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Teens & Body Image: A fragile mix

I was recently interviewed by Audrey Kuchen of Fox61 for a piece about Teens and Body Image and how social media plays into it all. You can watch the whole interview here:

Since that interview, I have received so many questions from clients and friends curious how they can work with their own families to improve their body image and confidence. 

So…below are a few tips to start implementing immediately to help the entire family’s body confidence:

  • It starts at home with us (the parents)! Model the behavior you want for your kids by limiting your own consumption of social media and screen time in general
  • Never ever ever ever say negative things about your own body or diet in front of your child and do not comment on their bodies or anyone else’s body for that matter either. Their body, their business. Please don’t body shame yourself, your child or anyone else.
  • Compliment your child’s humanity instead of their body or looks. For example, instead of saying “you’re so pretty” try saying “I love your fun style!”
  • Establish technology free zones in the house and a time when everyone puts their iphones/ipads/computers/tvs/videogames away
  • Teenagers need to know that you are available to them to actually talk about their day or to help them with a problem. If you have your nose in your email and aren’t giving them the attention they need, they will seek it out elsewhere and you don’t know what kind of advice they may be receiving. Be present and model healthy boundaries with social media.
  • Keep your kids involved in activities they are interested in such as sports, music, volunteering – something that builds confidence, makes them happy and moves their bodies in healthy and joyful ways. Encourage them to follow their dreams and help them along the way!
  • Remind them of all that happens outside of our screens – all of the positive things we can do with time away from the glow of a screen! Have regular conversations with your teens about how to use social media responsibly and safely.
  • Encourage everyone in the family to keep a top-10 list of things you like about yourself. It should include only things not related to what you look like!

I hope these tips help the entire family live a more body confident life in the midst of our social media obsessed world!

Your Over it Coach,

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