Body Image In Young Girls
We’re living in a culture where our young daughters are learning their appearance is “everything”. With digitally altered images of thin women, hourglass body figures, makeup etc., raising our girls in a way so that they don’t place all their self-worth on the way they look is daunting and difficult. We as parents have a great deal of influence on our daughters by both what we say and what we do. In this week’s vlog, I discuss a few ways you can help your daughter radiate confidence in all aspects of herself.
AVOID APPEARANCE-DRIVEN COMMENTS: Having positive self-worth for children and teens is important. Not only does it make them feel good about themselves, it also helps them to put themselves out there and try new things and solve problems. A child who experiences low self-worth will more likely bathe in negative thoughts about themselves. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to compliment your child on what they DO, as opposed to what they look like. Making a conscious effort to balance the compliments we make about our daughters’ (and any girls) appearance with praise about things that reflect her perseverance on a problem, character, work ethic, kindness, etc, will help her build a healthy confidence that isn’t all consumed by her appearance.
From a mother whose daughter is a princess through-and-through I get how difficult it can be to not comment on their appearance. It entails slips along the way, so don’t stress…but that’s parenthood in general isn’t it!?
BE AWARE OF WHAT YOU’RE MODELLING: Parents have a massive impact on their daughters’ body image and self-confidence in general. Be aware of what you are doing around the house and be a positive role model.
Think about what your kids are seeing you doing. How are you commenting on your body? Do you have different food on your plate at dinner time? Avoid asking questions like “do these jeans make me look fat?” If you show positive actions and reactions about your own body and attitude, it will be easier for your kids to emulate that and be positive about themselves too.
If you do find you are constantly worried about your weight or appearance, it might be worth seeking support for how you can start to love your appearance and body…that way you can model this to your child more confidently
DADS, YOU PLAY A ROLE TOO: Dad’s, you also play a really important part in regards to how you are talking about your daughters’ appearance. It’s also important for you (as well as mums) to not be too focused on their appearance. Avoid talking down about women and making purely appearance-driven comments around your kids (daughters and sons).
A little side note – If we want to change body image as a society, we need to look at the messages we’re sending both our daughters AND our sons.
You can find the full video below: