10 tips to help teach your children to have a healthy body image.
1) Model a healthy body image through your own behavior. Make positive comments about yourself. Don’t make comments that judge others based on their appearances. If you catch yourself doing this on a regular basis, ask yourself, why? It’s so ingrained in most of us that we don’t even notice it most of the time. It is a hard habit to break…but one that must be broken!
You never know what someones story is..so making a judgement based on their physical appearance is never okay.
2)Be confident with your own body. Go to the beach. Go to the pool. Don’t let your own body stop you from making memories with your family. Jump in photos..never avoid them!
3)Make sure your child knows that what they see in magazines has been edited to look “perfect” and not reality. Explain that all bodies are good bodies…zero certainly is a real size and just as real as a size xxxl. There is no size that is better than the other, and all are just as beautiful.
4)Make being “healthy” a priority. Don’t focus on the size of your pants or the number on the scale. Focus on being active with your kiddos, treating your body well and loving life. The rest falls into place.
5) Get real with the statistics. Over 80% of 10 year old girls are afraid of being fat. EIGHTY PERCENT. You didn’t misread that. Those 80% have also attempted to go on a diet. Be mindful of your words when talking about diets.
6)Get dad involved. Be sure that your child’s father figure (Grandpa, whomever!) is watching what comments they make. Loving, positive comments go a long way.
7)Watch your child’s favorite TV shows with them. Point out bullying (I’m SHOCKED at how much teasing takes place on those Disney shows). Use things as teaching moments.
8)Deemphasize beauty and focus on their other attributes. Comment on how strong they are. How smart they are. How kind they are. Encourage them to be a good friend.
9)Don’t talk negatively about food. Don’t say things like.. “whoa that has too many carbs and will go straight to my thighs!” …your child is listening. And learning. Food is fuel for our bodies. Make good choices and focus on the health benefits of food. Moderation is so important. You want your child to have a healthy relationship with food!
10) Keep communication open and honest. If your daughter comes to you saying she thinks she is fat..don’t just immediately say “NO you are not” and end the convo there. Find out where it is coming from and do your best to help her through it.
<3 Your kiddos are always listening, learning and modeling behavior….. do your best to be a good role model. My daughter is 10 and on her way to becoming a “tween”…I’m not perfect in any way but doing my best to build her self confidence and teach her to love herself.
ALL bodies are beautiful.