The perception of an individual’s physicality is called body image. It is the spectacle of the mind through which we perceive our physical appearance. Body image, if not directly, is closely related to the mind. And as complicated as the mind is, a person can have issues related to body image. The condition is less likely in adults but is common in teens who harbor a mind that is still malleable and transformable.
In addition, with the bombardment of content that today’s teens have access to, they are likely to have stunted or distorted body image that can affect their mental health.
A negative body image can lead to a range of psychological problems, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, Body Dysphoric Disorder (BDD), or OCD. Teens come across several instances where they are forced to compare themselves to near-perfect measures of bodies. Little do they know that these benchmarks are not natural and are made or shaped to look perfect.
Parents can play a vital role in helping teens get out of this cruel quicksand of the mind, in which they examine and critique their own sense of self by considering the cosmetically constructed “attractive” bodies. Here are a few techniques you can pick up and apply if your child is struggling with a negative body image.
Help starts from within
In some cases, teenagers are influenced not only by external factors, but also by the projections of problems emanating from their parents. Many parents tend to mold their children according to the environment in which their own spirit is nurtured.
Matching beauty to traits like skinny, thin, and fair can greatly influence the malleable minds of teens. Therefore, it is important that you as a parent do not impose your perception of body image on your children and give them the space they need to identify and shape their own identity.
Talking and tackling
Not molding your child to your ways and not trying at all are two different things. While it’s important to give your kids space to direct their body image formation, it’s equally important to be their companion on this journey.
Talking to your children will give them more confidence and freedom when it comes to discussing their problems. Moreover, when you communicate, the action acts as a catalyst to steer your little ones in the right direction.
Healthy body, healthy mind
One of the vectors that comes from the catalyst of communication is to talk to your children about the importance of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. You can be their mentor cum guide, guiding them on the path that emphasizes the benefit of adopting a nutritious lifestyle.
It can include a healthy diet, regular exercise, and exercises on micro-level mindfulness. In doing so, however, you also need to address the rigidity of your regime, in case you come up with one. Keep things easy to adjust and grow into these healthy habits.
Mirror Mirror on the wall
Self-love is something that you have to practice and that you cannot learn in one day or a week. Instead, it takes a gentle nudge and encouragement that pushes them to feel good about themselves and accept the flaws that make them unique.
A child may encounter various hardships outside their home. Therefore, it is crucial that a habitable and acceptable environment is developed within the walls of the house. Teach your children to use the mirror to spot the differences and flaws and to accept them with open arms.
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