I don’t know anyone who has a perfect relationship with their body. If you do, please tell me how you accomplished it in the comments below, there is much I can learn from you. If you are like me you have struggled with loving yourself, perhaps still struggle sometimes. But, I know loving myself better will help me raise body positive kids. So, I work at loving myself to ensure my kids don’t have to work as hard to love themselves.
I made a quiet promise to them, a long time ago, NOT to pass down personal body hang-ups. This isn’t always easy but it’s well worth the effort, for everyone’s sake. Recently, my youngest daughter asked if she could make her straight hair curly. When I asked her why she replied “curly hair is prettier.” (ironic, I spent most of my young life trying to coax my curly hair straight). First, I reminded her that while curly hair is pretty, it isn’t prettier than her own, very beautiful, straight hair. Next, I braided her hair so that when she undid the braid her own, usually, pin-straight tresses would have some wave to it. Then I had time to consider positive body image and my kids.
Am I teaching it? Being body positive, in my mind, is being comfortable in your own skin. It’s having a matter-of-fact attitude about our bodies and what they do. Creating this comfort depends on some essential building blocks that constantly reinforce, for the whole family, positive body image. My family’s building blocks focus on:
Each building block is an opportunity for your kids to take ownership of themselves and their bodies. Every teaching moment should encourage a healthier sense of well-being by promoting self-love, either through ritual tasks like grooming, as well as, open and meaningful conversation. My parenting style is centered around teaching my children responsibility (for self and others), accountability, and self-control. These traits will serve them well through their adult lives and life is just easier when you can love and appreciate yourself.
What do you think about it? How do you encourage healthy body image in your home? Do you or your children struggle to stay body positive? Share your thoughts in the comments below.