Key tools for raising a child with a positive body image
In the past, parents didn’t have to worry about body image issues until kids reached the teenage years. However, with social media invading each home and the relentless pursuit of thinness, helping our children develop a positive body image at an early age has become a must.
So what practical tips can you use to help improve your child’s body image? How can you teach your children to love the precious body they live in? Let’s explore this important subject together.
Tips for a positive body image:
Guide them to self love
One of the signs that your child has a bad body image is those negative comments he throws around about his shape or size. Moreover, hearing your child compare his body to others or feeling that he is avoiding certain activities he once enjoyed could also be your queue for stepping in.
But how do you step in? What do you say?
Although reassurance is very crucial at this point, you need to play a more proactive role. You do this by helping your child find the loving and wise part inside himself. This will help him learn how to combat his negative voice and his self-doubt.
Teach them to differentiate their own mind moods
Mind moods are simple the different thinking states we have within ourselves: the kind mind, unkind mind and the quiet mind. You need to teach your kids how differentiate between these 3 states of minds and give them examples of each.
Here is an example of how you can do that:
Unkind mind = I hate my thighs. Kind mind = I love playing basketball. Quiet mind = Peacefully resting.
The more your kids are aware of their own thoughts and thought process, the more they are able to choose their mind moods more consciously. This will help them learn how to lower their unkind mind’s volume and spend more time in their quiet or kind minds.
Help them practice their responses
Now that your child is aware of her different thinking states, it is time to teach her how to respond to them. The responses can be strong, silly, soft or even silent. When the unkind mind is at work, your child can use these responses to push it aside and take control of her mind instead of letting her negative thoughts take over.
Find the root of the problem
To help your child develop a positive body image, you need to find what triggers her dissatisfaction with her body. Loss, grief and bullying are only a few triggers you can uncover with time and patience.
Once you get to the root of the problem, you can now give your child some tools to deal with these triggers in a healthy and instructive manner.
Teach them how to be more present
Another way to combat a negative body image is by teaching your children to distinguish between what is real and what they think is real. Mind movies can cause your child stress and make him unable to cope with what he sees, hears or feels. The more your child can be present in the moment as opposed to in his own head, the easier it will be for him to develop a positive body image.
Help them find their own compassion & kindness
Ask your child how he would talk to his favorite pet, a baby or even their best friend. Then ask him to use that same voice to address himself. This will help teach your child how to use loving words and tones when he thinks of himself and his own body image.
Start from home
The world can be a very unkind place. This is why you need to start with positive messages at home. Even if you have your own body image issues, you can do this together to help yourself and your child. Start by avoiding the use of words such as good and bad to describe food. Furthermore, refrain from commenting negatively about other people’s weights or looks.
You can also practice listening to your body, its hunger and fullness and teach your child to do the same. Also, teach her how to embrace her own feelings and emotions, the good, the bad and the ugly.
What do you do to help your child develop a positive body image? What tips and tricks can your share with our readers? We look forward to your comments, tips and insights in the comment section below.