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Teen Talk: Cell phones and eating disorders

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Teen Talk: Cell phones and eating disorders

Dear Dr. Karyn,
Question: My daughter is turning 15 next week and desperately wants a cell phone. What’s your advice on this topic?
Answer: Recently, I asked parents this question and the majority of them did believe it was a good idea for their teen to have a cell phone because it helps with the safety factor. The biggest complaint: the bill. Here are a couple of practical options to help with this. Some parents I’ve coached have agreed that they will pay for the cell phone but their teen is responsible for the monthly expenses. Other parents have paid for the phone and will also give their teen ‘pay as you go’ cards putting a limit on how much they can talk. If they want to talk more, they need to buy more phone cards. The key is that you create a plan that is going to be a win for you and a win for you teen.

Signs of an eating disorder
Dear Dr. Karyn,
Question: I’m afraid my daughter has an eating disorder. She has lost a lot of weight over the last few months yet still complains she is fat. My husband and I are really concerned. What are the symptoms?

Answer: Unfortunately, many teens -especially girls – struggle with eating disorders. Here are some signs to watch out for. Does your daughter…
o Have good & bad food lists?
o Obsess about losing weight?
o Often talk negatively about her body?
o Eat unusually small food portions?
o Skip meals?
o Lie about what she is eating?
o Have noticeable weight loss?
If you answered yes to some or all of these questions, I strongly recommend you arrange for your teen to see your family doctor. Have your doctor recommend a counselor that works with teens. The key is to get help as soon as possible!

Dr. Karyn Gordon is a youth expert, parent/teen coach, motivational speaker and author. Check out