Talking To Your Children About Their Body
Between the media and superficial members of our communities, It’s hard not to be affected by societies opinion on personal image!
I came across this video one day and it got me thinking, I’ve always had body image issues – I still do! So how can I help my daughters not to? How can I help to raise the next generation not to judge ones appearance and just be ok with being who they are?
I read an article that said we should stop saying nice (or any) things about our or anyone elses body to diminish the importance of appearance, but here’s why I think they’re wrong! Regardless of what you teach at home it’s not likely the rest of society is going to keep their opinions silent, so what happens if they only hear from others how beautiful or ugly their bodies are? Let me tell you what will happen –They will believe whichever opinion means more to them at the time or whichever opinion they hear most often or from more people. Do you really want society to decide how beautiful your daughter feels?
I think it’s important for parents, family, and friends of both sex’s, to tell our children how beautiful they are. But not always the same way, specify sometimes by saying, “You have such beautiful hair” while your brushing it or “You have such pretty blue eyes” while they’re smiling. Remember not to always focus on the physical though, a beautiful person doesn’t always fit everyone’s ideal image of physical attraction, just as “ugly” people can often look gorgeous.
Teach your children the other ways that make them beautiful as well. Say “you have a beautiful heart” or “a beautiful mind”.
If you’re worried about image becoming the most important thing to your child, make sure you also compliment her mind. Tell her how smart she is getting, how much you love her art work that you know she sincerely put her full effort into. Compliment her sense of style – even if she “doesn’t have any”.
Children learn by what they see, hear, and do. If we only compliment our children on the things that fit societies image instead of the things that make them uniquely who they are, then how will they ever learn to accept themselves?
Though keep in mind, just like you don’t want to always focus on compliments to their appearance, you also don’t want to say things that will over do their confidence either. If you always say “you’re so smart” instead of “you’re getting so smart”, you are no longer encouraging them to excel or push themselves to do better.
Remember that every child is different. They’re looks, abilities and feelings. Even if they aren’t always fitting your own expectations of what is ok as far as styles or personalities go, as long as they are fitting into their own without being harmful to themselves or others – that is what’s important!
Thanks for reading 🙂