Help Your Kids Build a Better Body Image

Forty percent of 9-and 10-year-old females are trying to lose weight. That’s according to a national health study of nearly 2,400 girls. 

Experts say it’s no coincidence that a girl’s academic performance sometimes begins to slide about the time she becomes more aware of her body.

Amoreena Brewton, a mother with a background in sociology and counseling, says the effect on children is one of the most significant dangers of a mother’s poor body image. “If you hate your body, your child may learn to hate hers, as well,” she says. 

Studies reinforce the notion that parental and peer messages influence a young girl’s body image. Make sure your kids create and maintain a positive body image:

Help your kids develop a healthy relationship with food. If you count calories, your child might too. Make sure your children understand the importance of a healthy diet. Then follow through by creating healthy family meals and snacks.

Demonstrate the benefits of exercise. Help your kids develop an interest in healthy recreational activities. Encourage them to develop an interest in outdoor games and sports.

Focus on your children’s inner qualities. Let them know when they look nice, but make a point to praise their emotional, intellectual, and spiritual prowess, as well.