How can I promote a healthy body image in my teen?
Real Mom Problem
“How do you help your teens feel okay with their weight? If they are overweight, how do you help them with losing weight without going on crazy fad diets and other unhealthy things?”
- 1. Live a healthy life and be an example for your teen
- 2. Don't criticize your own body in front of your teen
- 3. Keep the focus on health, not appearance
- 4. Praise your teen for achievements, healthy habits, and good deeds
- 5. Talk to your teen's doctor if you have concerns
Real Mom Solutions
The moms of CafeMom agree that your teen's healthy body image starts with YOUR healthy body image. Focus your teen on his or her overall health and well-being, not looks, and take these tips from moms.
I tell my kids all the time that it is not what is on the outside but the inside.
Keep the focus on being "healthy" and not on weight so you don't give your teen a complex. Invite your teen to go for walks with you or join the gym together (most gyms have a deal for family members to join together). Then do it! Best case, you will motivate them to join you. Worst case, you will be in better shape yourself. Stock the house with healthy snacks. When I talk about food it is not about weight, but what foods do for your body. My daughter is starting to notice that she FEELS better when she eats better and drinks more water.
It starts with you. Take care of yourself and your kids will always remember that image of seeing mom working out and eating well. Try not to talk bad about yourself in front of them, too.
Talk to your daughter about her body shape. Help her to accentuate her assets and dress in styles that flatter her. Talk about the pros and cons of different shapes. My sister is tall and really thin, not a curve in sight, and she can wear spaghetti straps, tiny tank tops, etc. But I can fill out dresses and blouses better, and I can wear heels. There is always a positive side; share that with your daughter. Most importantly, drill it into her that it is so much more important to be healthy than to be thin.
I have always been happy with me as I am and never really cared what others thought. I figure if someone doesn't like what they see, they don't have to look, and my kids picked up on that. Feel good about yourself and they will too.
Make sure you always say nice things about your daughters, yourself, and other women. If you train their eyes to notice nice things about people they will notice nice things in themselves. Compliment other woman in front of them -- pretty is as pretty does. Also, make the emphasis on being healthy and hygienic, not about "looks" all the time.
Get them up and moving! It really seems to be the more active kids are, the better they tend to feel about themselves. Moving is paramount in developing good self awareness.