Studies show that by the time kids reach pre-adolescence “tween” years, 40% of girls consider themselves overweight. 45% of boys and girls in grades 3-6 want to be thinner. And 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.
Body positivity is a sensitive topic to address with children. Their experiences with self-esteem and body image are often fraught with mixed messages from their social environment and media. But with support from parents and loved ones, it can be achieved.
We’ve compiled 7 strategies to help you not only set the stage for your kids to have a positive and healthy experience with their bodies, but address any concerns or worries that do come up.
“You don’t understand!”
I’m sure many parents have heard this coming from their teenagers. You find yourself reflecting back to your own adolescent years as you watch your teen storm to their room, throw their backpack on the floor, and slam the bedroom door behind them.
You remember the rock n’ roll music, the fluffy hair, and the bright colored clothing. You didn’t have social media, access to oodles of information at your fingertips or even privacy when it came to talking to your friends on the home phone. It feels like a lifetime ago. How could you possibly relate?
Your teen’s experience isn’t so different than your own. Teens still experience the pressure to fit in, the pressure to date, the pressure to perform academically, and the fear of failure. Just as you once did. And when struggling to fit in, it’s all too easy to feel out of place and lonely. Sometimes, teens choose to isolate themselves as a result of bullying. None of which helps with their self-esteem.