We live in a world that’s very image conscious. You’ve only got to look at fashion magazines to realise how unrealistic standards of beauty have become. When you’re a teen, switching off from feeling pressured to always look good can be difficult. Teens are forced to take part in many different social occasions, and at times it can be very distressing for them. It is, however, possible for you as a parent to teach your teen about body positivity, thereby developing a healthy habit for life.
· Flaws are Real
There’s no good trying to hide the fact that your teen has their own flaws. Let’s face it, most of us have. The important thing is to be realistic about body image rather than trying to pretend they don’t exist. If they’ve got to go to a party help them find outfits that flatter their body shape or a hairstyle that compliments their face.
· Understand Their Perspective
When you’re talking with your teen about any kind of problem, it’s important to look at it from their perspective. Until now, their life has been very different from yours, and they’re going to have different priorities. The wedding they’ve been invited to might not seem like such a big deal to you, but your teen wants to make a good impression, and you can help them.
· Trends Come and Go
It’s not very often a teen looks further ahead than just a couple of weeks. You need to help them understand that beauty standards will come and go but what’s most important is for them to understand is that it’s how they feel about themselves that matters. Give them some examples, and they’ll soon understand what you mean. The internet is a great tool for looking back at how beauty standards have changed. In the 90s, for example, slim was beautiful, whereas a decade later it was large breasts and bottoms that were considered the rage. Hairstyles are another example of how standards quickly change. It’s impossible for anyone to keep up with these changes so just because your teen doesn’t fit the current standard, doesn’t mean they won’t fit in a few years and you can help them appreciate that.
· Look Out for Signs of Depression
Teens can become very depressed about the way they look, so it’s important to recognise the signs of depression. If they’ve stopped socialising with friends and become very angry and upset, they may be struggling and need your support and help. There are many things you can do to help your teen, and one of the most important is to keep the channels of communication open. You might have problems getting through to them in which case you’ll need to seek professional help. Centres such as Ignite Teen Treatment can help in this type of situation.
Teaching your teen about body positivity doesn’t have to be a big issue. Be a good role model and display healthy body positivity yourself. Talk to them about how they’re feeling and try to understand why they might want to change their body.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.