It Starts With Us
In order to teach our kids to love their bodies and selves, we first need to look within and establish habits that build our own confidence and self-appreciation.
Start by asking yourself these questions on an ongoing basis:
1. Am I taking care of myself, as a person, a parent, and a role model? Self-care is instrumental in ensuring that we are practicing what we preach and, as parents, we often forget to take time for ourselves. Self-care allows for greater wellness and that feeds our ability to appreciate the incredible vessels we embody.
2. How am I acting as a role model? Am I personally recognizing and promoting that we’re all different and that there’s beauty in our imperfections? Reminding myself, and my child, that we are all perfectly imperfect in our individuality; no two bodies look the same, and that is a beautiful thing.
Replace the Negative Chatter with Positivity in your Household
One of the most powerful ways to fall in love with yourself is to replace negative and abusive chatter with positive praise. We often have no problem listing off the traits we dislike about ourselves but fall short on vocalizing the good. I try to replace a negative thought about my body or self with a positive one and encourage my child to do the same.
Beauty Comes From Within
I know I feel better in body, mind, and spirit when I eat foods that support my immune system and wellness, and when I incorporate exercise into my day—something I often share with my child. Our bodies can be our greatest teachers when we listen to their signals. Through our own choices, we can show that feeling good on the outside comes from feeling good on the inside. Encourage them to listen to their own body to develop habits that work for them, rather than adopting homogenized approaches to wellness. Explain that eating foods and moving in ways that make you feel healthy inside will ultimately result in radiance on the outside, as once again, the goal is to foster positivity and self-love in order to create self-sustaining habits of wellness and appreciation.
We have the power to make a lasting impact on our children’s perception of beauty and wellness with small steps in our daily lives. Revisiting our awareness of the way we as parents and role models hold ourselves accountable in this space will result in a shift in the wider dialogue around body positivity, self-love, and perceptions of beauty.