Things to say to after your daughter tells you she has bulimia

“I have bulimia!”

These are shocking words that almost no parent wants to hear. If your daughter has the courage to open up to you and talk about her struggle with bulimia, we have a few tips to guide you through the conversation.

  • Just listen Take the time to listen to what your daughter is telling you. Many conversations are a steady back and forth of spewing ideas with little listening. Listen carefully to what your daughter is saying. You will learn a lot by just listening.
  • Don’t rush to judgement or make assumptions. Try not to judge her about why she has bulimia or make assumptions about her mental or physical wellbeing.
  • Be caring Let your daughter know that you care about her and that you can be a shoulder for her to lean on.
  • Tell her that you care Your daughter is probably scared, nervous, and confused. She might even be depressed. Let her know how much you care about her. **Being caring and telling a person that you care are two completely different things. Sometimes a person needs to hear the words “I care about you”.
  • Do not give advice or criticism. Even though your daughter talking with you about bulimia is probably a very emotional and unsettling experience for you, be careful not to give advice or criticism. Take time to absorb what she has talked to you about before making a plan of what to do.

Things to do after your daughter tells you she has bulimia


  • Learn about bulimia. Knowing about bulimia will help you understand what to expect.
  • Join a support group. There are many, many, many support groups for parents of children with bulimia. Support groups are important and will help you navigate through your mixed bag of emotions and feelings. We have compiled a list of free bulimia hotlines and support groups.