Body image issues are not restricted to adults, but are now affecting children, especially teenagers as well. And naturally, these issues will persist due to the fixation on thin figure, certain characteristics including fair skin, blond hair etc.
Whether it be television, social media or even cartoons, we see stereotypical representation of human body, which signals children that any variance from this perfect ideal is then not pretty.
Children then become extremely concerned about their appearance. Many tend to think of themselves as fat or ugly, especially when they do not fit the image of thin and perfect.
It may not only cause mental health problems including depression and low self-esteem, but children might also develop eating disorders. Serious ones like anorexia can gravely jeopardize their health, meriting urgent visit to the Mid City Hospital. With anorexia, there is also the danger of death of the child, such is the gravity of the situation.
Helping Children With Body Image Issue
Help Them Have Healthy Notions Of Self
If you see your child feeling disgusted by their body, worrying about their size, having low opinion of self, then you should help your child get better and healthier notion of self. End their negative self-talk. Help them in being grateful for their functioning bodies. Make them celebrate their bodies.
You might also have to monitor their social media and consumption of other dangerous content that might be behind the body-image issues. Consult a therapist if the problem is deep-rooted.
Stop Fixating On Looks
The fixation on the superficial needs to end. People are not what they weigh or wear, but what sort of a person they are. Hence, encourage your children to look beyond the appearance, and focus on the qualities of a person.
Set An Example
If parents themselves are hung up on looks, you cannot expect children to have healthy concepts about body-image. Therefore, it’s important that you also change your perception about weight, fat, and body size. Only then can you truly communicate to your child the need to abandon concepts like fat-shaming.
Stop Using ‘Fat’ As An Insult
It’s high time the negative connotation with the word fat end. Whenever one thinks of fat, it is thought to be unhealthy and ugly, whereas reality belies that.
Fat plays an important role in the body, and we need it in healthy amounts. People who are thin can also have high levels of fat, hence, they may look healthy, but they are not. Furthermore, discriminating people on their health is very unfair and irresponsible.
Moreover, it is pertinent that everyone be made to feel pretty, no matter what their body size is. Due to the fatphobia in our society, people who are overweight are ostracized. The way they are dealt with also might be the reason why your child is so scared of being fat.
Hence, alongside teaching them respect for everyone, also encourage empathy in them. Debunk the notion that fat people are bad or being fat is an insult.
Talk To Them About These Problematic Standards.
As a parent, you need to drive home the point that no matter what the media shows, their body size is not important, being healthy is. Tell them the implication of dieting on their growth and development.
Be Kind To Your Children
Some children develop body image issues due to the remarks from their parents. As long as your child is healthy, there is no room for fat-shaming them. If their health is in danger, then take up healthy ways for weight loss including exercise, lifestyle, and dietary changes.
Do not make them feel bad about their size. You should not be making snide comments on your body’s weight. You are in fact encouraging poor body image, low self-esteem, and possible problem of eating disorders, that then requires help of the Best Child specialist in Islamabad.