When it comes to supporting their teen’s healthy self-image, parents walk a fine line. Too many parental suggestions about weight, exercise, and diet may cause pushback and leave her to make decisions based on suggestions from peers and social media, both of which can perpetuate unrealistic beauty ideas and dangerous diet and exercise “norms.”
It is important for parents to teach their teens that beauty and self-worth are more than skin-deep. Teens need to learn to look beyond society’s view of beauty and avoid the traps of quick-fix dieting and exercise routines. They need to develop a healthy lifestyle and positive mindset and learn to work with their body, rather than against it.
10 Parenting Practices that Promote a Positive Self-Image
- Engage in a positive body conversation with your teen.
- Catch yourself before you make a judgment about someone else’s body.
- Say, “I’m so grateful for my (adjective) (body part.)” Encourage gratitude for the function of your body.
- Find an image on social media, TV, or in a magazine, and talk with your teen about the story behind the image. Highlight all that goes into becoming “picture perfect.”
- When your teen is on social media, ask her, “What do you think about what you see?” and “How does what you’re looking at make you feel?”
- Talk about how to use comparison as inspiration and motivation to create a positive change.
- Praise your teen for a talent, skill, or inner quality.
- Ask your teen what it means to be her own best friend, and how she can talk to herself like she would talk to a best friend.
- Talk about the difference between confidence and conceit.
- Come up with ideas for how to be your body’s ally and advocate. What can you do together to honor and care for your body?
If you’d like more support in helping your teen develop a positive self-image and increase her self-esteem schedule a free discovery call to learn about parent coaching. Through parent coaching, you will learn how to talk with your teen about delicate topics including self-image, and get practical parenting strategies to guide your teen through challenges.