In anticipation of her upcoming event with the Chicago Feeding Group, Marsha Dunn Klein, OTR/L, MEd, FAOTA sat down with one of CFG’s own team members to discuss how supporting parents is just as important as supporting children at the table. Summarized in a brief letter, read on to hear their discussion on showing yourself kindness, finding what helps you stay calm, and making room for lots of celebrations along the way in your journey with pediatric feeding disorder.
Please give yourself grace. Parenting is hard. All parents come up with significant surges of strong positive as well as negative feelings with parenting. Just remember, YOU are doing the best you can! Mealtimes may be stressful for the whole family, including yourself. We want you to know you also deserve to be acknowledged throughout this process as you, the parent, play an important role in the relationship you have with your child.
Some ideas to keep mealtimes positive for the entire family:
One of the most important tips we encourage parents to remember during stressful moments is to try to remain CALM. This can be difficult especially during heightened emotional times. There will be many times where your patience is tested and it may help to practice your own emotional regulation techniques. Some strategy suggestions that might help you include:
Another important reminder is to CELEBRATE your child! Your child is learning and exploring the world with you! We want to acknowledge the positive things your children are doing around mealtimes. Just remember, you are doing a great job! And so are your kids! You are learning about your child as much as your child is learning about the world. We are cheering you on!
The Chicago Feeding Group and Marsha
Written by: Nicole Bing, OTD-S
In collaboration with Marsha Dunn Klein, OTR/L, MEd, FAOTA
Marsha Dunn Klein Interview. 5 Nov 2021.
Black, M. M., & Hurley, K. M. (2017). Responsive feeding: Strategies to promote healthy mealtime interactions. In Complementary feeding: building the foundations for a healthy life (Vol. 87, pp. 153-165). Karger Publishers.