Adults grapple with negative body image. This negative view of the body results in eating disorders, mental health issues, and failed relationships. Your negative body image did not magically appear out of nowhere. It has been a product of your environment ever since you were a child.
As an adult, you know full well how crippling these negative thoughts are. Once you enter parenthood, you must make sure that your children don’t go through the same ordeals you went through just because the media and the internet told you that you should look a certain way.
Raising a physically healthy child is already challenging as it is. However, you can’t be choosing between their mental health, physical health, or happiness. Your child should be able to have all those. And you have the biggest plate to fill in these aspects of their life. Here are ways you can make your child feel comfortable about themselves:
It Starts with You
It is hard to overcome your own negative views, but you can’t expect your child to pick up healthy habits if you don’t practice them with yourself. They say you can’t give what you can’t have to start working on your own issues.
Be especially wary of moments when you talk to yourself. Don’t look in the mirror and then frustratingly say that you are fat and ugly. Once your child hears this, they will think that maybe being fat is such a bad thing because mommy or daddy is upset about it.
This is the reason why so many young people nowadays prefer to delay having children. This is so they can focus on building a better relationship with themselves before they try to raise children of their own.
However, it is not a crime to want to raise a family before fixing your own issues. It is doable. At the same time, you can’t be sure that you are totally over having negative thoughts. Especially for moms, the body goes through a lot of changes. The negative thoughts find their way back to your mind from time to time. You have to train yourself how to deal with such thoughts.
Be Present in Family Dinners
The lack of proper guidance is to blame for the majority of issues that adults have nowadays. Try to be as present as possible for your children. This will positively image your relationship with them.
Parental influence is linked to a child’s eating behavior. They pick up their eating habits during the first five years of their life. Your style of parenting influences how much your kids eat and the kinds of food they prefer. So make sure to teach your child how to identify their body’s natural cues of hunger and fullness. Let them explore healthy food choices. And teach them they should eat without distractions.
Eating together as a family is also a great way to establish an open line of communication at home. This will help you know if they struggle with anything, such as bullying or other school problems.
Make sure to set aside time for family dinners. Even if your schedule is full, there are ways you can make more time for your family. If you are busy with your e-commerce ventures, start looking for virtual assistants to whom you can delegate other tasks. If you are in the process of renovating your business’ commercial space, look into engineering agencies that can help you with tasks such as building commissioning. Of course, it will be more difficult for parents who are employees, but you can always arrive at compromises.
Be Easy with Your Words
Don’t kill your child’s confidence by comparing them with other kids or their siblings, especially when it comes to their physical appearance. Instead, you need to promote a healthy lifestyle by encouraging them to accept their body.
Make them appreciate how the different systems in their body work to let them enjoy the things they love. They should learn early that the human body is doing an excellent job to keep people up and running.
Practice positive communication and teach your child that everybody is unique and no body type or facial feature is better than another.
Be Active as a Family
You can naturally incorporate physical activity in your family getaways. Have a picnic every weekend, fly kites, or go running. Observe what your child enjoys. If they like dancing, join them or let them participate in classes.
Help them become more confident in their abilities and strength. Give them praise when they finish their first hike or when they learn their first dance move.
By becoming a better parent, you can spare your kids from the harsh experience of dealing with low self-esteem and other body issues. Make an effort and be there. Your children deserve a happy and healthy life.