6 Tips for Parenting Your College Freshman

It’s happening – You’ve done your best to equip your teen with the necessary skills to not only survive but also thrive after high school, and now the moment has finally arrived when your eighteen-year-old is off to college. It may be a moment you’ve been dreading – your child leaving home. Worse, if your teen is an only child or the youngest, you also have to deal with that empty nest syndrome. Neither you nor your college freshman knows exactly how well this transition from home to college is going to go, so here are six pieces of helpful advice for you as a parent.

tips for parenting a college freshman

  1. Do Your Best to Let Go

College is but one more step that your teen is taking in their life, and they should be allowed to make their own decisions as much as possible. It’s somewhat of a balancing act – you want to provide enough direction, so your college student doesn’t feel they’ve been cast adrift in a boat without a rudder, while you also want to steer them toward making intelligent choices on their own.

  1. Let Your Teen Make Mistakes

Your college student will make mistakes. They may need to fall on their face and learn from what went wrong and get back up. This may sound harsh, but it’s the best way to learn valuable life lessons. Your challenge is to be supportive yet resist the temptation to turn into a helicopter parent hovering over every decision in an attempt to protect your teen from risk or failure.

  1. Don’t Fight Changes in Your Teen

First-year college life can be an exciting time for your freshman to discover deeper meaning and purpose. Be excited for your teen instead of worrying over how they may be changing. Freshman year of college is a time when your student may begin to question the interests, beliefs, and values they’ve brought with them from home and begin to change. This is a necessary and natural process of growing up.

  1. Expect a Possible Change in Career Interest

Don’t be alarmed if your college freshman expresses interest in a different career path from the one you thought was already set. It’s normal for college students to develop new interests and change their major. Many colleges acknowledge this by not requiring students to declare a major until their junior year. Of course, encourage your teen to discuss their choices with you, but in the end, it’s best to allow them to navigate their career choices on their own.

  1. Accept More Limited Contact with Your Teen

You may find your teen is only providing you snippets of information, where once you received whole chapters. To overcome this, try defining expectations for how you will stay in touch with your student. For instance, establish a regular time to talk by phone – this will alleviate worries when you haven’t heard from your teen in a while. A care package every now and then doesn’t hurt either.

  1. Anticipate a Different Relationship

The most challenging time for you and your new college student may be the summer after the freshman year when your teen comes home and you are struck by how they’ve changed. Your teen has been gone for a year, has matured, and now has a sense of belonging to a new community. If your freshman is at a college nearby, don’t be upset if they don’t come home every weekend. Your student needs the time to make friends, explore what the college offers and fully experience campus living.

Finally – Expect to Still Be Needed

While your student needs independence during their college journey, there will also be times when they need your help, advice, and support. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with campus resources so that you can help direct your teen to the appropriate place if concerns arise. However, if your teenager or young adult is experiencing problems that you can’t cope with, you may need the help of a counselor who is trained to deal with college students. If you are in this situation, give Doorways a call. We want your student to enjoy their college life, and an initial consultation with us won’t cost you any extra tuition fees.

Managing Back-To-School Anxiety And Pressure

For teenagers returning to high school, or young adults beginning college, starting a new school year often comes with a lot of stress and anxiety.

Gone are the days of a relaxing summer spent with friends outdoors and easy-going vacation time. With today’s competitive society, many teens and young adults feel pressure to find an internship, practice for standardized tests, or continue to study through the summer. Add to that the pressure of social media, with many experiencing the feeling of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) when seeing all the fun things their peers are doing during the summer. It can lead to feelings of self-doubt and worry.

A parent might begin to see some troubling patterns emerge from their anxious teen. Patterns of anxiety can be internalized or externalized. Internalized anxiety may include insomnia, excessive headaches or stomachaches, changes in eating, moodiness, and lashing out. Externalizing anxiety can include partying, consuming alcohol, doing drugs, playing hours of video games, or watching TV excessively.

