How To Teach Your Kids About Body Positivity
How To Teach Your Kids About Body Positivity
In today's world, health is on everyone’s mind.
Usually, when we talk about health, we are looking at sickness, mental health, athletic prowess, and other similar topics.
However, one very important health topic, yet one rarely discussed is the topic of a healthy body image.
Television, movies, magazines, and social media tell us that there are a few so-called “perfect body types,” and those who have those body types are healthy and attractive, and those who do not are unhealthy and unattractive.
This message has an astounding effect on kids. As parents and mentors, it is our job to help kids and teenagers learn about healthy body image and body positivity.
In this post, we will break down what body positivity is, and how you can teach your kids about body positivity.
What is Body Positivity?
Body positivity is the idea that all people deserve to have a positive body image, regardless of how society and media view the ideal body shape, size, and appearance.
- Promoting acceptance of all bodies
- Helping people build confidence in their abilities
- Addressing unrealistic body standards
A big part of the body-positive movement is addressing proper nutrition, dismantling "diet culture" (fad diets that promise unsustainable results), addressing eating disorders, and finding fun, beneficial ways to incorporate physical activities into your lifestyle.
In short, it is about encouraging a healthy lifestyle, learning to be happy with who you are, and bringing awareness to how we talk about our own and others' bodies.
Teaching Kids About Body Positivity
Kids under 18 are especially vulnerable to myths propagated by the media about how their bodies should look.
The Child Development Institute found that 40% of children as young as two to four worries about their weight, size, or appearance.
Additionally, eating disorders have increased in the past 20 years and they are most prevalent among adolescents aged 13-18. Children as young as 5 are dieting.
These are startling statistics, and they clearly show the importance of teaching your children about body positivity when they are young.
Here are a few things parents can do to help instill a positive body image in their children and help them build a healthy lifestyle.
Be a Role Model
Children often mimic the behaviors of adults around them. When children hear adults speak negatively about their bodies, they are more likely to speak negatively about themselves.
Try stating positive things about yourself and acknowledge that your imperfections are fine. Practice this behavior around children and they will develop a more positive image of themselves.
Create a Positive Attitude About Physical Activity
If you treat physical activity as a chore, your children will view it as one. Instead, focus on making physical activity positive and fun. Focus on what you can do instead of what you have to do.
Engaging in different activities and helping your kids find something that they enjoy will be highly beneficial in helping them improve their body image and focusing on what they can do.
Develop a Healthy Association with Food
Teach your kids that there is no such thing as good or bad food and that everything can be enjoyed in moderation. These labels often create unnecessary anxiety around food and can impact your children's body image.
Teach your kids about nutrition and emphasize the importance of nutritional foods and how they help their bodies grow. Instead of focusing on calories, focus on how different vitamins promote health. For older children, teach them about the role carbohydrates, proteins, and fats play in a healthy diet.
Never shame your children for their food choices and allow them to indulge in sweets or chips every once and a while. Cultivate an environment where nutritious foods are appealing, and your children will develop a healthy diet and a positive body image.
A Healthier Body Image with Child Focus
No matter what their body looks like, nearly everyone struggles to maintain a positive body image.
In today’s world, it can be especially hard to focus on nutritional foods and a healthy lifestyle. Teaching your kids about a healthy body image is all the more difficult.
Celebrating your children’s abilities and consuming food with plenty of vitamins and minerals is a good first step towards building a healthy body image. Regular conversations addressing the role media plays in our self-image is another good step to take.
If you or your children are struggling with body positivity, then Child Focus is here to help.
We offer therapy, education, training, and more to help you and your family tackle your issues and get your life moving in the right direction.
We proudly serve Clermont, Brown, Hamilton, Butler, Adams, Highland, and Warren counties.
If you could use help retooling your body image, then it is time to reach out to Child Focus today.
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