Anyone can struggle with body image; Research shows that children as young as 3 years old can have body image concerns. As a therapist who works with children and teens, this question comes up a lot from parents. And the truth is, cultivating a positive body image in your children starts with you. Children and teens often look at the people closest to them to guide their own relationships with their body. As a parent, demonstrating a healthy attitude towards your own body can promote self-acceptance and appreciation in your child. Some other ways you can help your child include:
1. Encouraging open conversations about their feelings and concerns related to body image.
2. Coming from a place of validation and support and trying to understand where your child is coming from.
3. Focusing on their strengths, talents, and character rather than solely on appearance.
4. Using body neutral language (avoiding words like ugly, skinny, or fat)
5. Having a conversation around social media and how it makes them feel can have a big impact.
6. It’s important to remember that consistency and patience are key in supporting your child through their journey toward a positive body image.