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As a mother of a daughter, I realize how important is to really focus on building healthy body image in girls. Everywhere she turns there are things telling her to look or act a specific way. Thankfully, our daughter is confident and has a great healthy body image, but that isn’t the case for every child. These tips are ideal for any parents with daughters that are growing up in our society that is blasting a specific ideal image.
Building Healthy Body Image In Girls
Building healthy body image in girls is more than telling them they are pretty all the time. It is all about building an emotional strength in them that overcomes outside influences. There are many aspects involved that I will detail below, but at the end of the day, your goal is to make sure your daughter is emotionally strong. That means you are encouraging them in many areas, and always there to help them understand what the outside influences mean in their life.
Encourage healthy habits. Obviously, the first step toward building healthy body image in girls is to encourage healthy habits This encompasses many aspects of their life. Not only do you want to be good at feeding them healthy foods, but you also want healthy emotions. Work with your children by example. Prepare healthy foods for their meals and avoid foods that can cause unhealthy weight gain, acne, or other physical issues. Exercise and play regularly so your daughter sees fitness as a natural part of life.
Healthy habits are not about strict diets or regulated exercise regimens. They are about showing positive natural examples in your daily life. An occasional treat is fine, but make sure you are showing your daughter healthier habits the majority of the time.
Use empowering descriptive words. Mental health is one of the most important ways you can begin building healthy body image in girls. The words you use to describe yourself and others will be witnessed by your daughter. It is just as important to be a good example in referencing others as it is in how you speak about your daughter(s). Your children, but especially your daughters, will see how you think about yourself and others and let that seep into their view of themselves.
Instead of using descriptive words that overlook or point out flaws, use words that empower. Words like strong, intelligent, capable, powerful, and similar are great ways to describe yourself, others, and your daughter in a positive way that will help continue building healthy body image in girls.
Encourage their passions. One of the most effective ways to work on body image for your daughter is to encourage her passions. Our daughter is not only a college student at a young age, but she is also a model. She loves both of these pursuits, and so we work hard to make sure she has those opportunities. Instead of telling her she doesn’t fit into the mold society may say is ideal for those pursuits, we work to make sure her desires are met. As a result, she has a healthy image of herself and has thrived in otherwise tough fields for someone her age.
Get honest in conversations. Sometimes you have, to be honest with your daughter. There will be a time when she is taller, shorter, thinner, or heavier than her peers. There may be a time when her hair is curly and the popular hair of the time is straight. Perhaps it is a problem with acne or eczema that plagues her appearance. These are all parts of life that shouldn’t be ignored. Instead, they should be dealt with honestly. Acknowledge the issues your daughter is having, and talk about ways to change things if she feels the need. While you want her to be happy within herself, you also know that sometimes that means adjusting something that she can adjust. Most women prefer to color the gray hair away, but can still be confident in themselves. The same can happen with your daughter. The goal is simply, to be honest, open, and work hard with your daughter to make sure she isn’t basing her view of herself on these little insignificant differences.
Building healthy body image in girls is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. It isn’t impossible. It simply involves being active in your daughter’s life and showing her the value that is more important. Her intelligence, passions, strength, and love for others should be the things that she finds value in. Work with your daughter to make sure she values herself not just for physical attributes, but also for the good inside that reflects in her actions.