Growing up in a world consumed by social media, it is quite possible that our current young generation will stand a higher chance of having a negative relationship with their body as they grow up. Studies show that 87% of females and 65% of males compare themselves and their bodies to ones they see on social media.
Whilst it may now be trendy to share ‘real’, unedited photos online, a lot of the damage has already been done. As soon as a young, impressionable individual sees a certain body type being deemed as the ‘ideal’, it is only natural that they will begin to compare themselves to it. However, there are ways, as a parent, you can help to combat this issue.
Here, Chaneen Saliee shares how to raise body-confident children in a social media obsessed society:
• Be the role model
Children imitate their parents. Therefore, it’s extremely important to learn to love yourself so your child can model their beliefs and attitudes on the way to speak to and treat your own body.
• Media consumption
Surround your children with positive, inclusive and diverse imagery. If children idolise a certain book character who speaks positively about bodies and self-love, they are likely to adopt a similar mindset. The films and art that your children are exposed to, have a huge subconscious impact on their forming beliefs and attitudes.
• Trend management
Pay attention to the trends your child may be seeing in school or on social media. If your children are slightly older, be ready to deliver compassionate advice about how to navigate these trends whilst remaining confident in themselves.
• Using affirmations
“I am beautiful, my body is strong, I am grateful for my health.” Positive affirmations may seem awkward at first, but our brains rewire themselves with more repetition, meaning we eventually begin to genuinely believe these statements.
• Talk positively about all body types
Celebrate all bodies! Teach your child that it’s important to be loving and accepting of everyone, regardless of what they look like. They should refrain from judging individuals based on their body.