Building Confidence – Encouraging a Positive Body Image
When we talk about body image, we are referring to the way we feel about our bodies. Having a healthy body image means feeling happy with your appearance and confident with your image when stepping into social settings.
For kids, having a sense of dissatisfaction with their body image can produce very negative effects to their day to day lives. Important mannerisms such as their self- esteem or confidence levels can be widely impacted as a result of their self imposed obstruction.
As a parent, your support, guidance and participation are all extremely important to your child’s development. Here are a few tips to combating a negative body image:
Don’t Allow Body Shaming in the Household
The first step to improving your sense of self is by creating a positive atmosphere. Have a discussion with all the members of your family about adjusting their behaviours and attitudes on body image. Encourage everyone to use constructive criticism when making suggestions to each other. For example, rather than telling your child not to eat something because of how much weight they may gain, a better alternative to this would be giving your child the opportunity to make healthier food choices by suggesting a more nutritious option.
Be a Good Example
Sometimes we can come across as being judgemental. When we say things to our children like “being fat is bad for you”, we can easily send them the wrong message and even impose a sense of shame upon them.
It is equally important to do routine check ins with your child. Ask them questions about their own body image. Do they feel dissatisfied with their size? Do they express guilt when they eat certain foods? Have they been going on any diets?
Finally, teach your child that it is okay to express emotions such as sadness, anger or confusion when it comes to their own bodies. Remind them that while their body constantly changes, their worth and importance stay the same.