As your child is entering their teenage years, they experience several changes in their bodies. During this time, your teenager is likely to be more sensitive about how they look. As a result, it is very easy for their self-esteem to be wrecked. As a parent, you must be your child’s best friend and help them appreciate who they are. If you are stuck on how to teach body positivity to your child, use the following tips for a start.
Lead by example
The best way to teach your child is to be an excellent role model. Children learn by copying what adults do. If you are insecure about yourself and it shows, children will think this is the way it’s supposed to be. Try not to discredit yourself in front of your children. Be proud of who your body and let this show in the way you dress and look. Do not body shame yourself.
Remind your teen that they are enough
In the age of Instagram and Snapchat, it is easy for your child to believe that there are people with perfect bodies and they may not be one of those. Let your child know they are beautiful just as they are and get into the habit of assuring and complimenting them. Avoid using hurtful language. For example, do not tell your child that junk food is making them fat. Instead, tell them that junk food is not healthy for them.
Teach your children the value of healthy eating
Be careful about how you approach healthy eating so that your child doesn’t think that you are criticizing them for their weight. Instead, let your child know that healthy eating is part of self-love and care.
Watch out for change in behaviour
Your child may not tell you they hate how they look. However, as a parent, you can tell when something is wrong with the way your child thinks of themselves. For instance, some children will spend too much time looking at themselves in the mirror or constantly remark about how someone else is beautiful. If you notice that, it’s time for you to remind your child that they are beautiful as they are.
Limit their use of social media
Gone are the days when there was only one handset in the house. Today, even children have their own mobile phones with access to the internet. Unfortunately, some things that teens see on the internet could cause them to think that they do not meet a certain societal standard of beauty.
Therefore, limit your child’s use of social media. Also, create an open environment so that your child can talk to you about what they see on the internet. This will give you time to dispel and burst some myths that your child may pick from social media that could affect their esteem.
Take note of poor eating habits
Some teenagers, especially girls, will turn to poor eating habits like starving themselves to avoid adding weight. Others develop full-blown eating disorders like Bulimia and Anorexia. If you notice such behaviour, talk to your child and seek additional help as possible.
Celebrate your child’s uniqueness
Remind your child that even though they may not have the hair or body shape of the celebrity they admire, there is something unique and beautiful about them. Always remind them about this unique quality and remind them that even their favourite celebrity has a quality they dislike about themselves.
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