When should a parent be concerned? It’s the duration of the behavior that can be troubling. A headache from stress is normal. When it is days or weeks of headaches, or other troubling behavior, it’s time to intervene. Here are some suggestions to help guide your teen with stress:

  • Make sure your teen or young adult is getting the sleep they need. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best. Most teens do not get enough sleep — one study found that only 15% reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights. Getting the right amount of sleep will help with their mood and agitation level.
  • Manage your own expectations and stress. It’s okay if your teen doesn’t make the team or get the lead in the play. Don’t allow your own stress to become theirs. Being a parent means helping your teen overcome failure and disappointment. They will face many challenges going forward in life, so this is the time to help them cope with issues as they arise.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. Help them navigate their feelings of being happy, sad, disappointed, frustrated, etc. Don’t just ask them about their studies or grades. Ask them how they felt about their day. Ask leading questions that will encourage dialog and sharing.
  • For teens still living at home, limit their digital time. Being connected at all hours to social media, or the internet, can compound the feelings of stress or inadequacy. It can also lead to “digital insomnia”, whereas the light from televisions, phones, and computers is processed by our bodies is similar to the way we process daylight. This leads back to teens not getting the sleep they need to be healthy and less stressed.
  • Set your teen up for success with goals and achievements they can accomplish. This will help build their self-esteem and guide them through the feelings of inadequacy. Creating mini-goals that are not time consuming, but affirming their skills and knowledge, will help them feel good about their achievements.
  • If your teen has turned to drinking or drugs to deal with the stress and anxiety, it may be time to get professional help. According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), the studies found that highly stressed teens, compared to low-stressed teens are much more likely to become involved in substance abuse. If you see troubling behavior that suggests problems with alcohol or drugs, get help immediately.

Going back to school, or starting a new one, is never easy for teens and young adults. As with any new beginning, it can lead to stress and worry, which are expected. By guiding your teen, being alert to their behavior, and keeping the lines of communication open, it can be the start of a whole new adventure on the path to success.




Is Exercise Good for Your Mental Health?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, there are a tremendous amount of benefits to exercising for adolescents including maintaining a healthy weight and the prevention of certain diseases later in life. Additionally, exercise provides better academic performance and the creation of a lifetime of healthy habits.

In addition to physical health benefits, adolescents who exercise also experience benefits to their mental health. Exercise can lead to lower rates of depression. These lower rates can be attributed to the fact that adolescents who exercise have a higher self-esteem which is linked to lower levels of depression. It is noted that this can be especially important for adolescent girls who tend to experience more depression than adolescent boys.


A recent publication by the Harvard Medical School evaluates a study that supports the idea that exercise is good for adolescent mental health. Particularly for those already receiving formal treatment. What they found was that for those adolescents the addition of exercise leads to a moderate improvement in their depression.


Based on the results, while exercise can help a depressed adolescent, it is not necessarily a substitute for more formal treatment. We should also note that this is referring to a healthy amount of exercise. During its Risky Business campaign, Mental Health America has discussed exercise extremes.


These extremes include those that don’t exercise enough and those that exercise too much. Let’s explore this as it relates to adolescents so parents can be aware of a healthy amount of exercise for their teens since we know that can positivity impact their mental health.


A person that does not exercise enough has an increased risk for certain physical health issues, but it can also contribute to depression and anxiety.


On the other extreme is someone who compulsively exercises. A compulsive exerciser or one that is addicted to exercising will miss out on obligations. If they do miss a workout, it can lead to feelings of guilt and/or sadness. Additionally, they may continue to exercise despite an injury or illness.


If your teen is not getting enough exercise, here are some ways to encourage them to begin an exercise program.


  • First, speak with your family doctor and make sure there are no special considerations to consider before beginning an exercise regimen.


  • Begin at a slow pace and gradually work up to more difficult activities.


  • Get someone like a friend or relative to join so that they can motivate and hold one another accountable.


If you have a teen that is a compulsive exerciser you can help them take control and get into a healthier workout regimen.


  • Change up workout routine to include less strenuous workouts or take days off from working out altogether.


  • Discuss healthy body types.


  • Make sure your teen is getting adequate nutrition from the food they are eating.


  • Don’t allow negative self-talk. For example, putting down their body type or thinking they are lazy.


  • Encourage a discussion about healthy exercise habits and ask your teen if they are struggling with what that is.


If your teen is struggling with either compulsive exercising or depression, know when to seek the help of a mental health professional.


Doorways LLC. is a faith-based counseling organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that provides comprehensive outpatient treatment focused exclusively on 13-25-year olds and their families specializing in treatment for eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety/OCD, substance abuse, depression, ADD/ADHD, self-harm, suicide prevention, and family counseling.


