Helping children to love their body & build a positive body image
Justin Bieber sang a song about ‘loving yourself’ but the lyrics are about vanity and a girl who clearly loved herself a bit too much. There is a fine line between thinking you are amazing and above your peers and having a positive body image where you are comfortable with your body and the way you look. With pressure from peers and the media it can be hard to remember that girls and boys come in all shapes and sizes. A parents role at home is important as we can do certain things that can help our children love their body and are confident in the way they look and feel about their body.

Five Ways To Help Children Love their Body

  1. Talk positively about your own body. You don’t have to mention the bits you don’t love but if your children hear you saying what you do like they will follow your lead.
  2. Don’t talk about the way other people look as it will only encourage your child to do the same. Also, we don’t want to encourage our children to gossip and speak badly about how other people look.
  3. Don’t hide your body away. They need to know what a body really looks like when it has experienced life.
  4. Focus more on what your body does and its uses. Things like being able to do sport, run, jump and play. Focus on the miracle of being a human being and the wonderful things our bodies can do.
  5. Have discussions around beauty being from within – everyone has their flaws and no-one make friends with people just because they have a great body. They make friends with them because they are kind, caring or funny – not because of how they look.

As a Kids Coach, these issues come up time and again and form the focus of my new book ‘Being Me and Loving It‘. The pressure on children to look a certain way can be overwhelming and they often need help to learn to love their body and not keep comparing to other people. As parents, we have the power to start instilling a positive body image in children at a young age and focusing on other areas so that children know that what we look like isn’t the only things that’s important in their lives.

Do your children feel the pressure to have a ‘perfect’ body? Or is it something they don’t really think about? I’d love to know what ages these issues start to effect children and if it’s more of a problem for girls than boys. Over to you! Please leave a comment below.

 

(PHOTO CREDIT: Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)