Helpful Ways to Teach Your Child Body Positivity

Helpful Ways to Teach Your Child Body Positivity

Different factors can influence a child's body type, shape, weight, and size.

However, in the world today, people often face societal pressure to fit the idea of a "perfect body image," and children are not exempted.

This is why it is essential to teach your child body positivity and help them cultivate a healthy and positive self-image from a very young age.

Most times, children watch and emulate the behaviors of people around them.

Their personality begins to develop at a young age, and people around them can influence their way of thinking and behavior.

Thus, it is essential to embrace your body and speak positive things about it as it may impact your child's perception of body images.

Similarly, people with an eating disorder often struggle with their body images and deal with psychological problems like depression, low self-esteem, and social isolation.

Teaching your child to have a healthy relationship with food will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle and develop a positive body image as they grow older.

In addition, you can teach your child that humans can have different body appearances and everyone is perfect as they are.

When children look different from their peers, they often feel pressure to fit in and end up hating their bodies.

A crucial part of helping your child become body positive is letting them understand that people can have different body weights, shapes, sizes, and appearances and are all beautiful.

Consider this overview to learn helpful ways you can teach your child body positivity:

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Hailey Gloden, MA, LPC, NCC

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Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

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Margot Bean, LCSW

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Cassondra Chagnon, LPCC

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Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Jenifer Seas, LCSW

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Be a Good Example

As a parent, your child may pick up your tone, language, lifestyle, and habits and imitate them as they grow older.

An efficient way to teach your child body positivity at a young age is to be a good model for them to follow.

Ensure to speak positive words about your body and appearance.

Complimenting your looks and appearances will teach your child to show body confidence.

Avoid using your physical appearance as an excuse not to perform certain activities, as it can pass a wrong message to your kids.

Also, note what you say about strangers' appearances in front of your child.

Using derogatory words to describe other people's bodies will teach your child it's alright to do the same.

Educating them that body shaming is bad will help them develop body positivity towards themself and others.

Having a healthy body image entails appreciating your body, embracing flaws, feeling gratitude for its capabilities, and most importantly, taking good care of it.

Practicing healthy eating habits, staying active, and being positive are all ways to take care of your body.

Encourage Physical Activity 

There are so many benefits children stand to gain from being physically active from a young age.

Regular exercise keeps the body fit and healthy.

Also, it helps improve your child's mental well-being as exercising elevates the mood, reduces tension or stress, and serves as a fun activity for children.

Thus, to teach your child body positivity, encourage them to be physically active.

As you gradually introduce exercise into their daily routine, ensure they can have fun.

The goal should not be to lose weight but to make your child accustomed to moving their body and feeling comfortable doing so.

Kids don't need personal trainers or gym equipment.

Play their favorite songs, dance, and have fun moving your body.

Also, start with simple home exercises and go gentle on them.

You can spice up your activities by taking them on a walk, visiting the park, hiking, or participating in any other fun activity.

Children trained to engage in physical activities primarily to lose weight are likely to despise exercise and hate their bodies.

Physical activities with your child should make them happy and refreshed, not tired and stressed.

Promote Healthy Eating Habits 

Sometimes, eating disorders at an older age can be traced to an individual's relationship with food at a younger age.

To teach your child body positivity and encourage a healthy body image, you can help them develop a positive relationship with food.

There's a high likelihood for children to grow to enjoy what they were fed at a younger age.

While at home, prepare a balanced diet filled with healthy food choices in adequate portions.

You can also replace some sugary snacks at home with healthier options.

Also, avoid rushing your child's meal or forcing them to finish it though they are satisfied.

Children can detect when they are full by eating slowly, so it is not necessarily bad if your kid is a slow eater.

Serve in adequate portions and keep their leftovers instead of forcing them to empty the plate.

Similarly, kids usually show more interest in sugary and greasy foods and love to snack.

Thus, to monitor your child's snack intake, you can create a specific time they can indulge in snacks. 

Perhaps during weekends or after lunch.

Endeavor to mix in healthy snacks without depriving them of the occasional cupcakes or gummy bears.

Build Body Confidence 

Whether from the media or friends at school, children learn lots of false information about body images and types.

It is almost impossible to shield your child from the unrealistic beauty standards set in society.

However, an excellent way to teach your child body positivity is to build their body confidence.

For one, help your child focus on the functions of their body more than the way it looks.

Reinforce that a healthy body is one that can carry out activities and not one that fits into gender stereotypes or unrealistic beauty standards.

All healthy bodies are beautiful and perfect, and they should embrace theirs too.

Similarly, avoid comparing your child's body to another child's.

Body shaming, food teasing, and weight teasing can affect a child's body image and cause depression, body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, and anxiety.

In addition, compliment them regularly and praise them for their body functions.

Encourage them to pursue goals, celebrate achievements, and correct them with love when they fail.

Let them know they you unconditionally love them regardless of how they look or choose to dress.

Teach Your Child About Body Differences 

Children with unique features that don't fit the beauty standard and societal expectations often feel constant pressure from their surrounding environment to look a certain way and "fit in."

Thus to teach your child body positivity, educate them on body differences.

Factors including gender, genetic makeup, diet, level of physical activity, and social and environmental factors can influence an individual's physical appearance.

It is essential to explain to your child the factors they have control over and those they don't.

If they are having trouble accepting their differences, a good way to help is to show them other lifestyles and cultures by traveling with them.

Let them witness how different the body can be and how easily body stereotypes shift depending on the location.

Helping your child understand facial differences, height or weight differences, body and facial changes, scars, acne, and more will help them accept their differences and be accepting of others.


With so much misleading information and unrealistic ideas of beauty portrayed in society, it is essential to teach your child body positivity and instill confidence in them.

As a parent, you can shape your child's mindset into having a positive self-image and improving their self-esteem.

Ways to promote body positivity include being a good example, encouraging physical activities, promoting healthy eating habits, building body confidence, and teaching your child about body differences.


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May 25th, 2024

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