Teaching your kids about body image

Because so many children have access to social media these days, it’s more important than ever to teach them about body image. If you never have these conversations with your little ones, they could develop unhealthy thoughts about how they look. It’s difficult to completely control how children feel about themselves, but having an open discussion about appearance can do a lot for their mental health. If you need some tips on how to approach the subject, this blog has plenty of advice for you.

Child looking at reflection:Photo by Leohoho on Unsplash

Educate them about weight loss

Your kids should never feel like they need to go on a diet, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t understand why some people do. Try to explain that some people want to lose weight for their health or appearance, but that being overweight isn’t necessarily an indicator of poor health. Educate your kids about treatments like liposuction in a safe space, so they have time to ask all the questions they want. If you need more information about liposuction and what the treatment involves, check out Cadogan Clinic. However, it’s important to emphasise that no treatment or diet should replace a healthy, happy lifestyle.

Children playing outdoors:Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

Lead by example

Some of the most harmful ideas that children have come from the people closest to them. While you might not be directly teaching them that their bodies aren’t perfect, your behaviour could be sending them the wrong messages. It’s ok to feel insecure, but don’t let your children hear you negatively talk about your body. Try to avoid bringing up diets, under or over-eating and always embrace your natural features around them. Your children will always want to be more like you, so make sure you’re showing them a side of yourself that you can be proud of.

Allow them to express themselves

When children are young, it’s tempting to start moulding them to fit our own standards of beauty. This could be by buying pretty dresses for girls or button-up shirts for boys. While these don’t seem harmful, if your child is resistant to the types of clothes you buy for them, make sure you ask for their opinion. Some girls might feel more comfortable wearing trousers, while boys might want stretchy T-shirts they can play in more comfortably. It’s hard to know what goes on in your child’s head as a parent, but allowing them to feel happy about their appearance is the first step to cultivating a positive body image later in life.

Tell them everybody is different – and that’s ok

As children get older, they’ll want to look more like their friends and the celebrities they see online, but it’s important to emphasise that diversity is beautiful. Everyone has a unique look and that should be celebrated no matter what other people say.

While encouraging kids to be happy with how they look naturally is great for their development, it’s also vital to educate them about the world. Make sure they don’t discriminate against people who do wear a lot of makeup or decide to undergo cosmetic surgery. Everyone has the right to look exactly how they want to.