Help teens gain body confidence through communication

Negative body image is a topic that often troubles teens. Their awareness of it can have a significant impact emotionally and physically if not addressed correctly. Some teens become so consumed obtaining the perfect body ideal that they set unrealistic goals for themselves and forget what is healthy. So much money and time are wasted on poor body confidence.

When discussing difficult topics it is important to use the steps of Effective Communication as it allows your teen to feel like they are being listened to and not lectured too.

Avoid negative self talk

Parents need to be sure not to contribute to a child’s negative self esteem by engaging in negative self talk, either about themselves or about their child. Often teens begin to bad mouth the way they look to themselves and to others. They feel over or under weight. They compare themselves to others or to pictures they see in on technology. They also are very sensitive about others calling them derogatory names at school or in public. This may be the beginning of a child having a distorted body image. It is important for parents to listen to the words their child says about themselves and prepare to help them gain body confidence.

Set the example for your child

Parents have a big influence on how a child feels about themselves. If they are always harping on their child’s eating habits or the way they look, they will feel overly self-conscious about it. They want and need people who are closest to them to give them support and complimentary remarks. Children deserve respect and loving behavior from their parents. There is nothing harder than sitting across from someone you love and admire who says you are fat and disgusting.

Use self-awareness activities

School yourself in self-awareness activities that your child can do that will help them love themselves the way they are. Commend your child if they have an interest in being active in sports or other activities that will help them be healthy. Compliment them when they make an attempt to look their best. Help them purchase clothes that highlight their best features modestly.

Using Effective Communication and Effective Praise

As a parent, developing communication skills that uplift your child will be the best thing you can do. Appropriately use Effective Praise. This involves using praise to bolster your child’s good behavior. You can watch the video on smarterparenting.com to learn this skill for yourself. It may take a while to master this skill, but if you do it sincerely, it can help you communicate better with your child.

LEARN MORE ABOUT EFFECTIVE PRAISE

Promote body confidence by praising things that come naturally to you and then move on to more difficult situations. You want your kids to know that you recognize and appreciate the good things that they do. When you use the skill of Effective Praise, you will find that your child acts out less, has more self-confidence, respects you more, and listens to your suggestions.

The Steps to Effective Praise are

Besides being an example of body confidence by not putting yourself down in front of your child, effective praise will reinforce what you believe. You and your child can work together on how to look your best, without demeaning yourself or others. Concentrate on living a healthy life and eating foods that you know are good for you.

  1. Show your approval and point out something positive that your child does. Let them know what they do that is right.
  2. Describe the positive behavior and be specific. Once they know and understand, they are more likely to do it again.
  3. Give a meaningful reason for the praise. If they understand the meaning, they will repeat it knowingly.
  4. Reward them (optional). Sometimes it is okay to give a reward to strengthen the connection between positive behavior and good outcomes.

Limit social media

Many youth like to put their pictures on social media to draw attention to how amazing they look. It can be an unhealthy distraction if your child suffers from poor body confidence. Be aware if your child is emotional after being on social media and suggest they limit their time using technology since it has a negative influence on them.

Help them develop healthy habits

Suggest habits that will bring them joy like walking, biking or hiking. When the child realizes that exercise is a mood booster, they will more likely want to do it. When the happy hormones or endorphins kick-in, there is no room for low self-esteem. If their friends put them down all the time for their weight or physical appearance, they would do much well to find more better friends.

The development of a positive self-concept or healthy self-esteem is extremely important to the happiness and success of teenagers. A teen with high self-esteem will be able to act independently, assume responsibility, take pride in accomplishments, and handle positive and negative emotions.

By using effective praise, your child can gain body confidence and learn to be healthy and happy.

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