The way we communicate to kids about their bodies can have a big impact on their self-esteem and body acceptance. The functionality of the body will be our main focus. Rather than discussing how our bodies seem, body functionality focuses on how they are created and what they accomplish for us.
This can help children develop positive feelings about their bodies and improve their body image and self-esteem. And there's more to this, by talking about how our bodies make our lives special and unique, you'll learn to value these qualities in other people too.
Importance of body positivity
Childhood is a decisive moment, it is when we develop many of the attitudes and behaviors that we have towards our bodies.
Research shows the following:
• Between the ages of 6 and 12, about half of children are dissatisfied with their bodies.
• From the age of three, children already consider that "being thin is good and being fat is bad."
• A greater percentage of young girls would diet to avoid gaining weight.
Body shape, complexion, skin color, hair types, and facial features are recurring themes as children become more aware of their bodies and what makes them unique.
Talking to your children about their bodies
Our body is amazing, just think of all that it does for us every day. One of the most effective methods to talk to children regarding their bodies is to teach them to interact with their bodies from the inside out.
Try to talk about things like movement, senses, creativity, and interests, and encourage them to focus on how they feel and what they can accomplish, rather than what they look like.
Teaching them about body positivity and the functionality of the body can help them build self esteem beyond appearance and appreciate their body so they can feel grateful for it as they grow older.
When we think about what we can do with our body, physical movement comes to mind, but there is much more to it and we need to make sure that we help our children to be aware of all their capabilities.
Here are some things you can teach them to value:
• How to sense well, which will allow them to read a new book, savor a delicious meal, and listen to their favorite music.
• You can demonstrate to children how their bodies assist them in creating new memories, sleeping for energy, digesting energy food, and simply breathing. Try to instill positive ideas about their beauty and how to respect and cherish themselves at an early age.
• You can also focus on their special skills like creativity and communication: the way their hands allow them to draw, their vocal cords to sing and laugh with their friends, their arms to hug, and their brains to create stories.
• You can demonstrate all of this by encouraging body acceptance and by talking to your children about what the body allows them to do.
Try to find a balance during compliment
It is common for most parents, guardians, etc. to complement the young people about their beauty or appearance. Many people believe that compliments based on physical appearance will boost children's self esteem and help them develop a positive body image.
This, on the other hand, might be harmful to children since it enforces unrealistic beauty standards and provides the message that their look is the most significant asset. So, you can try to balance your compliments and focus on other qualities and talents.
If you find yourself complimenting how pretty a girl looks in a special outfit, you can try adding another compliment. "You look so gorgeous in that dress, and I adore how you paired it with those heels," for example. It is proven that praising children for their effort, rather than their achievements or physical appearance, has a positive effect on their self-esteem and motivation.