We all want to raise our children to be body positive and to live comfortably in the bodies they have; yet it can be hard because, as their parents, we have our own insecurities. These insecurities can come out in full force while raising children and children WILL pick up on them so it is crucial that we find ways to be positive towards our own bodies and show ourselves love and affection in front of our children.
Here are FIVE things we can do to raise body positive children:
1. Talk about how bodies are always changing with aging, puberty, and growth: Our bodies evolve over time and so many factors and conditions affect change in the human body.
2. Teach them to appreciate variety in humans of all shapes, sizes, and colors: There are beautiful people of all sizes, shapes, and colors in this world and I love showing my kids how unique everyone really is so they can appreciate the differences in themselves. This is an important body positive conversation to have with our children.
3. Show them that media images are altered and not a realistic representation of real bodies: It is crucial to teach our children that these representations are not a realistic standard, we see so many people on TV and in the media in general and more often than not the images, pictures, and videos have been altered and don’t accurately depict a normal and/or healthy body. We should never compare ourselves to these misrepresented images because our children will pick up on that.
4. Speak positively about your own body and how grateful you are for it: The number one way we can raise body positive kids is to be a body positive parent, and the number one way to be a body positive parent is to practice body positivity towards yourself.
5. Model taking care of a body because we take care of what we love: We shouldn’t be walking around saying “I wish my thighs were smaller” or “I wish my stomach didn’t look this way” we need to walk around talking about our body like it is the greatest blessing “you guys can you believe I was so strong and I did this today” “I am so grateful my body brought you to me!” We need to constantly be talking about how awesome our body is so our kids see that and our behavior is being modeled.
YOU CAN DO THIS!!! You can set the example for your kids, you can put on the swimsuit, you can have body positive conversations, you can set good examples by talking good about your body and by treating your body well. By talking about food and exercise in a way that serves your body, like “I want to take care of my body because I love my body” not to punish it or to look a certain way. Creating a body positive climate in your home will make a huge and important difference with your children!