Passing Down Body Image to Your Children

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pentax photo gallery

By Paula Solis Krock

It’s a New Year and what do we do? We make resolutions! We make profound life decisions, usually in the area of losing weight! We decide to eat healthier, go on a diet, work out more. These are fabulous decisions which I support 100%! I myself am zealously pursuing through the Whole30 diet as we speak! You are not alone.

But keep in mind as we march our way into 2017 and better health, what our children are seeing as they peek around the corner. Those sweet little faces are listening and watching. We define the world for them when they are young.

Every time you say you are fat, you step on a scale, every word you use to define yourself your children are taking it in like little sponges and evaluating, “Am I too fat? Am I healthy? Do I need to lose weight?”

These are messages our children, –not just girls—are receiving daily, from media, friends and the entertainment industry. As they grow older, all children will make decisions about who they are, if they are accepted socially and where they fit in this world. So the question on the table, is: How do we communicate a healthy body image to our children?

Readers: how YOU do this? I would love to know!

Here are some tips I have found useful.

  1. Figure out what negative messages you are sending and begin speaking life to your body. Many of those negative messages may be making their way out unintentially, “I’m fat. My skin is wrinkly. My thighs are big.” Change your self-speech: “I am healthy. My face is marked by years of smiling. My legs are strong.”
  2. Begin speaking life to your children. Children’s bodies change throughout their lives. There will be times when they are disproportionate: long legs, big belly, their faces get all weird when they are pre-teens. How can you direct them to health and speak good things into them, instead of creating negative body images?
  3. Model. Model. Model. This is a HUGE tool in parenting. Do what I say and DO! Model exercise, and healthy eating and how strong you are!
  4. Remember, our children our watching. My pediatrician always says, “Healthy comes in all shapes and sizes.” Embrace your body image and speak health and life to yourself and your children. It will change how they handle their teen years, how they perceive themselves when media, and peers tell them otherwise. Define a healthy body image for them and how much they are valued for who they are.
  5. Lastly, this begins with you. You are valued for who you are, regardless of your weight and your imperfections. Give the gift of acceptance to your children, they need to hear this from you.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Wonderful post Paula! Thank you for your words of wisdom, especially “Give the gift of acceptance to your children, they need to hear this from you.” Thank you!

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