Our culture values the act of listening. We praise the ability to listen and hear and empathize. Parents, especially, are supposed to listen to our children.
But with an eating disorder, listening is a problem. EDs mangle self-image, self-esteem, and how the patient hears our concern and attempts to protect. Like any human being, they want to be heard, and they find meaning in their struggle.
As parents, how can we not listen? But eating disorders lie to the sufferer, so how is it best to listen?