We live in a digital world. We live in a world of filters. Nothing is real and real is nothing.
Our children, especially teenagers are victims of this culture. And hence with the advent of this digital world, parents need to be more cautious and alert than ever.
The way one looks is a prime concern of mostly every teenager and hence self esteem plays an indispensable role in establishing a positive body image.
Having said that, a positive body image is also required to ensure self esteem of your child.
Coming back to the topic of digitalisation, it is the reality of todays teenagers of wanting everything to be picture perfect and instagrammable.
According to plasticsurgery.org, children from the age of 12 to 19 years have 228797 cosmetic procedures including 66889 cosmetic surgical procedures like liposuction, tummy tucks etc.
Children form opinions of their bodies at a very young age. Research suggests that children as young as 3 years old can have body image issues. Parents play a critical role in helping children develop a positive body image and self esteem.
The problem is that the filtered or edited images of plastic filled models is portrayed as ‘perfect’. When children chase that perfect body, it leads to disappointment and poor self esteem.
HOW CAN PARENTS HELP?
Change the course of conversation. The way you talk about your body will influence your child too. Instead focus on doing things you would like your child to follow. Leading by example, remember?
- Don’t encourage Fad diets.
- Promote healthy eating.
- Don’t talk about improving your body shape to look more attractive.
- Tell them how important it is to be healthy and fit.
- Don’t shy away from being photographed.
- Always smile at the mirror.
- Don’t focus on outer appearance.
- Give compliments to your child on his/her inner attributes.
Body image is an important part of your child’s self esteem. Don’t try to dismiss their feelings. Instead raise them strong and help them face their insecurities.