There are lots of conversations happening around “body shaming” these days. What exactly do these words mean? Commenting on the physical appearance of a person in a negative way is what we call body shaming. When it happens with your children, it is a much more worrisome business because they are in the early stages of growth. They can easily get confused and worried about their size, color, weight, or their overall appearance.
In this blog, we will discuss the ways that can help in avoiding body shaming your children.
Preventing body negativity
Making a comment or stating something derogatory about your child’s appearance can have an adverse impact on them. It can affect them physically and psychologically. It can also lower their self-esteem and confidence. As a result, they may be subjected to body dissatisfaction. In many cases, it can even lead to anxiety or depression.
Fat shaming is one of the most common types of body shaming. Even a subtle remark, such as “You’ve still got that baby fat,” can disturb your child. Such things may make your child become obsessed with weight loss, leading to eating disorders like bulimia. Therefore, as a parent, it is always best to refrain from commenting on your child’s appearance.
Positive body image for children
You can begin by teaching your child how to love and respect their body. There is no such thing as the “perfect body” and your child needs to understand that. People are of various sizes and shapes and they need to accept themselves as they are.
Rather than comparing your children with their friends or classmates, you can inculcate the practice of creating a positive body image for them. If your child is overweight or obese, and they need to lose some pounds to stay healthy, you can surely take some measures to do that. For starters, you can have a weekend hike together as a family. Or, you can plan frequent walks in the nearby park with them. Let them have a balanced diet and good sleeping habits. Also, get involved in healthy body talk for kids.
Let your kids know you love them irrespective of their weight, height, or color. But do not sugarcoat the fact that the media and all weight-reduction programs and related businesses always propagate the importance of a “slim” body. Your kids keep noticing what goes around them and how their peers believe in aiming for the perfect body shape and weight. On the other hand, help in building a positive body image for your children. And this also goes for children who appear to be “skinny” when compared to others of their age groups.
Building self-esteem in children
Both girls and boys are pointed at and body-shamed. But the fact that girls are more affected by such shaming cannot be overlooked.
There are lots of unfavorable consequences when your children are subjected to body shaming, whether it is done by you or others outside your family. As a parent, you can help by avoiding passing remarks about the appearance of your child even if such remarks might seem subtle or harmless. But talk to your children and advise them about the benefits of self-love. Encourage them to nurture and enhance the skills and talents they have. Let them understand that external beauty is not the only thing under the sun.
You can encourage them to read about world-famous people who have proved their mettle with their exceptional talents without worrying about their appearance. Such efforts will go a long way in boosting your child’s confidence and enhancing their innate capabilities.
We hope this blog helps you in avoiding body shaming your children, and thereby, in better parenting.