Help Your Daughter to Love Her Body
It is harder than it ever has been for a teenage girl to grow up in a safe and sane way, feeling good about herself when she looks in the mirror. Why? We're all caught up with body image issues. Girls are bombarded with messages that no matter how they look, they are always falling short of some unrealistic ideal (hint: tall, thin, blonde, beautiful).
Here are 10 things you can do to help your daughter learn to love her body and herself:
- Understand what she's going through – it's not easy.
- Listen and learn from her.
- Take a good look at yourself. Maybe you need to change.
- Respect her body, her privacy and her right to spend two hours in front of the mirror putting on lip liner.
- Guide her, help her – don't control her.
- Act like a mother, a role model. Don't forget that you're the grown-up. Be close but don't be her best friend.
- Eat a sandwich in front of her and don't talk about how many calories it has or how guilty you feel. Eat the chips, too.
- Laugh with her. Share jokes only the two of you get.
- Know that she's up against the most impossible physical ideal: tall, thin, beautiful, thin, thin, thin. Filter the messages and give her some perspective.
- Don't tell her looks don't matter and that people don't care if you're thin or fat. Don't tell her it's what's inside that counts. Don't tell her a good personality is everything – that's just not true and doesn't help. Get real.