Simple Ways to Reduce Mental Health Stigma

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.One way that we would like to participate is to help reduce the stigma associated with mental health.

In terms of mental health, David Susman PhD refers to stigma as negative beliefs, descriptions, attitudes, behavior or language. To go a step further, a stigma can be unfair, discriminatory or disrespectful in how we talk, feel, behave, or think towards someone coping with mental health issues. To help, we have compiled a list of ways that you can reduce mental health stigma.

  1. Educate Yourself

Accurately inform yourself about mental illnesses. Check out MentalHealth.gov for some mental health facts and myths.

  1. Educate Others

Once you have educated yourself, you can pass on your new accurate knowledge to others. Additionally, you can educate others, by presenting a positive attitude about those with mental health issues. You can do this by challenging any stereotypes or myths that others you know may have about those suffering from mental illness.

  1. Don’t Label Those with Mental Illness

Keep in mind that people are still people and not their diagnosis. For example, do not refer to someone as “she’s schizophrenic,” but rather state they have a mental illness. Remember to be respectful.

  1. Don’t be Afraid of Someone with a Mental Health Issue

Don’t fall to stereotypes. While it may seem that someone with a mental illness may display unusual behavior, keep in mind that it does not mean they are dangerous. That is an inaccurate stereotype that has been perpetuated by popular culture.

  1. Choose What You Say Carefully

How you say something can impact the way others speak and think. Never use derogatory or hurtful language about mental illness or to someone with a mental illness. Be sure not to use mental illnesses as an adjective. For example, don’t say, “I’m so OCD.” Speaking this way only furthers misconceptions and stigmas about mental illnesses.

  1. Be Sensitive and Focus on the Positive

Be supportive and reassuring to someone with mental illness especially when you know they are having a tough time. Additionally, focus on the person’s positive aspects. Essentially, treat others how you would like to be treated.

You can help fight stigma by spreading awareness about mental illness and helping to eliminate the many myths that exist about mental illness. Commit to changing the attitudes around you and we can help to get rid of the stigma once and for all.

Doorways LLC. is a faith-based counseling organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that provides comprehensive outpatient treatment focused exclusively on 13-25-year olds and their families specializing in treatment for eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety/OCD, substance abuse, depression, ADD/ADHD, self-harm, suicide prevention, and family counseling.

How to Stop Doing Everything for Your Teen

We all are trying to navigate through this parenting thing, right? We all know there is no right way to parent. One aspect that we as parents have taken on is doing everything for our kids. This may seem okay when they are younger. We know how to pack their lunch, make sure they get out the door on time or remind them to finish their homework. The problem is that a lot of parents continue to do these things and more- well into the teen years.

As a parent, you are hindering your teen’s growth by continuing to not hold them responsible and accountable for such things. It is important to teach your teen to be responsible for their commitments, teen independence, and build future relationships. Additionally, you will teach your teen independence. This is important so that in the future they will not only be able to take care of themselves but also their future family. To help you stop doing everything for your teen and to build the necessary skills for the future, we have compiled a list of things that you should stop doing for your teen.

  1. Laundry

Has your teen ever snapped at you because you haven’t washed those pair of jeans they wanted to wear out on Friday night? That is the perfect reason why you should hand over the task of doing laundry to your teen. They need a good reminder that you are not the maid. Honestly, this is a task they are going to need to do in life sooner than later. Then the next time their favorite pair of jeans are not clean, it’s on them and not on you!

  1. Making themselves meals

This one should be easy. Make sure you have plenty of healthy food choices for your teen can handle this one just fine. At a minimum, most teens can handle pouring cereal, making a sandwich, and packing an apple for lunch. You could also take this opportunity to teach some basic cooking skills. This skill will also help set the stage for further cooking lessons to help them be able to cook as an adult.

  1. Waking them up in the morning

That is what alarms are for! Honestly, you teach your teen responsibility. They are entirely capable of setting an alarm to a reasonable time to get up, get ready, and out the door to school on time. After suffering the consequences of a few tardies or long walks to school, your teen will likely understand what it takes to get up on time in the morning.

