As a parent of a young girl, you work hard to make sure your child feels safe and loved at all times. You want her to grow up feeling good about herself and confident enough to achieve her goals. But as hard as you may try to instill positive self-esteem and body confidence in your daughter, the world we live in may be working against you and giving your daughter cause to feel less than great about the skin she's in. If that is the case, you need to know the reasons why your daughter may be insulting her body.
According to Kid's Health, your child's self-esteem can impact her mental health and behavior, making it important to pay close attention to how your daughter views her body. You should be tuned in to the things she hears about weight and body image at home, at school, and in the media, as they will all play a part in shaping her perspective.
It's never too early to start helping your daughter develop a positive body image. As WebMD mentioned, research has shown that television shows that focus on appearance can affect the self-esteem of girls as young as age five.
The moment your daughter steps outside of your front door, she will be inundated with images of what society considers ideal. By paying close attention to what your daughter is seeing and keeping the lines of communication open, you can ensure that your daughter doesn't let society's standard of beauty affect how she sees herself.
1. What She Hears At Home
The words you choose when speaking with your daughter about weight will have a lasting impact on her self-esteem. As a parent, you can cause your daughter to begin an obsession with the scale. As Dr. Rebecca Puhl, psychologist deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, told Parents magazine that parents should focus more on overall health and lifestyle choices than what the scale reads when they talk to their children about their bodies.
2. What She Hears At School
Even if you promote positive body image at home, your child's school may be sending a different message. As Parents mentioned, some schools measure student's BMI and send home "fat letters" to students they believe are outside of the recommended range. This can cause some young girls to feel singled out and embarrassed for their size.
3. How Mom Feels About Her Body
The next time you look in the mirror, try not to talk about how fat you look in your skinny jeans. Although they may not always understand what is being said, even the youngest girls are listening to and absorbing comments their mothers make about their own bodies. According to the Child Mind Institute, girls get much of how they feel about their bodies from their mothers.
4. What The Media Portrays
Images in the media can have a major impact on how your daughter views her own body. The stars she looks up to can end up shaping her idea of what the perfect body looks like. According to PBS, parents can help their daughters process what they are seeing on television and online by putting things in perspective. Remind them that everyone is different and the images they see don't always represent reality.
5. Who She Hangs Out With
If your daughter is having issues accepting her body, her friends may be part of the problem. As the Mayo Clinic points out, it's important to encourage your daughter to form friendships with people who accept and support her as she is.