Promoting Positive Body Image By Talking with Your Teen Girls

Promoting Positive Body Image By Talking with Your Teen Girls

Body image among girls has been a hot button topic for many years and with the rise in internet access and social media,teens need help more than ever to develop good self- esteem. As a parent, you play an important role in promoting a positive body image for your teen girl and there are a variety of things you can do to help her grow strong and confident for the right reasons.

  1. Be a positive role model – You cannot complain about how fat you feel in your jeans and then expect your daughter to not echo similar sentiments. While it may not feel like it, your teen watches you more than you think. Be positive about your own body and learn how to celebrate your assets instead of bemoaning your flaws and encourage your teen to do the same.
  2. Make good health a lifestyle – Teaching your family good eating habits is an important part of being healthy. While it may be tempting to remove all junk food from your teen’s life, learning how to balance the occasional drive through meal or weekend batch of cookies is also an important skill to master when it comes to overall health. You are the most important factor in helping your daughter learn good habits that will benefit her now and throughout her life.
  3. Be positive – Even if there is some aspect of your girl’s appearance that concerns you, such as weight gain or acne, she needs you to be a safe and supportive place. Drawing attention to issues that she is likely already aware of will only make her feel rejected. Rather than being critical, give her healthy feedback on aspects of her body that she can be consistently proud of, such as her beautiful, curly hair or her bright smile. You can still help her overcome issues of concern with more subtle approaches or by encouraging lifestyle changes as a family.
  4. Talk to her about media – Arguably, the media plays one of the biggest roles in teen girl body image these days. Airbrushed photos of models can set a very unrealistic standard for beauty. Keep a dialog about what is attainable, such as outfits and hairstyle as opposed to what is not, such as thigh gaps and large breasts.
  5. Identify other forms of beauty – In our image centered world, many teen girls make the mistake of assuming that looks are their greatest asset. Remind her that she is a whole person and that there are beautiful aspects about her that have nothing to do with looks or body shape. Teach her how to appreciate her body by introducing sports or dancing and make sure that you are recognizing a variety of strengths, such as her responsible nature or her excellent academic skills. Focus on the benefits of a strong, healthy body over traditional notions of beauty whenever you can.

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