Helping Your Kids Develop A Positive Body Image
There are many ways parents can help their kids develop a positive body image.
Pay attention to how you talk about your own body.
Are you constantly looking in the mirror complaining about your reflection or calling yourself fat? Your kids are most likely listening and learning from you. If you're referring to yourself as fat, they will likely follow suit in how they talk about and view themselves. On the other hand, if you talk about feeling good about yourself and your body, your kids are significantly more likely to think positively about their body.
Talk about optimizing the function of the body, rather than fixating on appearance.
Talk with your kids about physical strength and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Being strong and healthy allows them to exercise, play sports, dance and have the energy to enjoy life. Teach your kids about what can go wrong if they only focus on being thin or what their bodies look like.
Focus on your child's skills, talents and interests.
A teen or young adult who is enjoying life and getting praised for skills that have little or nothing to do with maintaining their body weight will be less susceptible to mood changes if their weight fluctuates.
The bottom line - if we want our kids to feel good about their bodies, we need to be healthy role models. This could make all the difference in how they grow up viewing themselves.