Your Bad Body Image & Your Kids: A Dangerous Combination

african american mother and daughter
Self, Family

The harmful messages you send your kids without even knowing it.

Nurturing versus toxic messages. One of the most significant ways to teach our children to love themselves and their bodies is for us to communicate in a positive way. This means that your inner dialog and outward comments should be filled with encouragement and affirmations rather than put-downs and negative statements.

Nurturing communication says, both verbally and nonverbally: "I love and accept you. You are valuable and worthy." This re-framing of gratitude rather than griping can teach your kids to be more accepting of themselves and others. When your child says "My friend says I am ugly," you have an opportunity to build up the confidence needed to overcome bullying.

Stop judging yourself and others. In order to help your kids develop strong, empowered body images, you will need to set an example.  This means putting a permanent stop to any belittling comments or judgment of your own body and others'. Fill your mind and mouth with positive affirmations and encouragement rather than put-downs and negative statements.

Practice positive messages. If you truly care about the accidental messages you share with your kids about body image, practice new ways to communicate self-worth. Be much more mindful of your language when anger, frustration or old patterns trigger old responses.

As a kind, thoughtful person who wants the best for your children, begin speaking in nurturing ways that build, support and enhance. The most significant way you can improve the self-image and confidence of your child is to become a fully functional and authentic person who is grateful for the body, talents and intelligence you have been given.

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