Let’s face it. It can be daunting trying to promote a positive body image when raising a daughter. It can get sticky and thorny and uncomfortable and all of the things that make parenting challenging! We want to say all of the right things and make sure we aren’t promoting negative behavior in our girls as they grow. Hopefully these 10 Tips to Foster a Positive Body Image With Your Daughter will help you navigate these treacherous waters! And as Dr Robyn Silverman found out, this can happen early! Just look at a conversation she recently had with her THREE-YEAR-OLD!
“Mommy; you have a big tushy!”
[Pause. This was one of those moments where I knew I could either mess up totally or help to set the positive body image values that I hold dear. Pause. Breathe. Smile.]
“Well of course I do! I couldn’t have your little ‘Tallie tushy’ on my big Mommy body! Then I couldn’t do all the things I love!”
“Like…yoga, going for run or chasing after you!”
[I start to tickle her and we have a good laugh.]
“My body allows me to do all my favorite things. What does your body allow you to do?”
“Gahnastics!” She laughed. “And pwaying at the pak!”
“Yes! Out body allows us to do all of those things that we love.”
[I picked her up and we looked in the mirror.]
“Aren’t our bodies amazing? Aren’t WE amazing?”
“Yeah! We amazin’! I amazin’!”
If only all of our conversations about positive body image could be handled with such grace, knowledge and love! What a great example of how to handle all of those questions and comments that can come out of the mouths of our little girls!
By letting them know that our bodies are how we handle all of the tasks that we face, it helps kids know that it should be something that is admired and respected, not feared or embarrassed about! We do all of our favorite activities with our body and it’s how we express all of the emotions that flow through our body day-in and day-out. We NEED these body and have to remember to incorporate how grateful we are for this amazing vehicle that we use to take us wherever we need to go.
Dr. Robyn Silverman shared 10 great tips that we can do everyday, in order to set a positive groundwork for our daughter’s body image. Take a look!
- Speak with Gratitude
Make sure your girls hear you talk about the great things your body allows you to do, instead of being frustrated with the way something looks.
2. Create a Fat-Talk-Free Zone
That’s right! Make sure there is an area in your home (maybe the dinner table?) where your child knows they can always be themselves and not worry about what they eat, how they look, or being caught up in the tendencies that so many young girls tend to do.
3. Acknowledge Hot Button Issues
Do you notice that your daughter tends to have more negative things to say about herself after reading a certain magazine? Is it when she hangs around certain people? How about you? What sets you off? Notice what the hot buttons are in your life, as well as hers, and make sure you make some changes to try to stop the negative behavior dead in its tracks!
4. Find People With a Positive Body Mindset
Are you spending too much time with people who are constantly complaining about their bodies? If you do, you may find that your mind tends to travel to those bad places as well. Which is going to be reflected around your daughter sooner or later. If it’s an important friendship, make sure you let that friend know you are trying to embrace a more healthy and positive lifestyle and language and the negative talk is hindering your own progress. Who knows… you may even make changes in the people around you, too!
5. Where is that Nagging Voice Coming From?
If you constantly hear that voice that’s telling you to lose weight, change the way you look, or do something about a body feature that you may feel self-conscious about, figure out where it’s coming from. Is it someone you hang out with now? Was it an old love? Your parents? By realizing where it came from, you can feel free to release it and know that you are moving towards a more positive place for you and your daughter.
6. Perfection? No Way
There is no such thing as being perfect, so stop trying! Let go of the unattainable and start embracing yourself for exactly who you are. You will show your daughter that no matter what, you are a gift and your body should be respected and taken care of!
7. Exercise for the Right Reasons
Make sure you are exercising to feel good, rather than to drastically change your appearance. Yes, changing the way you look may be an added benefit of starting a new exercise program, but it shouldn’t be the reason that we start. And make sure you’re doing something fun to show your daughter exercising isn’t something that should be dreaded!
It may seem odd that this tip would help instill a positive body image in our daughters, but when we help others in need, it tends to give us perspective. There are so many important things in life and people who struggle with life or death situations, that it makes our selfish negative body thoughts seem inadequate. Give your life a sense of purpose and your daughter will see how important it is, as well!
9. Be Kind To Yourself
Stop treating yourself to things after you reach a “goal”. Treat yourself to a new outfit now instead! Or go to lunch with a friend instead of hiding out at home. Enjoy a spa day! By showing your daughter that you deserve to be valued NOW because of who you are NOW, they will know they don’t have to hit any sort of milestone before they should feel good enough for anything!
10. Be a Positive Role Model
It may seem intuitive, given the fact that you are trying to instill a positive body image in your daughter, but it’s so important to remember that they watch, listen, and hear everything that you’re saying! Make sure they are repeating things that you want to hear them say!
What great advice and the tips from Dr. Robyn Silverman are sure to instill a more positive way of thinking in your home. By creating a habit of body positivity, girls are going to see the value of loving their own bodies and work hard towards accomplishing just that!
Click on the following link for more details and to view the original article and image credit: Body Positive: 10 Tips to Creating a Better Body Image for You and Your Daughter