For a kid, one of the most important things (after playgrounds and ice cream) is fitting in with your peers. Children can be relentless at pointing out, and at times shaming, their classmates for having a different type of body. That's why it's important for parents to instill a strong foundation of self-esteem at home, as early as possible. One of the best ways to start, is by reading books that teach body positivity to young children.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 40 to 60 percent of elementary school girls are concerned about their weight or about becoming too fat. These numbers are just too high, and shedding these concerns begins at home. In addition to reading body positive books, you should be conscious of how you speak about your own bodies at home. Children look to their parents — and other adults in their like — as role models, often taking cues from our words and actions. Clinical social worker Aviva Braun told Parents magazine that making negative comments about your appearance or obsessing over weight, can impact impressionable young children as their bodies are developing.
It's important that our little girls (and boys) are reminded that people come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and the things that make us different are in fact the things that make us special. To help them realize this, share one of the many body positive books with your little one before bedtime.