Teens experience a number of changes in their bodies, which can cause them to feel self-conscious and hyper-aware of what they might think are imperfections.
The media endlessly bombards us all with the picture of “the ideal body,” which is a very convincing idea for impressionable teens. As a result, they may have a negative body image of themselves, leading to discontent.
Everything from our culture, media, magazines, movies, family, friends, and peers affect how we view our bodies. Both boys and girls are at risk of feeling inadequate if they constantly consume images of public figures with perfect bodies and skin.
Sometimes, parents also influence a child’s body image. Since kids look up to their parents and imitate their attitude and opinions in their early years, any negative ideas that are exhibited will influence the children as well.
Additionally, these feelings can also come from within your teenager, as a result of an eating disorder or another condition that is detrimental to their body image.
How To Foster Positive Body Image:
Prevent The Effects Of Media:
As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children about the effects media can have on their body image, so they are mentally prepared.
Instead of trying to prevent your child from consuming any negative media, teach them about it, ask them about their feelings, and explain how the media may not always portray reality.
Talk to your children about the advertisements they see on TV. Your teens should be taught about marketing techniques that are used to target people to buy products, and how pictures in adverts may be retouched.
Tell your teens about the ways in which media portrays everything in a glamorous light. Helping your child understand the unhealthy side of media will prevent them from wanting to look like the people they see on TV.
Demonstrate Body Positivity:
Your teen is always watching you; your lifestyle, eating habits, and attitudes all influence their lives. Therefore, it’s important to set a good example.
You can focus on being healthier, exercising more, and playing sports with the family on weekends. Watch your words when you talk about your body, and avoid criticizing your own body in front of your kids.
Use Positive Words:
When talking about your teen’s body, avoid words with negative connotations or criticism. The chances are, your teen is already hyper-aware of any weight or skin problems they have, and your comment may make them feel worse.
Instead, focus on their strengths and compliment them often. Encourage them to develop healthy habits like good posture, sleeping habits, and exercise. The positive feedback will help them develop a good image of themselves.
A negative body image is detrimental not only for a teenager but for the parents as well. If your child is struggling with body image issues, Youth With A Future can help.
Our urban youth leadership development programs are focused on developing young leaders who can navigate through life easily. Get in touch with us now to learn more about our workshops and developmental programs.