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Free Your Child from Overeating

A Handbook for Helping Kids and Teens

By Michelle P. Maidenberg

Is your child or teen overeating or overweight?
Are you unsure how to help? You’re not alone.

If your ten- to eighteen-year-old is struggling with overeating, you know how hard that can be—for your child and for you. Unhealthy eating habits put kids and teens’ well-being and self-confidence at risk. Something needs to change—but what? And how can you bring it up so they can really hear you?

You may have tried to help your child—without much success—but you may be overlooking the root cause of their struggle with eating and exercise—their thinking. In Free Your Child from Overeating, Dr. Michelle P. Maidenberg shares over 40 interactive exercises that will help your child or teen:
  • Identify triggers, cravings, and self-sabotaging thought patterns
  • Define his or her values and find the motivation to change
  • Learn to eat mindfully by savoring meals and snacks
  • And set realistic goals using the four P’s: predict, plan, put into action, and practice.
It can be tempting to hope that your child’s overeating is “just a phase,” but the price of inaction is too high. Using Dr. Maidenberg’s 53 strategies (rooted in mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy), you can free your child from overeating or obesity by building his or her confidence. Your child has the power to change, and you have the power to help!

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Meet the Author
Michelle P. Maidenberg headshot

Michelle P. Maidenberg

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Review quotes
“Offers help for families struggling with weight issues.”—New York Family

“Highly recommended, both for personal reference and public library parenting and health collections.”—Midwest Book Review

“Your child overeats. Put down the idea that now your job is to be the diet police. This problem is way more important—and way more hopeful—than that. You and your child have a chance to learn how the mind and body work. This wise book will help you and your child learn to see thoughts and feelings for what they really are, making it more possible for your child or teen to make mindful choices, to build healthy habits, and to live a healthy, values-based life without the burden of shame and self-criticism. Turn this problem into the opportunity that it is. This wonderful book will show you how.”
Steven C. Hayes, PhD, professor, University of Nevada, co-developer of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and author of Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life

Free Your Child from Overeating helps parents work with their children on health and wellness without stress and worry. This book gives parents and teens all the tools they will need to succeed.”
Marci G. Fox, PhD, licensed psychologist and coauthor of Think Confident, Be Confident for Teens

“Sustainable lifestyle changes require a strong sense of self-love and support. Unfortunately for many overweight kids in America, these essential ingredients are missing.  This handbook provides priceless strategies to help parents and their children raise self-esteem, overcome cravings, and strengthen communication. To achieve lasting success, parents must model healthy, active behavior for their children to emulate. This book will guide parents, step-by-step, one bite at a time.”
Corbin Billings, director of the documentary Bite Size

“Dr. Michelle Maidenberg has written a tour-de-force. Her new book Free Your Child from Overeating is complete, inspiring, and pragmatic. Speaking with a voice that’s both personal and professional, Dr. Maidenberg gives parents and their children the impossible—a way to actually create a space between desire and action, between wanting food and actually eating it, between an impulse and the self-contempt many feel after binging or simply eating when not hungry. Parents will learn new attitudes about food, children will change habits, and even therapists will find some new tricks.”
Mark R. Banschick, MD, author of The Intelligent Divorce

“Getting clear guidance on nutrition and health can be an incredibly frustrating endeavor. Dr. Michelle Maidenberg has the answer! Parents of children who overeat will find a wealth of helpful resources, thought-provoking exercises, and sound advice in this book.”
Craig Haen, PhD, psychotherapist and author of Engaging Boys in Treatment: Creative Approaches to the Therapy Process

Free Your Child from Overeating is an excellent guide that addresses major challengesfacing every overweight child—how to manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to eating and lifestyle activities.  Dr. Maidenberg offers specific, useful tools such as ‘Power Cards’ that support thinking and talking about the worries, decisions, and choices that affect children growing up in our overweight world today.”
Sharron Dalton, Phd, RD, author of Our Overweight Children and professor of food studies and public health at New York University

“Dr. Maidenberg’s framework, grounded in mindfulness and the acceptance and commitment method, weaves empathy, unconditional acceptance, and care throughout each activity in this book.  From ‘stinking thinking’ to ‘the cupcake conundrum,’ Dr Maidenberg has created a brilliant guide to help parents and children lead healthier lives.”
Susan Ciardiello, PhD, LCSW, psychotherapist and ADHD coach, author of ACTivities for Group Work with School-Age Children and ACTivities for Group Work with Adolescents

Free Your Child from Overeating is a must-have for those guiding youth toward mindful and healthy lives. It utilizes a step-by-step practical and innovative approach and teaches parents (and others caring for kids such as nutritionists and pediatricians) how to empower kids and teens to take responsibility for their health in a proactive and highly effective manner. I will undoubtedly recommend this book to parents and practitioners caring for and working with kids and teens.”
Ann Goelitz, PhD, LCSW-R, psychotherapist and author of From Trauma to Healing: A Social Worker's Guide to Working with Survivors

“Dr. Maidenberg has consulted the most relevant research and created a comprehensive guide to help parents navigate through this important, yet complex topic. Although the book is very informative and evidence-based, its focus is on communicating pragmatic strategies in a way that is easy for parents and their children to understand. For these reasons, I highly recommend this book to all parents and practitioners working with kids and teens!”
Heather Maguire, PsyD, BCBA-D, assistant professor, department of School Counseling and School Psychology, School of Education, Azusa Pacific University and author of Get Ready…Get Set…Go! It’s Time to Create Behavior Change

“This is an excellent, clearly written, easily understood, and helpful book that presents solutions to the serious problem of overweight children. It helps parents who often feel powerless about helping their child.”
Robert Schachter, EdD, assistant clinical professor, department of psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

“Using a family-based approach, Dr. Maidenberg brilliantly provides a series of user-friendly strategies for implementing behavior change. This book focuses on nutrition habits and behaviors, rather than weight, and provides the missing link for success in pediatric weight management. It is must-read for any family struggling with these issues or looking to introduce more mindfulness around eating. I’m excited to share Free Your Child from Overeating with my clients!”
Wendy Sterling, MS, RD, CSSD, sports nutritionist and eating disorder expert

“As a clinician, I often see the serious effects of overeating. Dr. Maidenberg’s book is a necessary primer for all parents to start to learn very practical strategies that can set the right tone for helping their kids and teens from the beginning. Free Your Child from Overeating is thoughtful, thorough, practical, and scholarly.”
Jennie J. Kramer, MSW, LCSW, founder and executive director of Metro Behavioral Health Associates Eating Disorder Treatment Centers and coauthor of Overcoming Binge Eating for Dummies

“At a time when the oversimplified, and potentially physically and emotionally damaging, calories in/calories out approach to childhood obesity is all too common, Dr. Michelle Maidenberg’s solid, well-researched, and exceedingly practical handbook on family wellness—body, mind, and spirit—reads like a breath of fresh, hopeful, and empowering air. She pairs easily grasped information on mindfulness, values, self-knowledge, and relationships with straightforward, and dare I say, fun exercises on essentials like triggers, communication, and slipups. Free Your Child from Overeating helps families avoid the ‘magic bullet’ mantras and head simply and easily toward a legacy of health.”
Brenda Wollenberg, BSW, RHN, author of Overweight Kids in a Toothpick World and founder of In Balance Wellness and Weight Release Programs
Product Details
Number of pages
Publication date
March 22, 2016