I am really pleased to be featuring a guest post from the lovely Debz from Get Virtual Assistance, talking about a topic which will be close to many parents’ hearts:
3 Ways To Help Your Child Have a Positive Body Image
As someone who has lived in a fat body all my life, I know the importance of loving the skin you’re in. I know there are lots of reasoning’s and debates about being healthy and looking after yourself, which is really important for people of all age. However, I also know that a positive body image has gotten me where I am today and so, when Gemma invited me to write a guest post for her blog, that is what I wanted to share with you.
I’m Debz, in my late thirties, working for myself as a virtual assistant and a clothes size28/30. I’ve always been fat and luckily grew up in a family that always told me that shouldn’t hold me back. I live with my partner and our 2 cats in Hampshire and although I have no children of my own, I know that teaching children good body image is really important.
Look at the Language You Use
Children in my experience are clever buggars; they definitely pick up on the words we use that we don’t want them to. So, if you start talk about how you ‘feel fat’ or how you shouldn’t have something because it is ‘bad’ and you’re ‘being good’ they’re going to pick up on this. I know a lifetime of using this language can be hard to undo – but isn’t that even more of a reason to not use in front of your children? You might not be able to change your own mind-set, but avoiding language like this in front of young children is definitely a positive thing!
Let Them See Lots of Body Types
Positive body image isn’t just about being fat & loving yourself. We live in a world where there is such a range of body types, abilities and even styles out there. Why not let them see some of these are part of their everyday learning? For example, can you buy them a doll that has a different coloured skin to them? Or a book that features a child with a disability? There are so many different resources out there & people only tend to buy them if they apply to their own circumstances. In my opinion, letting all children see these is a good thing! I take time and effort to make sure my Instagram feed is filled with different bodies, so shouldn’t we be doing the same for the media our children consume?
When your child is dressed up and looking smart, it is really easy to tell them how lovely they look but is that the only encouragement they need? It is a really good idea to get into celebrating all sorts of achievements and giving compliments that are about more than just how they look. “ Wow, you did really good at that, you’re so strong” and “That was brilliant, I know we didn’t quite get there but we can try again”. This helps to enforce that them doing well & being worthy is about more than what they look like and in my opinion that is really important!