Children learn so many behaviors from their parents and other caretakers! Whether it’s the face they make when surprised, or the words they use, little eyes and ears are always picking up on new things from the adults in their lives. That’s why modeling positive body image is so important! By being a good example, you can help your child develop good attitudes and habits that will carry into adulthood. Here are some ways you can show your child what it looks like to have a positive body image in your day-to-day life!
Smile and say kind things when you look in the mirror
This is a quick and easy way to model self-love and positive self-talk, both of which contribute to an overall positive body image. When you glance in the mirror, don’t grimace or complain! Instead, smile at your reflection, showing approval as you adjust anything that may need to be adjusted. Don’t complain about your weight or appearance, and focus on what you like instead. Even if it has nothing to do with your body, the fact that your initial reaction is positive will stick with them! The simplest comments like “I love how this sweater fits me” or “I love the color of my eyes” can go a long way.
Don’t talk about or encourage dieting
While we all want to make healthier food choices, talking about dieting can hurt your child’s body image and even lead to eating disorders. If you decide to go on a diet, focus your conversations about it on taking care of your body, or wanting to live healthier for longer, not weight loss. Because children are still growing and developing, it is important to avoid restricting how much or what they can eat without the advice and supervision of a medical professional. If you are concerned about your child’s weight, consider talking to their pediatrician in private about lifestyle changes that can help manage that. You might find that your whole family could use some healthier habits, such as family walks after dinner or a less sugary breakfast!
Have good posture
Yes, really! Having good posture can help you portray a positive body image because it shows confidence. Take the time to straighten your back and shoulders, and try to distribute weight evenly between both feet, and your children will see enhanced confidence in how your body looks.
Now, you are prepared to start modeling positive body image for your child!