As a parent, it can be heartbreaking to see your teenager struggling with their body image. You may feel powerless to help, but there are a lot of things you can do to support your teen and help them improve their body image. Here are some tips to get you started.
Talk about media literacy.
One of the best ways to help your teenager improve their body image is to talk to them about media literacy. This is the ability to understand and critique the media. When you talk to your teen about media literacy, you can help them to realize that what they see in the media is often unrealistic and doctored.
You can also help them develop a critical eye for the media’s messages about bodies. This is a meaningful conversation to have, and it can be helpful for your teenager to have a healthy understanding of the media’s impact on their body image.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Talk to your teen about the power of images in the media.
- Point out how bodies are often photoshopped and manipulated in photographs, especially those from popular magazines and on social media
- Show your teen examples of different body types that are both healthy and beautiful.
- Discuss how beauty is subjective
Allow them to try simple cosmetics
If your teen is interested in cosmetics, allow them to explore that. Let them know it’s okay to express themselves through makeup or clothes, and encourage them to experiment with what they like.
If your teen has crooked teeth, they may feel self-conscious about their smile and like they stand out from their peers. Whenever they’re struggling with this, talk to them about it. Let them know that you support them and that you’re there to help them through it.
You can also encourage them to see a dentist to discuss options for fixing their teeth. They can always get clear braces to help straighten their teeth without drawing attention to themselves.
Additionally, if your teen isn’t confident with their hairstyle, you can encourage them to try out different styles that might feel more comfortable and look better on them.
Promote a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle is essential for overall well-being, but it’s also crucial for helping improve body image. Help your teenager develop healthy habits around eating and exercise, and encourage them to focus on how their bodies feel rather than how they look.
This can be a difficult balance to strike, but it’s so important. Avoid focusing on weight loss or physical appearance when discussing a healthy lifestyle with your teen. Instead, emphasize the importance of feeling good and having energy.
Ensure your teenager has access to healthy food options, and encourage them to exercise regularly. This may mean enrolling them in a sport or simply getting them moving every day. A healthy lifestyle must be maintained over time, so ensure your teen knows this isn’t a one-time thing.
Encourage positive self-talk
One of the best things you can do to help your teenager improve their body image is to encourage positive self-talk. Teach them to speak kindly to themselves, and help them identify negative thoughts or beliefs about their bodies. This is a powerful tool that will help them throughout their lives.
One of the most important things you can do to help your teenager improve their body image is to encourage positive self-talk. This means teaching them to speak kindly to themselves and helping them identify any opposing thoughts or beliefs about their bodies. It’s a powerful tool that will help them throughout their lives.
Here are some tips for doing this:
Recognize the power of words.
Words have a lot of power, and your teenager needs to be aware of this regarding their body image. Teach them that the things they say to themselves impact how they feel about themselves.
Point out healthy body types.
It can be helpful for your teenager to see different body types that are both healthy and beautiful. Show them examples of different body types in magazines, TV, and online. Talk about how beauty is subjective, and let them know it’s okay to experiment with their looks.
Encourage them to focus on how their body feels, not just how it looks.
Focusing on physical appearance can damage body image, so encourage your teen to focus on how their body feels instead. Talk to them about the importance of having energy and being physically active. Help them develop healthy habits around eating and exercise, and avoid focusing on weight loss or physical appearance when discussing a healthy lifestyle with them.
These are some tips for helping your teenager improve their body image, but they’re all important. So start the conversation today, and help your teenager learn to love and accept their bodies just as they are.