Raising children who are confident about the way they look is important for developing their self- esteem and confidence. When children become adolescents, their bodies go through enormous amounts of changes which may be confusing for them. As parents and educators, it becomes our responsibility to raise body positive children. As parents, we can provide our children with an environment that is friendly and promotes well-being and helps create a healthy body image, when it comes to our children.
As a parent and a primary caregiver, what you can do is be a good role model. If as parents, we don't believe in ourselves and are positive about how we look, our child will fail to appreciate the same. Therefore, be confident and display it in your actions and words in front of your kids.
* Promote Healthy Social Media Usage: Encourage your child to not compare their bodies with that of models or social media influencers. Talk to them and try explaining that all that they see online might not be genuine. Give them examples of individuals who endorse body positivity and healthy living.
Do not shame your child for gaining weight or force them to go through strict diet charts. As we start judging our kids based on their weight or their appearance, they grow up prioritizing looks, rather than focusing on growing healthier bodies. Instead encourage them to take up healthy diet and physical activities that would help them maintain a positive lifestyle
One of the most powerful ways to fall in love with yourself is to replace negative and abusive chatter with positive praise. We often don't have any problems listing off the traits we dislike about ourselves but come short on vocalizing the good. Therefore, it becomes extremely important that we teach our children effective and assertive ways to deal with negative people that tend to bully them.
It is important that we not only teach children to accept their bodies, but also be accepting and sensitive of others' physical appearances as well, who might be facing similar issues but are hesitant to talk about it.
If body image concerns affect your child’s mental or behavioural health, ask your paediatrician about the same. Treatment could also be available through their practice, or they will recommend someone knowledgeable who offers strategies to assist your child improve their body image.