Helping Your Child Have a Positive Body Image

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It’s no surprise that we live in a body-conscious society. Our children are constantly bombarded with images of incredibly thin models and super stars. Pop stars are viciously attacked by the media the minute they gain five pounds. Teen girls criticize one another in school and many youngsters, and adults, spiral out of control in a quest to have the perfect body. Even social media now plays a large role in fueling the need to be thin with dangerous “thinspo” photo blogs.

As a parent, how do you see the signs? What do you know when a problem has already started? Kayli struggled with an eating disorder and has started a new Body Image series on her popular YouTube channel HeyKayli. In an emotional video, her parents answer viewers’ questions about the darkness of anorexia and bulimia.

Here are some other tips from womenshealth.gov in helping your child have a positive body image:

  • Make sure your child understands that weight gain is a normal part of development, especially during puberty.
  • Avoid negative statements about food, weight, and body size and shape.
  • Allow your child to make decisions about food, while making sure that plenty of healthy and nutritious meals and snacks are available.
  • Compliment your child on her or his efforts, talents, accomplishments, and personal values.
  • Restrict television viewing, and watch television with your child and discuss the media images you see.
  • Encourage your school to enact policies against size and sexual discrimination, harassment, teasing, and name-calling; support the elimination of public weigh-ins and fat measurements.
  • Keep the communication lines with your child open.

How do you help your children have a healthy body image?

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