Young people are often presented with unrealistic views of what the ideal male and female body should look like. With the media full of glamorous celebrities and beautiful models, this can give teens a distorted image of how they should look, which leaves them worried about their body image.
 
Some will worry about being overweight, while others will think they aren’t curvy enough. They are often unaware that as they go through hormonal changes, their bodies will naturally change and grow.
 
Parents could ensure their teen that nobody’s body will be the same forever. Their weight and body shape can change as well as their skin type. All this can have an effect on your child’s self-esteem, with some feeling pressured from friends to look a particular way.
 
Tips on promoting a healthy body image
 
  • The teenage years can be a very difficult time for most youngsters, due to all the changes their bodies undergo , they might feel more stressed than usual. Parents can help promote a healthy attitude toward body image by being a positive role model at home:
  • Have an open conversation with your tween to see where they stand. You will be able to get their thoughts on any insecurities they may have on themselves, and try to comfort them without being judgemental.  Make it clear that you are always there to speak to him or her about their body issues.
  • Remind your child that most people we see in the media do not represent reality. Most pictures are computerised to help create a flawless finish.
  • Discuss peer pressure and the idea that friendships should be based on inner beauty rather than outer beauty.
  • Encourage children to have a balanced diet which includes plenty of fruit and vegetables. Parents should try not to use the terms “good food” or “bad food,” because the majority of food is absolutely fine to eat in moderation.

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