Preserving A Child’s Innocence
And Teaching Them How To Love Themselves
|LA Fashion Judge
Article by Dr Regine Muradian
Creating a positive self image:
Children, tweens and teens have always been influenced by the media and celebrity trends. Whether it is what the new trend in clothing, electronics or social media they will be one of the first to know. Another aspect they are highly influenced by is body and self image. Their minds are shaped by what is around them we cannot seclude them or keep them in a bubble as we know that is no way to develop their sense of self. We can however empower them with knowledge that will increase their self confidence and develop a positive sense of self so they can love who they are. Body image issues may start with a feeling of unhappiness on how they look or feel internally and externally. There is usually a comparison to another person or image that takes place in their mind. This in turn can become an obsession such as changing healthy behaviors into negative ones in order to satisfy the self. Preserving a child’s innocence and teaching them how to love themselves can go a long way in their current development and future relationships.
- For example, if children tend to weigh themselves more often than they should, attempt to process how they feel when they weigh themselves. Understanding how your child feels is a teaching opportunity you may gain in building your relationship with them. This may also open trust and build positive communication skills especially if your child tends to internalize their feelings.
- Be mindful of your behaviors as a parent. What you do and how you treat yourself and others is how they will treat others as well. For example, if they become emotionally hurt by another child’s action take this as another teaching opportunity to help them understand that being hurtful in return will only decrease their sense of self and esteem. Turning negative feelings into positive ones will empower them. It is natural that as parents we want to protect our children from being hurt. However role modeling positive energy is key to good mental health.
- Children, tweens and teens whom are preoccupied by body image will need support and a sense of feeling in control. As a parent you can guide them in creating their own sense of style. For example, are you the parent who forces them to wear pink and purple only or blue and yellow? Allow them to make choices. Giving them the opportunity to choose what to wear and expressing themselves on the reasons why they don’t like the particular outfit you picked gives them a voice. You are on your way in helping them build their unique style from the inside out. Positive self-image is build from within first. When children feel they have control they feel empowered and that is when you know you have succeeded as parent.