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Help Your Daughter Develop a Positive Body Image
Young girls are flooded with messages from the media that can make it difficult for them to feel positive about their appearance. Here are some practical ways in which you can assist your daughter in developing healthy self-esteem when it comes to her appearance.
Managing Media Messages
- Enforce limitations on watching television shows. Official recommendations of The American Academy of Pediatrics are for parents to limit watching television show to a maximum of two hours daily. Rather than leaving the set on all the time, be choosy when it comes to the shows your family views. This action will help your kids to stay away from media hype while permitting them to spend time engaged in more worthwhile activities.
- Talk about the ways in which television shows and movies depict females. Spend time watching television shows with your children. Discuss the usual Hollywood projection of the ideal, glamorous woman. Discuss movie stars who look attractive without a lot of makeup and actresses who only look good because they underwent drastic cosmetic surgery.
- Show her photographs of women who represent different types of beauty. Every gorgeous woman is unique, and this uniqueness does not rely on whether the person is skinny or has dyed blonde hair. Rent a bunch of foreign movies to show your kids the various perspectives from other cultures. View paintings online by artist such as Reubens and Courbet, who had preferences for full figure models.
- Influence your daughter to study many different types of topics, from history and literature to mathematics and science. You can provide your daughter with more opportunities to explore her interests by exposing her to more academic and cultural experiences. Support the development of her self-esteem with classes in dance, music, crafts, languages or other abilities in which she shows an interest.
- Do not buy seductive clothes for younger children or teens. Do not buy overly suggestive clothes targeted toward young girls and teenagers. Allow your daughter to enjoy the innocence she possesses without having to worry about sexual advances from other persons.
- Set down rules about dress codes for your teenage daughters. It’s normal for teens to want to dress up like their classmates, however parents are able to impose restrictions as to what is acceptable. Keep the discussion respectful all the while making clear the difference between positive and negative attention.
- Buy your daughter skirts, dresses, pants and tops that bring out her best qualities. Congratulate your daughter when she attempts to discover her own unique sense of fashion. Voice your opinions about clothes that make her look especially attractive without being revealing.
- Have a conversation with your daughter about finding her first bra. Every young girl feels important when she wears her first bra. If she is uneasy in talking about it, be prepared to bring the subject up yourself whenever her body starts to develop. Your open minded attitude can influence her to adapt to the changes she is experiencing with her body.
- Offer your daughter support when she makes a sincere effort to maintain her health and weight. If your daughter has a weight problem, deal with it in a compassionate way. Inform your daughter that her health and wellbeing is your highest priority. If your daughter tells you that she wants to join a fitness center, offer to sign up for membership so you can exercise together.
- Tell her positive remarks about her special and unique characteristics. Young ladies often feel pressured by the media and peers to place too much importance on physical appearances instead of on positive inner qualities. Assist her in finding balance by letting her see her inner abilities, like being a good friend or acing algebra.
- Make sure she does not overdo her participation in sports. Softball or basketball offer benefits, but it is best to proceed with caution. Make sure that the coach teaches your daughter to have positive attitudes. Your daughter should have the ability to enjoy her activities without feeling any type of pressure.
- Set an example for you daughter that gives her a positive viewpoint regarding females. If you are not sexist yourself in your words and actions towards females, what you say will be more believable and acceptable. Do not make unfavorable comments about relatives, friends, or movie stars. Do not underestimate the effect your simple comments can have on your teens and pre-teens, as they are very sensitive to your opinions.
- Look for a Professional Counselor. Most teenage girls naturally accept changes that their bodies undergo, but some girls need to speak with an expert. At the first signs of an eating disorder, make sure your daughter gets the therapy and treatment that will help her get better. You can easily find a professional who offers counseling.
By offering guidance, support and understanding, you can help your daughter appreciate her unique looks and bolster her self-esteem. Let her know that she can always talk to you about anything, and help her to concentrate on developing her inner beauty.