It’s essential to start teaching body positivity at a young age. Eating disorders in children have increased in the past two decades to an alarming rate. We got some tips on teaching your kids about body positivity that will help them love their body and be confident.
Be Positive About Yourself
Don’t be negative about your own body in front of your kids. If you stare in the mirror and talk about how fat you are, kids pick up on that. No one has a perfect body. The problem is when you voice your negative opinion in front of the kids. They start to pick up on that you think “fat” is a bad word. You may start to say you hate your hair, your face, and your skin. They start to look at themselves in the mirror in a different light. Genetics does play a role in what your child looks like, so they start to see your imperfections in them. Instead of picking out the “wrong” things, talk about the things you love about yourself.
Have Fun With Exercise
Instead of dreading it, have fun with exercise. Don’t talk about exercise and activity as a way to lose weight, but rather a way to boost your health both mentally and physically. Have fun with exercise by doing activities that require a lot of movement. Play games with the kids like tag to get them moving. Shoot some baskets with them or kick a ball around a field. Go on a family bike ride.
Teach them exercise is fun and gets people together.
Teaching Girls Is A Big Challenge At Times
It can be a more significant challenge for girls to have a positive body image. In today’s world, girls seem to have this ideal body in mind at a younger age. Books like “Her Body Can” by Katie Crenshaw teach about body positivity.
It’s important to talk to them about how people come in all different bodies. People come in short, tall, big, small, etc. The great thing about children is that they often barely notice differences in people. It’s usually the adults that do the commenting. They learn by design. It’s important to talk to them about differences in people, and that it’s totally normal and beautiful.
The “F” Word
The word “fat” is thrown around in a negative light. Society says it’s okay to say someone is short, but you can’t call them fat. You then might be mad at someone and say, “Get off your fat butt.” This gives fat a horrible connotation.
It gives kids the thought that “fat” is a bad word. When they hear it at school, they’ll be afraid of it. Don’t let fat become a bad word in your home.
It sounds easier said than done. But it’s important to teach your children about confidence. This is mainly done by praising them for who they are. Praise them for who they are on the inside, and praise them for what they look like no matter what. True confidence stems from inside. They must love who they are.
Younger children usually don’t understand looks until you explain it to them. They know people look different, but they usually don’t care. Older children are the ones that typically start to see issues just because the world around them points them out. Praise them for everything about them. They’ll begin to look in the mirror and love that person both inside and out.
Push A Healthy Relationship With Food
Even toddlers know vegetables are “good,” and ice cream is “bad.” Try not to use these words so much. This will make toddlers run from the good foods. They want to eat the sweet, yummy foods because they know these are usually restricted. Don’t label things so much. If they eat a piece of pizza, it’s okay from time to time.
Emphasize the foods that help them become strong and healthy. Don’t focus on the fat intake, but more on the vitamins in the food. Explain that fruits help their vision. Nuts are great for the brain, and meat gives them big muscles. Don’t shame them when they eat food that isn’t so great for them. Instead, put praise into the better foods, so they lean into them, knowing they do good things for their body.
Teaching your children to be positive and confident about their bodies will help them as they grow into adults. Worrying about their physical appearance will only hold them back. Always be positive about their beauty on the inside and outside. Their self-esteem will continue to grow, and they’ll see the world in a totally different light of positivity.