Tips to Help Your Kids Grow Up Loving Their Bodies
We live in a world where our kids are constantly bombarded with Instagram photos and Facebook posts about those perfect lives that kids their age are living- right from those pricey ‘on point’ outfits to gorgeous backdrops and locations, and that doesn’t just end there! Statistics have revealed how a staggering percentage of growing children were scared of being fat.
While childhood obesity in itself is a concerning issue, what takes it to another level is how the incidences of anorexia and other eating disorders in children have increased. That said, we need to raise children to have a positive body image, and if you too, are a concerned parent struggling to understand how to do it, here’s some help your way.
Avoid the Criticism
No matter what, never criticise your own body type and weight (or anyone else’s for that matter) in front of your children. Studies have found that children of parents who are unhappy with their own body tend to struggle with body image issues as well.
Talk Positively About Food
A lot of us unconsciously talk negatively about certain foods- how that cake is full of calories that will definitely add to the waistline and similar, and you may not consider it a big deal, but those little comments tend to have a big impact about your kid’s relationship with food.
Ditch the Diets
Those fad diets may seem like they’ll work wonderfully for you, but if you’re trying to raise children in a way that they love their body, it could go wrong in many ways. Avoid talking about juice diets and cleanses and trying so hard to ‘get back in shape’ in front of your kids.
As a parent, you have an amazing ability to encourage your children to develop body love- or body hate. Compliment them whenever they accomplish something with their bodies without focusing on their actual body type.
Regardless of whether your child is losing or gaining weight, avoid commenting or emphasizing too much on it. Congratulating your kid on losing a few pounds or showing your sadness when they put on a little can raise them to have a negative body image, and will bring them up with the idea that they’ll be loved and valued only when they’re skinny and thin.
Focus on Healthy Eating
If healthy eating hasn’t been your focus already, get started on it now, and let your kids know that it isn’t something to solely do with weight loss, but the fact that it’ll actually help nourish and strengthen your body. Find a way to discuss healthy eating without focusing on the ‘looks’ as a benefit of it.
Tell Them its Natural
Teach your children that they’re growing, and that changes in their weight and body type are a process, and are completely natural. Remind them that we do need ‘fat’ on our bodies and it doesn’t really have to be a bad word.