Everybody’s is beautiful – Believe it
We all have beauty in one form or another
It is important to believe that your body is beautiful, no matter what flaws you may have.
It’s not an easy time in anyone’s life when we realize that our children are becoming aware of body images, it is far easier for everyone to just accept their body, as it was gifted to them.
How you and your children look at and talk about the body Is an important subject.
Help children to get through those years, without judging what their body looks like, as everybody is beautiful, no two bodies are alike, unless they are identical twins, and then they are different, in their inner selves, mind, soul and they have their own thoughts.
Let’s celebrate the fact that people come in all shapes and sizes. Be a source of positive comments about self-image. Talk about health and happiness rather than appearance.
Studies have shown that some children start talking about body image as young as seven, one study found that 48% of girls when asked, selected an ideal body type that was thinner than their own.
Meanwhile, celebrities obsess about their weight, kids surf the net and watch TV, and there is only so much parents can do, but it’s worth trying anyway.
Be careful how you talk about your own body, if you are overweight don’t say “I hate myself” or talk about yourself as being “fat” or “ugly”.
Perhaps get some help for your own body-image issues.
Meanwhile, keep negative thoughts inside your own head and don’t vocalize them.
If you are on a diet, talk about your “healthy eating regime” rather than the fact that you are starving and are a bad person for having no willpower.
If possible, do not even talk about a diet, just say you are eating better food, you want to lose some weight and that will mean you can have more fun running around with the kids.
If your child is overweight, never, ever talk about putting them on a diet.
You control what they eat so simply replace and substitute unhealthy food for healthy food without making a fuss.
Talk about the five plus a day servings of fruit and vegetables and the advantages of putting good food into your bodies, such as having more energy.
Do not rate and compare your child with their friends.
Children come in all shapes and sizes at the same age, so remarking that one child is so much smaller, taller, bigger than another is only encouraging your child to notice a difference rather than accept their friends as they are.
Do not let your children hear you doing a” rate and compare” about your friends and acquaintances, you may be tempted to refer to someone as “fat” or “skin and bones”.
Let your children be who they are and resist the urge to point out aspects of their body shape if they are in togs or sports gear “Oh look at that big puku” is cute when they are toddlers, but not when they are school age.
If your child says they are unhappy with their bodies, try to find out why.
Is it a result of teasing at school, has a friend made a comment or have they reached this conclusion all on their own?
If there is a bullying issue you need to get straight up to the school and deal with it. Then sit down with your child, explain that bodies change shape and size as children grow and then gently, over the next few months, ease your child into doing some more exercise, eating healthier food-as something the whole family is doing, not just your child.
Talk to your child about how everyone is different.
Discuss hair and eye color, skin color, height and weight, abilities, likes, and dislikes.
Ask them what the world would be like if everyone was the same, and encourage them to be accepting all different shapes and sizes.
Don’t reinforce messages about trying to have a perfect body.
If you are reading a magazine together or watching TV as a family, discuss realistic-looking bodies in a positive term such as “doesn’t she look happy and healthy.
Never, ever ridicule your child in front of people by saying things that you wouldn’t like said about yourself. Some parents think it is amusing, but their child simply gets the message that they are bad, unworthy, fat and deprived.