How Parents Can Help Teenagers Suffering From Negative Body Image
The perception of the physicality of an individual is termed 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 intricate as the mind is, a person might go through issues related to body image. The condition is less probable with adults but is significantly prevalent with teenagers who foster a mind that is still malleable and transformable.
Moreover, with the bombardment of content that today’s teenagers can access, they likely have a stunted or an adulterated sense of body image which can affect their mental health.
A negative body image may lead to an array of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, Body Dysphoric Disorder (BDD), or OCD. Teenagers come across various instances where they are compelled to compare themselves with near-perfect benchmarks of bodies. Little do they know that these benchmarks are not natural and are created or fashioned to look perfect.
Parents can play a vital role in helping teenagers get out of this vicious quicksand of the mind where they scrutinise and criticise their own sense of self by factoring in the cosmetically constructed “attractive” bodies. Here are a few techniques you can imbibe and apply if your kid is battling with a negative body image.
Help Begins From Within
In some instances, teenagers are not only influenced by the outside factors but the projections of issues germinating from their parents. Many parents tend to shape their children according to the environment that their own minds are nurtured in.
Aligning beauty with characteristics such as lean, thin, and fair can starkly affect the malleable minds of teenagers. Hence, it is important that you, as a parent, do not impose your perception of body image on your children and allow them the space they need to identify and shape their own identity.
Talk And Tackle
Not shaping your child according to your ways and not trying at all are two different things. While it is important to allow your children the space to steer the shaping of their body image, it is equally important to be their companion along this journey.
Talking to your children helps them trust you more and establish a freeness when it comes to discussing their issues. In addition, if you communicate, the action acts as a catalyst to drive your little ones in the right direction.
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
One of the vectors that arise from the catalyst of communication is talking to your children about the importance of leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle. You can be their mentor-cum-guide and walk them through the path that highlights the benefit of adopting a nourishing lifestyle.
It may involve a healthy diet, regular exercise, and practises about mindfulness at a micro-level. However, in doing so, you also need to address the rigidness of your regime, in case you devise one. Keep things easy to adapt and let them grow into these healthy habits.
Mirror Mirror On The Wall
Self-love is something that comes with practice and cannot be learned in a single day or week. Instead, a gentle nudge and encouragement are required that direct them to feel comfortable in their own skin and accept the flaws that make them unique.
A child may be facing several hardships outside their home. Therefore, it is crucial that a habitable and accepting environment is developed within the walls of the home. Teach your children to use the mirror to spot the differences and flaws and accept them with open arms.
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