Self-Esteem and Body Image

Self-Esteem and Body Image

 

Thinking positively about ourselves and being confident is not something that just happens overnight. It takes time and consistency to get to a place where we are comfortable and happy with ourselves. For children and young adults, building confidence and self-esteem can be extremely difficult due to a variety of issues. With the popularity of social media, it is easy for us to fall for the highlight reel that some people present. For example, having the perfect looks, the best family, or a seemingly perfect life. Children and young adults are very impressionable and this can alter the way that they view themselves. Children especially can start to see themselves as lesser than everyone else. It is easy to begin to feel like you’re not accomplishing enough because of what you see others accomplishing. A combination of these things can affect a child’s self-esteem drastically when they start to compare their lives to their peers. It is important for children to understand that not everyone has the same path and that sometimes it takes others longer to accomplish a goal than someone else. It does not matter how long it takes, what matters is that the goal has been accomplished and still holds the same value.

A distorted body image and/or self-esteem can start at a young age. Children, especially teenagers, can severely be affected by this. When adolescents begin to get older and start to find themselves, they can often look to others for inspiration. However, it can become an obsession to be perfect and have a specific body type, clothes and money just so their peers can validate them. That can become dangerous to a child’s self-esteem and body image because they will again start to see themselves as less than others. Being healthy and in shape is important, but young adults need to be reminded that being perfect is not. It is important to let your children know that they are perfect just the way they are instead of trying to be someone else.

Here are a few ways to promote self-esteem and body positivity with your children:

  1. Eliminate negative thoughts about their body and themselves
  2. Write down and repeat positive affirmations
  3. Praise your child’s effort
  4. Lead by example (you are your child’s first teacher)
  5. Focus on your child’s strengths and tell them what they are
  6. Compliment your child
  7. Help your child to focus on things they like about themselves
  8. Stop your child from comparing themselves to others
  9. Help your child see themselves as more than just their body
  10. Make health a priority instead of weight

Helping your child build their self-esteem is extremely important and will be beneficial to them as they develop into adults.

 

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