The Importance of Body Positivity Around Our Children

As parents, we have the responsibility of transmitting positive messages to our children. And this includes teaching them body positivity.
The Importance of Body Positivity Around Our Children

Last update: 24 May, 2020

Children are like sponges – they learn from everything they see in their parents. They listen to everything we say and imitate everything we do. With this in mind, parents have the great responsibility not only of raising their children but also tending to their emotional development and personal growth. The messages that we send our children about their bodies have tremendous weight. Therefore, we need to teach them about body positivity.

It’s crucial that parents are very aware that criticizing their own appearance in front of their children can have serious consequences. And this is true no matter how small our children are. Of course, you don’t want your children to have insecurities about their own bodies and appearances. That’s why it’s so important to help them love their bodies in the healthiest way possible.

Body positivity and children

Your children don’t need to grow up feeling constantly aware of their appearance. It’s much more important for them to pay attention to their health, of course. With this in mind, you need to provide a good example so that your children have a positive role model to follow… Regardless of your current physical condition.

As a parent, you always want to model healthy behaviors for your children. If you’re obsessed with your weight and your children see that, then what kind of message are you teaching?

Your little one may understand that they’re only as adorable and attractive as the image they see in the mirror. This may make it difficult for children to grow up with healthy ideas regarding beauty, weight, and what it means to be healthy.

The Importance of Body Positivity Around Our Children

Parents who put themselves down physically

When children witness their parents criticizing another person’s weight or appearance, they may think this sort of interaction is acceptable. However, it actually borders on abusive and is, without a doubt, verbally harmful. Children that see this type of verbal exchange may internalize it as something that’s completely normal.

They may also adopt this same habit in their own relationships. And, at the same time, they may feel attracted by relationships where this type of verbal exchange seems common, familiar, and thereby desirable…  Whether they are the initiators or the receivers.

Teaching your children about body positivity

The best message that parents can send their children is that beauty comes in many different forms. One of the most important objectives when it comes to our bodies is to be healthy. You need to concentrate on your child’s inner beauty. At the same time, point to models that are similar in appearance to your children as valid reference points. This can serve as a positive motivator so that your little ones embrace their unique physical features.

Does body image affect girls more than it does boys?

Both boys and girls suffer as a result of cultural and societal ideas regarding body image and what it means to be attractive. However, when it comes to men, appearances have always been less important when it comes to overall success in life. And consciously or unconsciously, this message has passed down from generation to generation.

Problems with body image and eating disorders occur in boys as well as girls. Sometimes, the obsession with one’s physical appearance takes on a different form known as body dysmorphia. This refers to an obsession with increasing the volume of one’s body. In other words, inverse anorexia.

Some of these problems with a person’s body image go undetected or undiagnosed in children. And this may explain some of the varying statistics that we find.

The Importance of Body Positivity Around Our Children

Messages about body positivity: Parents need to address their own problems with their body image

Parents need to be aware of what they do and say, and of how they act. This includes the way they treat themselves, as this sends a powerful message to their children. So then, we need to consider the types of messages that we want our children to learn, and teach them about body positivity.

It’s also beneficial for mothers to educate themselves on their postpartum bodies. It takes time to get back into shape after giving birth. Understanding this can be very helpful and help to minimize the tendency to detest and attack your post-pregnancy body.

The best antidote against dissatisfaction with your body is to practice healthy habits. So, if you’re not satisfied with something that has to do with your body, then turn satisfaction into a new goal.

It’s important for all of us to be aware of different types of beauty because there are so many different types of bodies. If you want to feel good about how to see yourself, try to be the best you can be. Be willing to overcome issues having to do with body image along with your children. And always be sure to do so from a positive perspective and a supportive approach.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.