Raising a Confident and Positive Body Image
We all have body images – it’s a natural part of life and it’s also something that can be easily affected by external factors. But having a positive body image is something that we can all strive for, no matter what shape or size we may be. Here are some ways to help support a positive body image in young people:
Teach the Basics of Growth and Development
Explain to young people the basics of growth and development. Teach them that since everyone’s bodies are different, changes in shape and size will occur over time. Reinforce the message that everyone goes through changes as they mature, and that these are normal and healthy.
Promote Healthy Eating Habits
Encourage healthy eating habits among young people. Model good choices, like opting for water instead of sugary drinks and eating a variety of foods from all the food groups. Teaching the importance of balancing out energy needs with regular physical activity can also make a huge difference.
Instill Self-Esteem and Confidence
Foster self-esteem and confidence in young people. Applaud their accomplishments and teach them to take pride in their achievements. Help them to recognize the uniqueness of their own bodies and focus on the strengths they have.
Challenge Societal Pressures
Encourage young people to challenge societal pressures. Help them to think critically about the media’s unrealistic expectations for appearance, and how unhealthy those images are for self-esteem and body image. Remind them to focus on their health and happiness, rather than physical appearance.
Develop Inner Strengths
Teach young people to develop their inner strengths. Encourage them to explore their passions through favourite hobbies and activities, as well as developing other skills such as problem-solving and resilience.
Create a Supportive Environment
Create a supportive environment at home and in the classroom. Show young people that you care by having open, honest conversations about body image and health. Make sure they have access to a safe space to share their feelings, and help them to access resources and support if needed.
Having a positive body image is an important part of growing up and is something that we can all strive for. By teaching young people healthy habits, instilling confidence and self-esteem, and challenging societal expectations, we can help to promote a confident and positive body image.