Teen body image can make or break your teen’s self esteem. As young teens enter high school and experience judgment and criticism from their peers, their body image can be completely crushed. Being a teen is tough enough, but if you add in changing bodies and emotions, sometimes it can seem unbearable. That’s why it’s very important to help teen body image for your daughter.
Helping your daughter stay positive about body image might seem like a daunting task. Teens view media images of beautiful, impossibly fit celebrities and believe that is what they should look like. However, they don’t realize that celebrities have personal trainers and access to cosmetic surgery, spending thousands of dollars on their bodies. Letting your daughter know how beautiful she is, is very important.
Here are a few other tips to help your daughter have a positive body image:
- Be supportive. Listen to your teen when she talks about her feelings. Maintaining good communication with your daughter helps her feel loved and special.
- Remain positive. Never criticize your daughter about her looks. She is at an age where everything is taken to heart. Negative comments can greatly affect her body image and could make things much worse for her.
- Emphasize her talents. Rather than focusing on her appearance, let her know that you are proud of her accomplishments. Focus on her extracurriculars, whether that be theatre, art or sports.
- Keep her healthy. Making good health a family activity can improve teen body image. Going on family walks, having family workouts and eating healthily as a family will make your daughter (and the rest of your family!) feel good about themselves.
- Be a positive role model. Don’t talk to your daughter about your own body image issues. Turn the television off and schedule exercise into your daily routine. If you’re staying healthy and have a positive body image, your daughter’s body image will also stay positive.
- Discuss the media’s image of women’s bodies. Tell her that this image is not what women’s bodies actually look like. Make sure she knows that it’s not a possible look to attain because it’s not real.
When negative teen body image turns into an emotional or behavioral issue, such as a mild eating disorder or depression, that’s when it’s time to seek professional help.
Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18, can help your daughter improve her sense of self. Solstice East utilizes a combination of milieu, equine, group, individual and family therapy to help improve teen body image and self- esteem.
For more information about Solstice East, please call 828-484-9946.