Parenting

5 Ways to make your teen develop a positive body image

Nandini Muralidharan
11 to 16 years

Created by Nandini Muralidharan
Updated on Jul 06, 2017

5 Ways to make your teen develop a positive body image

Just the other day, I sat in the park and watched two girls play badminton. They must have been twelve or thirteen, and they wore track pants that had ‘Juicy’ emblazoned proudly on the backside. Teenagers these days are acutely aware of being constantly judged for their looks, the shape of their bodies, their weight, and a lot of things other than the people they really are. And in most cases, this starts at home. The responsibility of helping them build a positive body image falls entirely with the parents, and here are some tips to help you:

1. You are your child’s first role model: You are what your child is going to follow so be aware of yourself – what you say, how you say, so be mindful of that. Avoid making negative comments about your body, as your child will pick it up. Stop whining at the dinner table about the number of calories the kheer has, or about the new crash diet you are planning on trying. Your teenage son or daughter doesn’t need to hear this conversation from you.

2. Watch what they are watching on TV, and talk about it – A lot of what a child perceive as the “correct” weight or look is what they see on TV. There are parts of popular shows that work mainly because they glamorise the body, and this is what a teenager picks up. So when you are with your teenage son or daughter, tell them that being obsessed with physical attributes is quite silly and one should concentrate on being well informed and well read.

 3. Exercise should be a part of daily routine – Exercise should be a daily part of everybody in the family. Hence ensure tha your teen spends some time outdoors pursuing games she likes. Explain her that exercise will make her stronger and fitter. Have them choose fun ways of exercising like a sport, or gymnastics, or dance. This way, your teen will learn the importance of bein healthy and happy rather than cribbing about the physical attributes.

4. Clothes have to be monitored – As parents of pre-teen or teen son or daughter we are sometimes faced with choices at which we can only roll our eyes. But no matter how much freedom you give to your teen, do remember that a certain amount of parental monitoring is necessary, simply because you don’t want your twelve-year-old daughter wondering if her bottom is ‘Juicy’. Teens and pre-teens don’t need to wear revealing clothes to school. They need to be dressed comfortably enough for all the activities that they participate in.

5. Dads need to get involved –As children grow from being the cuddly 9 year olds into more self-aware pre-teens, dads tend to take a step back from being too expressive. But dads, please compliment your child, especially your daughter on not her looks, but all her positive attributes. And make sure you show your appreciation for your wife when your teens are present. They need to know that you care about the real stuff.

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| Aug 05, 2017

I m also understand that daughters are more happy by her father than mother.

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| Jul 16, 2017

Absolutely correct. ... a daughter always loves her father than her mother.... so at this age father 's compliment, involvements in the family has a great impact on the child.... a father should make his daughter to feel that he z her best friend forever

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| May 31, 2017

very well said! Especially about active involvement of fathers... creating a right harmony within the family in itself becomes a great step towards handling teen parenting!

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| Sep 28, 2016

Excellent write up! It is this time of a child's life, he or she is trying to figure out their identity. As mentioned it is the support and guidance of the parents that help kids develop their traits. Every little things matters in shaping up them from daily routine to clothing, from their circle of friends to what they watch on televisions. Their active brains are in the process of absorbing.

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| Sep 12, 2016

It is quite important to help your teen develop a positive body image especially in today's scenario when there is so much exposure.

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