As kids enter their teenage years, it’s normal for them to pay more attention to their appearances. Why is this important to parents? Teens with a positive body image gain more than just confidence! High self-esteem leads to better relationships with peers and adults, and a more optimistic outlook on life. Additionally, a recent study showed that the more teens were concerned about their body image, the more likely they were to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Read these tips on how to help your teen develop a positive body image:
- Watch your language. Reiterate to your teen that a healthy body is all that matters. Avoid using words that directly relate to weight like "fat" or "thin" and never poke fun at someone who is overweight. If your teen sees you do it, he or she will think it's ok to make fun of someone's weight.
- Focus on what counts. Is your teen generous? Hard-working? Funny? Compliment them frequently on personality characteristics instead of physical ones. These kind words will help your teen feel better about themselves, which will translate to their opinions of their physical attributes as well.
- Practice what you preach. When it comes to a positive self-image, be a role model. Don't let your teen hear you insult your own appearance. Make sure to highlight the features that you love about yourself and this positivity will be sure to spread to your teen.
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle. Even if your teen is not overweight, exercising will help elevate moods and body image, as will eating healthy. Taking up a hobby, like playing a new sport or instrument, can also help teens develop self confidence which will lead to a postiive body image.
At LiveFree!, your teenagers are our top priority. We work to provide education, guidance, and support that keeps our teens safe and healthy during their adolescence. Learn more about our mission and vision on our website.