In a time where diet-culture is at an all-time high, it’s important we teach our kids about body positivity. This can help shape our kids into people who have a healthy relationship with their bodies and feel good about themselves right into adulthood.
What is body positivity?
Body positivity is acceptance and appreciation of all body types, no matter what their size. The term came into popular use through social movements aimed at reducing body shaming and teaching people how to love the body they are in. This movement discourages dieting and encourages the representation of all body types and sizes in media.
How can we teach our kids to be body positive?
As always, modelling behaviour to our kids is the best way to promote body positivity. Don’t use negative language when talking about the body size of other people and refrain from making negative comments about your own body too.
Talk to your kids about how amazing bodies are and celebrate the things they can do, rather than their limitations or the way they look. Teach them how their bodies are their own to choose what to do with, and their self-worth has nothing to do with their size or shape.
Don’t talk about dieting
Those who promote body positivity use mindful eating and a moderation approach to nutrition. While this might not fit with your own personal beliefs, it’s never a good idea to talk about dieting or restrictive eating in front of your kids. Never encourage them to follow a diet with you either. Kids need to learn to have a healthy relationship with food that is free from shame. Teach children how food nourishes our body and gives us energy to perform activities and is never something that should be attached to shame.
Body positivity can help our kids feel confident and happy. Celebrate all body types and use inclusive language as much as possible, even if it’s difficult. With a little help from us, our kids can feel good about their bodies and grow up in a world that is free of body shaming and unrealistic body shape expectations.