Anastasia Carswell is a mama, wife, Christian, blogger, and Alabama native! We’re excited to have her featured as a guest contributor on the Journal as she shares about teaching difficult things with our children!
Click here to learn more about her!
I honestly had never planned to have a conversation with DJ about my eating disorder. I knew I wanted to teach him healthy habits, but I didn’t want to have THAT conversation…
I talked to DJ about my eating disorder for the first time today. He overheard me talking to Jonathan about binging.
He said, “Binging? What’s binging?”
I explained it to him. I told him that God gives us food to enjoy and to give us energy. I also told him that God asks us to use self control. I obviously had to explain to him (in a very simple way) the definition of self control. I told him that binging is when I do not use self-control. We are allowed to love food, but mommy has to be extra careful. DJ told him that he loves food, and proceeded to name some of the foods that he loves!
It’s so important to teach your children healthy habits. If you have an eating disorder, you can talk to them about it at an early age.
Why Children Need to Know
I posted about all of this on IG, and afterwards I received several messages about the fear of explaining our downfalls to our children. Keeping these downfalls to ourselves can cause history to repeat itself. If a child sees her mother binge, restrict, etc. and no one explains what is going on, the child can repeat this habits. The cycle begins again. The goal is to break that cycle! We have show our children that the things we fight are not shameful or embarrassing. They are not to be hidden. Our downfalls shape us and make us stronger people.
It’s also a testament to your reliance on God!
I have an eating disorder. I have massive anxiety attacks. I am teaching my little boy about eating disorders in a very simple way. Obviously, I am not going to divulge the gruesome details to his little brain. I teach him the power of prayer. DJ already knows what to do if I have an anxiety attack. At first, I was incredibly embarrassed that my toddler knew what to do. Then I realized that because he knows what to do, and he has seen what Jonathan does, he can help someone one day – be it a friend at school, his future wife, etc.
Jonathan teaches DJ a multitude of hard things too. He teaches him the importance of authority, how to love a woman’s body no matter what size she is, and how to respect a woman. We both teach him how to love people even when they don’t love him.
It’s so crazy to me how much he understands. Like I said, I did not plan on teaching him about eating disorders. He does not understand all of it, but he understands some. It is so important to teach these children to love their bodies, respect others, and be amazing humans that can help someone else one day.
Growing children is really tough, and I am only three years in!