  1. Handling their forgetfulness

Have you ever been at work and gotten the call your teen left their project that was due today on the kitchen table? Let me get this straight, you are supposed to leave your work and take them their project so they don’t suffer any repercussions? Not only can this have repercussions for you in lost wages or lost time, it is not you that should suffer. It should be them. As a parent, you can help remind your teen of deadlines or better yet, help them calendar deadlines with reminders to ensure that this doesn’t happen and if it does, they are going to have to figure out how to handle forgetting something.

  1. Contacting Teachers

Sometimes teachers and students have a miscommunication or maybe your teen needs clarification on some school work. Encourage your kids to communicate with their teachers. Your teen needs to learn how to communicate and sort through any school issues with their teachers.

  1. Being overly involved in school work

It can be tempting to oversee your teen’s schoolwork to make sure they are not making any mistakes. However, keep in mind that you have already gone through school and this is their schoolwork, not yours. You can walk through a problem with your student to help them better understand and work through it, but under no circumstances should you be doing it for them. If your teen’s grades suffer they might begin to understand the importance of being responsible for getting their school work complete.

  1. Filling out paperwork

Whether it be a job application, a permission slip, a scholarship form, your teen needs to be filling out the necessary information. As a parent, feel free to proofread or offer suggestions, but the only thing that you should be doing is signing your signature if necessary. For example, if your teen misses a school field trip your teen might better appreciate doing paperwork themselves.

You might feel like your teen is not ready to handle these things, but you must begin handing over responsibility to your teen at some level to begin readying them for adulthood. By suffering the consequences of lack of responsibility, your teen will better understand the necessity of doing things for themselves. By expanding your teen’s responsibilities, you will give yourself a break and better yet, help your teen build self-confidence and skills that they will need throughout life.

Doorways LLC. is a faith-based counseling organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that provides comprehensive outpatient treatment focused exclusively on 13-25-year olds and their families specializing in treatment for eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety/OCD, substance abuse, depression, ADD/ADHD, self-harm, suicide prevention, and family counseling.

How to Teach Your Teen Resiliency

According to Merriam-Webster, resilience is “the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress; an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” Some people are just better adept at bouncing back after facing problems or stresses in their life. Is your teen one of those? If not, it’s not too late to teach your teen the skill of resiliency. It is important for your teen to obtain this skill so they can be more independent prior to moving on to college and adult life. With the help of the American Psychological Association also known as APA, we have some tips to teach your teen resiliency.

  1. Encourage Your Teen to Take a Break

The teen years already have their difficulties due to physical and hormonal changes and can make it difficult to handle life’s normal stress. Throw in a major trauma or tragedy and hormonal shifts can be even more extreme. When this occurs, encourage your teen to give themselves a break by going easy on themselves.

  1. Maintain Routines

High school is already full of choices and college will have even more for your teen. This can be overwhelming to some teens. As a parent, keep home life as routine as possible which can help provide comfort to your teen.

  1. Create a Safe-Haven

As a parent, we understand that home is not always a stress-free zone so allow your teen to have their bedroom be that safe-haven. This will ensure that they have somewhere they can escape and relax from any minor or major stresses.

  1. Express Emotions

The best thing for you to do is encourage your teen to talk about what is overwhelming them or stressing them out. If your teen is having difficulty talking to you, encourage an alternative activity like painting, drawing, writing poetry or journaling. This will help your teen work through any difficult emotions.

  1. Be Social

Ensure that your teen is spending time with friends or with family. Encourage them to talk about things that are going on with them or in the world with you or with their friends. You could also encourage your teen to join a new group at school or at church.

  1. Tune Out

We live in a society where news is at our fingertips. In the wake of tragedy, events can be sensationalized more than ever. Encourage your teen to tune out the news coverage so that they don’t incur further anxiety or worsen current ones.


  1. Take Care of Themselves

Help your teen make choices that make them feel good physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Most importantly, make sure your teen is getting sleep. Lack of sleep can be so detrimental when dealing with stress and may actually increase it or induce anxiety. This will help your teen to better deal with tough issues.

  1. Help Someone Else

A great way for your teen to shift their focus off their problems is to have them focus on someone else’s. Suggest your teen volunteer and with a project that they are passionate about.

