Maintaining Positive Body Image

As a parent, you already know that there is nothing worse than watching your children suffer. From the day they were born, you’ve watched over them while they slept, soothed them when they were sick and tried your very best to offer them advice whenever they’ve had a problem. Unfortunately, kids face many intense challenges in today’s society, and parents don’t always have the power to make things right. One of the biggest challenges faced by kids today is the struggle to maintain a positive body image.

Photo of young teen struggling to main positive healthy body image

Chances are, if you turn on your television and leave it on long enough to witness a commercial break, you will see a number of adds referring to weight loss or beauty products. These adds, coupled with the constant bombardment of perfect-looking actresses and actors on the programs themselves, send the wrong message to our young people. If you want your child to grow up with the understanding that beauty is more than skin deep, you’re going to have to provide that education yourself.

How to Help Your Child Cultivate a Healthy Body Image

Developing a healthy body image is always a work in progress, but making an active effort to provide a good example can go a long way.

1. End Body Shaming (This Includes Your Own Body)

Making negative comments about a person’s body is called “body shaming,” and it’s a habit we all must work on breaking if we want a healthier future for the next generation. Many people casually make negative comments about others without even realizing it. Pointing out that someone is “too thin” or “too fat” are equally negative because they suggest a set point of perfection for weight. In reality, some people are built very differently than others, and this is something that should be celebrated. Try to avoid ever talking negatively about someone’s body, and this includes your own.

2. Participate in Activities that Encourage a Healthy Connection to the Body

When taught correctly, activities such as yoga and dance focus on what the body can do instead of how it looks. They also can improve the mind-body connection and increase feelings of well-being. Try taking a yoga class with your teen. It will be a fun bonding activity and lead to a healthier body image for you both.

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