't know whether I would've had an eating disorder because of RAD, or one without RAD. Sometimes I wonder if this fancy name RAD, is really just how any human being would react given certain situations that aren't going well. And an eating disorder is another device to try to control the stress in your life.