  1. Be in Control

When a major tragedy occurs, it is easier than ever for things to become overwhelming and spiral out of control for your teen. You must insist that they be in control. One way to do this is to have your teen take one small step toward a larger goal so that it does not seem impossible for them.

  1. It’s All About Perspective

This can be difficult in the wake of a major tragedy that is all over the news and it seems like the entire world is discussing. However, help your teen think about other times where a positive has come out of a negative situation. Helping your teen understand perspective, will help them to not be so overwhelmed and stressed.

Developing resilience is not going to happen overnight. If your teen is still feeling overwhelmed consider reaching out to a mental health professional that can help them cope with their emotions and stresses.

Doorways LLC. is a faith-based counseling organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that provides comprehensive outpatient treatment focused exclusively on 13-25-year olds and their families specializing in treatment for eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety/OCD, substance abuse, depression, ADD/ADHD, self-harm, suicide prevention, and family counseling.

The Toxic Friendship: Frenemies

As parents, we spend a lot of time encouraging our teens to make new friends and cultivate the friendships they have. However, are we examining the types of friendships they have? How about negative relationships that are known as toxic friendships? One such toxic relationship that can exist particularly among teen girls is the so-called frenemy.

A frenemy is a person who was perhaps once a friend, but now the friendship has taken a negative turn and is now what we refer to as toxic. Rather than being a friend to your teen, the person is now just plain mean. As the SMC Education Blog explains, this type of relationship can lead to your teen not feeling good about themselves because of the way the frenemy is treating them. This type of friendship is characterized by hurtful behavior like put-downs, manipulation, giving the silent treatment, gossip, and placing conditions on the “friendship.”

As a parent, you can help your teen avoid these types of relationships and help them understand what positive relationships look like. According to Raising Children, begin by explaining that a positive relationship is one where the friend treats them with respect, looks out for them, is inclusive, and is caring towards them. Once your teen understands how they should be treated, this should help them better form their social group.

You can also help direct your teen to other teens you would like to see them spend time with. You can encourage your teen to try different activities to help foster more positive relationships. It also helps to encourage your teen to have friends from different social arenas. Some examples of this are friends in your neighborhood, from church, sports, school, and other social groups.

You can also help by encouraging your teen to invite friends to your home or other family activities so that you can observe the type of friendships they have and ensure the friendships are all positive in nature.

Additionally, talk to your teen about friendships by asking questions and keeping an ongoing dialogue so they feel open to discuss any issues that may come up.

If there are issues that come up and your teen is not able to avoid a frenemy, you can help. Encourage them to end the negative relationship by being open and saying that the friendship must end because they do not like how they are being treated.

If there is any backlash against your teen like bullying, talk to your teen and if necessary, get the school involved to help figure out a solution.

As a parent, continue to help your teen foster the positive relationships, but realize that there may be a few bumps in the road and let them know that you will work on them together. Be sure to keep an open dialogue going with your teen so that they can discuss any negative issues that potentially come up.

If you find that your teen is having difficulty navigating a difficult relationship, you can also seek the guidance of your teen’s school to help with the situation.

Doorways LLC. is a faith-based counseling organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that provides comprehensive outpatient treatment focused exclusively on 13-25-year olds and their families specializing in treatment for eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety/OCD, substance abuse, depression, ADD/ADHD, self-harm, suicide prevention, and family counseling.

Are Smartphones the New Drug for Teens?

Across the country, we are seeing an increase in the number of states legalizing marijuana, a growing number of people abusing opioids, and an increase in the use of synthetic drugs. But, as a recent New York Times article states, drug use among teens has been on the decline. Apparently, this decrease has been growing for over the last 10 years, but no one has really come to understand why.

Some researchers have begun to theorize that the decline is due to the increase in the usage of smartphones among teens. They believe that teens are avoiding drugs and alcohol because of the stimulation that they are receiving from their smartphones.

One of the researchers mentioned by the New York times is Dr. Nora Volkov, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. A team of researchers has been studying the topic and will meet this month to discuss the possible correlation between the decline in drug use and smartphone usage. Are researchers implying that teens might actually be getting “high” on their smartphones? Dr. Volkov says that is just the question that has been posed once the most recent survey, Monitoring the Future results came out which clearly show the decline in drug and alcohol abuse among teens. According to Dr. Volkov, she calls the stimulus that teens are getting from using social media, playing games, etc. as “an alternative enforcer,” the alternative being drugs, saying “teens can literally get high when playing these games.”

