Being a parent or a caregiver of a teen who is overweight can be very difficult and can often leave parents feeling scared, guilty, embarrassed, desperate and alone.

Here are some tips to help.

1. Educate Yourself and Get Help
The problem will not just go away. Parents who feel powerless to change their child's behavior often go into denial or just hope the problem will go away. Rarely does compulsive eating or obesity just disappear. We must take steps to deal with the underlying issues.

As parents, many of us have been brought up to think we should handle our family's emotional problems and challenges alone, as if to say, "What happens in this house stays in this house." However, if a pipe in our home breaks, we wouldn't hesitate to call a plumber. If your child broke his or her arm, you would go to a doctor. So why would we think we have to deal with weight problems or emotional issues alone?

There are many resources available—you don't have to do it alone!

Open a phone book or go online to research counselors, support groups, Overeaters Anonymous meetings, Weight Watchers and other helpful resources. Many churches and spiritual centers have services available for families. Give yourself, your child and your family the gift of getting help.


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