As the parent of a teenager, you need to recognize the signs of unhealthy body image. If you don’t take action now, your teen’s diminished self-esteem could follow them into adulthood. Here are a few tips to help kids who are experiencing body image issues.
Monitor Their Social Media
Social media has made it easier than ever for teenagers to stay connected to the outside world. Unfortunately, these sites can contribute to body image issues. Many teenagers equate getting likes on social media with being attractive. Some will even go to the extent of editing their photos to make themselves look different. Teens who don’t receive any positive feedback often start to feel inferior. When interacting with your child, take time to discuss the importance of not allowing others to dictate their worth.
Stress the Importance of Exercise
Research shows that even a small amount of exercise can help improve body image. However, the purpose of regular exercise isn’t to transform your teen’s body. Active teens naturally tend to have a higher level of confidence. Simply working out 30 minutes a day can have a positive impact. You should also encourage your teen to become involved in sports.
Seek Professional Help
Oftentimes, parents can’t do it all on their own. If you notice your teen is dealing with an eating disorder, don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help. Inpatient eating disorder treatment will enable your teen to get their life back on track. These programs are designed to do more than just treat a serious medical condition. They also give teens the proper guidance and mental support.
Puberty can be a challenging event for some teenagers. It’ll take some time for them to become completely comfortable with their changing body. The last thing they need is any negative criticism about their appearance. Always strive to make your teen feel good. Nothing beats having a good support system. At least a few days a week, make it a point to eat together. Teens who participate in family meals are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
Be a Good Role Model
Whether you’re a big brother or mother, be a good role model for the teen in your life. They could view you as a source of inspiration. You should make self-confidence a big point of emphasis.
Teenagers have it rougher than you may think. Poor body image isn’t a problem that will disappear overnight. With a little help, your teen can gradually start to overcome their struggles.