A substance abuse expert at Columbia University, Dr. Silvia Martens, states” playing video games, using social media, that fulfills the necessity of sensation seeking, their need to seek novel activity,” but is quick to mention that this still has not yet been proven.

How many teens have a smartphone? According to a recent Google survey, titled It’s Lit: A Guide to What Teens Think is Cool, only 9.6 percent of teens surveyed did not have a smartphone. Another study referenced by the New York Times revealed that the average age for getting a smartphone is 10. What’s even more surprising is that teens spend about six hours a day on their smartphone according to a Common Sense Media survey referenced by Today. According to the recent Google survey, the top social media platforms used by teens are Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram. Additionally, teens use their phones for gaming as well as streaming on sites like YouTube and Netflix. Based on these statistics, it does seem that teens are highly engaged in smartphone usage.

We will have to wait and see if these theories are proven or not, we do know that some teens have found solace in their phones while at parties where drugs and alcohol are present. The teens interviewed in the New York Times article shared their accounts of being at parties and being able to stay away from substances because they were busy on their phones. Other teens mentioned that they replaced boredom with being on their phones unlike some of their peers that replaced their boredom with drugs.

While smartphone usage and research on its effects are still somewhat new, we can see that there is a positive side to teen smartphone usage if it is replacing drug and alcohol use among teens.

Doorways LLC. is a faith-based counseling organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that provides comprehensive outpatient treatment focused exclusively on 13-25-year old’s and their families specializing in treatment for eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety/OCD, substance abuse, depression, ADD/ADHD, self-harm, suicide prevention, and family counseling.


Eating Clean and Dieting: What it Means for Eating Disorders

“Clean eating” is a buzz phrase that you may be hearing lately. What does that mean, though? According to the Mayo Clinic, “clean eating is, in essence, a diet — just a way of eating. But it is also a way of living that lends itself to improving one’s health and wellbeing.” They go on to explain that clean eating involves eating real foods that are not processed, eating for the purpose of nourishing the body, and eating safe food that is washed, cooked, and stored properly. While this doesn’t sound so bad, the National Eating Disorders Association suggests that clean eating is actually dieting, but just called something else.  Mental health experts have begun to see that the “clean eating” trend can impact those at risk for eating disorders negatively.

To begin with, the idea of labeling certain foods as “dirty” as opposed to “clean” can be a dangerous concept. If someone is eating anything other than vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins, does that mean that what they are eating is “dirty?” For those struggling with weight and diet issues, this can quickly turn into obsessing over everything that one consumes according to the Huffington Post. This could potentially lead to an eating disorder. If you notice that your teen has gotten caught up in the “clean eating” trend, here are some ideas on how you can encourage healthy eating habits instead.

  1. Everything in moderation.

While there are some foods that we know we shouldn’t eat all the time, like a box of cookies, the danger of labeling certain foods as off-limits it that it causes them to be more tempting to eat. Explain to your teen that it is perfectly okay to have a cookie occasionally. Everything in moderation.

  1. Don’t fall prey to the trends out there.

Between food bloggers, social media, etc. all new diet trends are put out there and largely discussed-particularly when they have been successful for weight loss. “Clean eating” might be all the rage right now, but down the road society will likely shift gears onto the next trend. Talk to your teen about the importance of not always following the crowd and evaluating what is right for them.

  1. Focus on the nutrients that your body needs.

As stated by the Huffington Post, nourishment isn’t just the physical, but also about the mental and emotional satisfaction that food can provide. Eating a salad with grilled chicken, and light dressing is a satisfying and healthy meal, but that doesn’t mean that your mom’s homemade pasta dish isn’t just as satisfying. There is a time for comfort foods. Remind your teen of that.

Encourage your teen to take cues from their body as to what nourishment they need and to be diligent about not obsessing about whether the foods they are eating are “clean” vs “dirty.” If you are concerned that your teen’s fixation with food is dangerous, please consult one our specialists here at Doorways.

Doorways offers individual and group programs for teens and young adults who are struggling with eating disorders. Our certified eating disorder experts are here to help your teen get their life back again.