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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Parents Teach By Example

Many parents don't realize, but everything you say, your child will pick up.  This concept even stays true with body image.  Did you know that girls as young as five years old worry about what they look like and diet?  Our society is worrying about these superficial things at too young of an age.  Children mimic what is talked about in their homes, and if the parents are worried about weight, dieting, and body image, then children will worry about the same things.  These ideas come from the media and pressures from other outside influences, such as the media.  "WebMD" has a great article on this topic and offers some great suggestions, as well as warning signs to look for in your children.

"Media images and messages can be the springboard for discussing healthy body images in children. Parents can discuss media messages that are inaccurate and unhealthy as well as positive media images, such as Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty," which urges consumers to "be happy with who you are." The popular ads feature curvy, full-bodied, women -- not traditional waif-like models."

Here is a list given by WebMD to look for in your children:
  • Signals that a girl views herself only in terms of her physical appearance.
  • The language your daughter uses to describe herself and her physical development and attractiveness.
  • Excessive dieting
  • Frequent comments about the weight of other girls
  • Worries about sexual attractiveness
  • Depression and low self-esteem
Remember, these things are happening younger and younger and parents have the most influential opportunities to stop this behavior and to promote healthy body image at every age.

Please reference http://children.webmd.com/building-healthy-body-image-for-children to read more of the article and others with the same topic.

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