As a parent, it can be difficult to know how to talk to your daughter about body image. It’s a topic that can be difficult to discuss, especially if your daughter has already been exposed to negative messages about body image. However, it’s important to have these conversations to help your daughter develop a healthy attitude towards her body. Here are some tips to help promote a positive body in your daughter.
1: Lead by Example
One of the best ways to promote a positive body image in your daughter is to lead by example. Show her that you accept and love your own body, and that you don’t feel the need to compare yourself to others. This will help her to understand that it’s OK to be different and that it’s OK to love your body.
This will often require some work on our part as mothers to ensure we have healed or are in the process of healing any issues we have around our own body image. We suffer from the same programming as young girls and must actively work to negate its effects so that we do not pass our insecurities onto our daughter.
2: Encourage Healthy Habits.
Encourage your daughter to develop healthy habits, such as eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly. It’s important to emphasize that these habits are about feeling good and having energy, not about changing her body. This is something you can model to her by following healthy habits yourself. Why not also turn it into a bonding experience by both of you enjoying an activity together?
3: Talk About Media Messages.
Talk to your daughter about the messages she sees in the media. Help her to recognize that these images are not realistic and that they don’t reflect real life. The are plenty of articles and videos on YouTube and you could look at these together, particularly side by side images of images that have been heavily edited with photoshop. This would also be a good opportunity to discuss AI images and filters on photo apps and how these can also encourage unrealistic beauty expectations.
4: Focus on Strengths.
Instead of focusing on physical appearance, focus on your daughter’s strengths and positive attributes and encourage her to do the same. Change her perspective by highlighting all the things her body can do from a position of gratitude. This will help her to see her body in a more positive light.
5: Be Supportive.
Finally, above all, be supportive of your daughter. Let her know that you are there for her and that she can talk to you about anything.
Encouraging a healthy body image in your daughter is an important part of helping her to love and accept her body. If you would like additional support with this, your daughter may benefit from attending our next workshop all about body image. Click the image below for more information on how to book.