Mother/Daughter Eating Disorder

January 23, 2014 Updated: April 24, 2016

Dear Kathy,

My daughter, “Sherri,” is in eighth grade. Her guidance counselor told me that one of Sherri’s friends reported that she’s been throwing out her lunch instead of eating it. He’s concerned that she may have an eating disorder. I confronted her about it and she told me that it’s my fault that she starves herself because I do the same thing.

I am very careful about what I eat but I wasn’t aware that Sherri noticed. I raised her to have a healthy body image, not to develop an eating disorder. I feel worried sick about her and guilty that I’ve allowed my poor body image to affect her this way. What can I do to help her?


Dear Brenda,

You sound like a warm, caring mother. Don’t be so hard on yourself – we all have personal issues which affect our children one way or another. The important thing to remember is that your influence on your daughter’s life is as powerful now as it was in the past and every day is a new beginning.

I suggest that you start seeing a counselor who specializes in eating disorders as well as a nutritionist who can both help you develop a better body image as well as a healthier lifestyle. Trust me, your daughter will notice the new way you are approaching your food issues and it will influence her for the better.

All my best,