Don’t obsess in the mirror.
Staring in the mirror actually does more harm than good. It allows for us to nitpick and obsess about our appearance. Have you ever looked in the mirror, while prodding and poking at various parts you don’t like that day? Have you done it in front of your children?
Shamed as I am to admit it, I have–one time. In my frantic need to figure out why my pants didn’t fit, I belatedly realized that my tiny human had flooded the bathroom floor.
This goes back to learning to be happy with yourself. If you find yourself looking in the mirror, counting all the flaws on your body, and ultimately chipping away at your positive body image, stop and ask yourself what you’re doing. Is it helping you feel better about yourself?
Try telling yourself what you like about your image. Enforce that on a daily basis. Then turn around and tell your children what you like about them. Do that on a daily basis, as well.
Don’t ask the question, “Does this make me look fat?”
How do you think your children, in turn, start asking that question?
If you’re going to ask a question, ask if your shoes match your dress. Ask if your earrings look good with your outfit. Ask if your blouse matches your skirt.
Begin with the assumption that you look amazing. Teach your children to believe the same thing.
Never, ever tell your child that you think they are fat.
This should be an obvious statement. Really, it should. Sadly, too many parents tell their children they are ugly, fat, dumb, or worthless.
Think about the words that come out of your mouth when you speak body image to your child.
Is it positive?
Promoting and building a positive body image starts at home. With words, actions, looks, and even inferenced claims, our children internalize what we say. So, make the comments beneficial to their growth and learning, just like everything else. We, the parents, are our children’s greatest emulators.