Sara has learned to use food to avoid the pain of feeling inadequate, unloved and controlled. She has learned to use food to fill the emptiness she feels when her mother yells at her and expects her to be perfect. Food is the friend she can count on to soothe and comfort her. Deborah has tried to restrict the amount of food available in the house, but Robert just goes out and buys more to fulfill his food addiction. And there is always food available at Sara's friends’ houses. There is just no way that Deborah can control Sara's eating.
What Deborah can do is take her eyes off Sara and put them squarely on herself. If Deborah wants to help Sara, she first needs to help herself. She needs to learn healthy ways of handling her own feelings of inadequacy and stress so that she doesn't take her pain out on Sara.
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Deborah needs to become a healthy role model for Sara regarding taking personal responsibility for her own feelings and behavior. Rather than trying to control Sara, Deborah needs to show Sara, by her own actions, how to take care of her pain in healthy ways. A good place for Deborah to start helping herself and her daughter is to begin practicing Inner Bonding. By learning and practicing the Six Steps of Inner Bonding, Deborah can gradually become the loving parent that Sara needs.
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