When you embark on raising healthy kids, this can sometimes be confusing to them. You might instill the importance of eating healthy and exercising in a way to battle childhood obesity, but at the same time, make your children feel like their weight is a problem, which can be bad for their body image. Here are some ways to teach them to have a positive body image while being healthy at the same time.
Be a Good Example
As a parent or guardian, you should always be leading by example. Kids and teens pay a lot more attention to what you do, wear, and say than you might think they do. If your kids see that you are always starting new fad diets or you complain about being ‘fat’, they will start thinking these things are important. Suddenly you have a pre-teen who is on a crash diet, which she learned from you was important. Also, make sure even when you want to lose weight, you be careful how you word it. Saying you are trying to eat healthily is one thing, but never complain about being fat or talk about diets. This has a negative connotation that doesn’t help to promote a positive body image with your kids.
Promote Health, Not Weight Loss
This can be a little difficult because you want to avoid childhood obesity, and therefore want your kids to eat healthily and exercise. But that doesn’t mean you have to talk about weight loss. Just encourage healthy habits and focus on nutrition. This is enough to keep your kids healthy as long as you stick with it. Don’t stress about their weight and size, and never mention it to them. Instead, just start cooking more meals at home and let everyone in the family know you want to start weekly workouts or you want to reduce how often you eat out. Always focus more on the health of your kids.
Compliment Things Other Than Their Appearance
This is a technique that is used for positive body image. If all you do is compliment how your kids look, they will view their appearance as the most important thing. Instead of doing that, compliment their grades, creative activities they are interested in, their intelligence, humor, and anything else you find interesting or fascinating about them. This shows them that they are worthwhile regardless of how they look.