Everywhere your teenagers look these days they see images of beautiful and perfect men and women and it can be very difficult for them to feel good about themselves sometimes. Of course what they do not realize is that the majority of these people spend hours every day working out with their personal trainer and sitting with their beautician or have had plastic surgery of one description or another. And, even when this is not the case, many of the images we see have been digitally enhanced to present the very best possible appearance.
Nonetheless, many teens still find themselves feeling inadequate and concerned about their bodies and this means that parents can play an important role in helping them to develop pride in themselves and their bodies.
The first thing you need to be aware of is that your child will hear every word you say and knowing your true opinion may do more harm than good. For example, if your child is overweight then you should be very careful not to mention this directly. This means that if the problem is getting your child to lose some weight, then encouraging him to take exercise to get fit and build muscle and accompanying this with a body building diet is the answer, rather than suggesting an exercise and diet program to lose weight.
The second thing to be aware of is that your child will also see everything that you do and if he sees you being obsessive about your weight and exercising three times a day and preparing special meals of carrot juice and vitamin pills then he will want to do the same thing. This means that you need to let your child see you following a sensible and healthy routine which he can mimic and, if necessary, keep the vitamins and supplements in the bathroom cabinet and take them when he is not around to see you doing so.
You will notice that when talking about your child here I have so far used the word ‘he’. Many parents believe that the problem of image is very much confined to girls but this is far from true these days. Certainly girls are extremely conscious of their image, but so too nowadays are most boys. In fact, the problem can often be harder to deal with in boys because they can become so obsessed with their body image that they will overdo things and perhaps even turn to such things as steroids to help them to build muscles. This of course is something which you need to keep an eye on so that they follow a healthy lifestyle and do not go overboard.
It is not always easy to help your teenagers to develop a good image of themselves and their bodies, but if you listen to them and watch what you say and do you can do a great deal by way of example to keep them on the right track to developing into happy and self-confident adults.