As a parent, it can be hard to know what to say to your children about body image. You want them to feel good about themselves, but you also don't want to send the message that they'll be judged by their appearance. Teaching your kids how to think positively about themselves is just as important as teaching them right from wrong or how to make money grow in an investment account. We've compiled some ways you can help your child develop a positive body image:
Don't talk in negative self-talk about your own body
When you teach your children about body concepts and self-esteem, it's important to remember that how you talk about your own body affects how they feel about their body. If you constantly criticise yourself and use negative self-talk, they will learn that it is okay to criticise your appearance.
If you want them to feel positive about themselves, start by changing your opinion of yourself, for example you can read your child a body image argumentative essay, or try not to dwell on which parts of your body are “too big” or “too big”. small," and don't take all the compliments as fake flattery from people who don't really understand what they're talking about (my fault). Instead, focus on all the things that make up YOU: character traits like kindness and generosity. Talents like singing or dancing, hobbies like reading books or playing video games make us unique individuals!
Teach your children to have a positive relationship with fitness
One of the most important things to remember is that fitness is a lifelong journey. You can't do it all at once, and you certainly won't be perfect. It's okay if you don't get the results you want right away--and it's definitely not your fault if they don't happen at all! Your children need to know that they aren't going to wake up one morning looking like they've been working out their whole lives just because they started going to the gym last week or even last year. They need to understand that fitness isn't just about your body; it's also about your mind and spirit.
If your child has ever said something negative about their body (e.g., "I hate my thighs" or "My arms are too small"), try talking with them about how those feelings aren't true: "You look great in those jeans," or "Your arms are so strong!" Even better would be asking them questions about what makes them feel good about themselves: What activities do they enjoy doing? Are there any foods that make them feel better when eating them? How does activity affect their moods?
Encourage healthy eating habits, but be careful of the language you use
- Talk about what you eat. When your child asks for something sweet or salty, explain why it's better to choose a healthier option instead (like a piece of fruit).
- Talk about why you eat. If your child doesn't want to try something new, ask them why--then explain how their body works and how different foods affect it in different ways. For example: "I feel good when I eat vegetables because they give me energy."
- Talk about how you feel after eating certain things--and don't just talk about how good something tastes! For example: "I feel full and happy after eating this banana because it has fibre and protein." You can also tell them when certain foods make it difficult for them to do things like run around outside or play with friends later on in the day (or night). This will help both parents and children understand each other better while also reinforcing positive behaviours surrounding food choices!
Focus on health over appearance
It's important to teach your child that health is more important than appearance. The two are not the same thing and can be at odds with each other, especially when you're a kid who wants to fit in with your peers.
In order to do this, you have to show them by example--if you're healthy and active, then your body will naturally look healthier as well. Your kids will notice if they see their dad going for a run every morning or coming home from work after having been on his feet all day long, this will help them understand how being active can help improve their overall wellness.
Talk to your kids about what they see in media
Media is a powerful influence on kids, and it's important to teach them how to critically analyse what they see.
It's also important that you're careful about what you show them. If your kid sees an ad where all the women are thin, beautiful, and noticeably younger than their male counterparts, they might start wondering if they need to be like that too. You can help them by reminding them of the truth: everyone is different! And even though some people may look different than others (and some might be super fit), there's no one right way or wrong way for someone's body shape or size--it just depends on who they are as an individual person!
If this conversation becomes difficult for you as a parent (maybe because it makes you feel uncomfortable), remember that talking with your children about these things can actually help build trust between parents and kids by giving both sides space to share their thoughts openly without judgment from either side.
Turn off reality TV
You can do this by turning off reality TV. While it's tempting to let your kids watch shows like The Voice or America's Got Talent, these shows are often unrealistic and can teach your children that they need to be famous in order for people to care about them. Instead of letting them absorb this message from the media, teach your kids about the difference between reality and fantasy by pointing out what makes these shows unrealistic (the judges' comments aren't always very nice. Some people are more talented than others). In addition, encourage critical thinking skills by encouraging young children who watch television shows with you to ask questions like "what would happen if I did this?" or "would I really say something like that?"
It also helps if parents model good behaviour around food and exercise themselves--this includes not shaming others for their weight or appearance but instead focusing on what they do well instead!
How you teach your children about body image is important and can avoid problems in the future
Body image is important for kids to understand, and it can affect their self esteem. If you want your child to grow up with a positive body image, here are some ways that you can help them:
- Don't talk about weight or eating habits in front of them. This might seem obvious, but many parents don't realise how much their own behaviour influences the way children think about themselves. If you're talking about how much weight someone needs to lose or how many calories are in food, then this will be internalised by your child as normal behaviour around food and bodies--and they'll likely develop an unhealthy relationship with both over time as well.
- Don't comment on your child's weight or eating habits. Children internalise the beliefs of those around them, so if you make negative comments about their appearance or body, then they'll likely begin to feel unhappy with themselves as well. If your child is overweight and you're worried about their health (which is a good reason to have this conversation), then it's important that they understand that there are many other factors involved in being healthy than just size, age, or gender. Don't make assumptions about what other people eat or weigh. Remember that everyone has different needs based on their lifestyle and health history.
Body image is a difficult topic, but it's important that we talk about it with our kids. We want them to feel good about themselves and their bodies, so we have to model that behaviour ourselves. By teaching them positive body image and avoiding negative self-talk, we can help our children avoid problems with weight loss or gain later in life.