Positive body image and self-esteem is very important in the development of children at the earliest of age. We want our children to be comfortable and confident in their own skin, and to love and value their body. In today’s society, children are exposed to so many videos, pictures and articles, that say what they ‘should’ look like.
Whether it be on TV, in magazines, in advertisements, on social media, and so on. The lists are endless. Seeing these images over and over can make anyone question how they look, or if they are good enough. That’s even a struggle for us adults at times. Are we too skinny? Overweight? Too tall? Too short?
- What you think you look like.
- How you see your personality.
- What kind of person you think you are.
- What you believe others think of you.
- How much you like yourself or you think others like you.
- The status you feel you have.
The above was taken from “What is self-image?” www.more-selfesteem.com
This is where it affects children. So many children are struggling with their body image and this number increases by the day. The negative effects of these feelings can last throughout a person’s life, not just in childhood. We see children starting to diet at 12 years old. Why? Because society is telling them that they need to if they want to look like the model in the magazine, or the beautiful photoshopped poster of their favourite singer. These children are still developing, and a healthy mind leads to a healthy body. We as adults; whether it be a teacher, a coach, a parent, etc., can instill these positive attributes into children. Teach children that they are perfect the way that they are.
How do we help children to develop a healthy self-image?
- By encouraging them to acknowledge their positive qualities.
- By helping them to set goals that are realistic and measurable.
- By always giving them positive affirmation.
- By helping them to understand that certain perceptions they have of themselves can be distorted and then explaining why this is.
- By helping your child to learn to love themselves – it will certainly help to give them positive affirmation.
- By helping your child to change negative thoughts to positive thoughts.
- Is their view of themselves accurate? By teaching your child to accept things about themselves that are true and to learn to think of them in a positive way.
- By helping your child not to take criticism negatively but to see it as a constructive way to improve themselves.
In the end, we teach them to believe in themselves. Show them how their beauty shines from within, and that everyone has their own unique characteristics.