How many times have we said this to our children?
I know I have – loads of times!
However, having spent the last several years specialising in children’s problems I’ve come to realise that anxiety over food is THE most common issue that I deal with daily! Why? Oh, I wish I could answer that but there are so many possible reasons. Selective eating disorder ( SED) in children has been around forever-it just didn’t have a name! Now it’s a known and recognised condition that affects children of all ages! “Can you help my child – he’s a severe fussy eater – he only eats about six different foods and they are all the white/beige foods like bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits and chips” I hear this at least two or three times a week! So why can’t mums (and dads) get their little Johnny to eat?
After all, they know their child best!
The answer is “the child has a severe food phobia NOTHING you do – no reward – no treat – no punishment will overcome that fear and severe anxiety!
“But how does it start? ” I hear you ask.
Well – if I knew the exact answer to that I would be a millionaire by now as I could get every fussy eating little kid – EATING! But there are many reasons why this disorder could have taken hold…. An episode of choking-reflux as a baby – tonsillitis which made eating a very painful experience – there are so many
reasons and unless a mum can specifically say ” my child ate everything until he choked on some Spag bol at 3 years old – now he won’t eat” then, to be honest, we are really working in the dark. Sometimes there has been no bad experience whatsoever but the child may be suffering from sensory processing disorder ( SPD) whereby his senses ( taste, smell ) are super sensitive or the texture of the food makes him gag.
So why is hypnosis usually (in most but not all) cases, the treatment of choice for these children? Because it goes straight to the sub-conscious mind where those fears are held! By changing the child’s thoughts of food items being scary to those of pleasure we can almost always ease the anxiety! Now I’m not saying It’s easy – far from it! The hypnotherapy is simply the beginning of a long road which will
require patience, consistence, and perseverance on the part of the parents.
However, that’s exactly what the parents need – somewhere positive to start from!
“But I don’t want anyone messing with my child’s mind – putting him into a trance and all that weird stuff! ” I hear you say!
It’s not like that at all! We all go through a natural form of hypnosis every single day (daydreaming, driving etc) and children are experts at it! It just takes an experienced clinical hypnotist who specialises in children’s problems to bring that out in the child and know what suggestions to put in! Hypnosis is, after all – just child’s play!