Mental health providers and other professionals often talk about a child or adult's "dysregulation" and "self-regulation," but these terms are often left undefined. A 2017 summary and the 2015 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services help define self-regulation and show the complex social, biological, and environmental factors involved in development of self-regulation.
The summary defines self-regulation as "the act of managing one’s thoughts and feelings to engage in goal-directed actions such as organizing behavior, controlling impulses, and solving problems constructively."
Being able to self-regulate helps us succeed in many aspects of life, including creating satisfying relationships, tolerating difficulty, prospering in school and work, managing finances, and maintaining physical and mental health. Self-regulation is a critical life skill. ...continue reading →
Many people with eating disorders report that a doctor or therapist has refused to treat an eating disorder, based on faulty stereotypes. This occurs because many people—even professionals—believe that weight or visual characteristics can be used to identify an eating disorder. For example, many assume that people with anorexia will be bone-protruding thin, that binge eaters will be obese, and people with bulimia will have an average weight. It isn't that simple!
Yoni Freedhoff's article on parenting children who are overweight argues that child obesity is not a problem of personal choice or too little will power. Young children who are overweight are well-aware that they are overweight. They have already suffered negative consequences, such as bullying, lectures, and shaming.
The primary problem is that we are living in a culture in which a flood of calories comes at kids. For children eat Froot Loops for breakfast and Happy Meals for dinner, over-consumption of calories is the norm. Who decided what these children would eat? Who bought those items?
Freedhoff's suggestion to parents who are concerned about their children's health and weight: "Live the life you want your children to live."