The best chance we have at steering our kids towards a healthy body image is to model it in our own lives. Our kids need to see us walk the talk for the message to really hit home. If they see us obsessing about our diet, our skincare regime or the fit of our jeans, then our ‘Honey, you’re perfect just the way you are’ will likely fall on deaf ears. So instead of a long lecture about self-acceptance, just try saying something really positive about yourself next time you are standing in front of the mirror – and let your kids hear it.
We also need to take care around how we talk about other people’s bodies. It’s pretty easy to slide into the role of commentating on how others are, or aren’t, taking care of themselves. But that’s not helpful on any level. We can shift the culture in our homes by stopping any comments on weight gain, weight loss, calories, what other people are eating, what you are not eating… Zip. Nothing. No comment.
Rather than counting the few kilos you would like to drop or gain, or even celebrating the few kilos your friend has dropped, turn instead to kind acceptance of kilos full stop. Put the scales in the bin and give yourself a warm hug.
Healthy body image thrives when we celebrate what our amazing bodies can do. It suffers terribly when the focus is instead on what our bodies look like.