Body image is the way we perceive ourselves when we look in the mirror. This is usually different than the way others see us because humans are naturally self-critical. Teenagers can be particularly judgmental about their bodies because of peer pressure, images in the media, bullying, and more. As a parent, you have the opportunity to help your child feel better about himself or herself so your teen can walk through the halls with confidence.
Here is a guide from our Michigan teen counseling center to help you improve your teen’s body image.
Buy Proper Fitting Clothes
The fit of a person’s clothing has a major impact on how he or she looks and feels. If your teen is wearing clothes that are too tight or too loose for his or her body, he or she may have a negative experience. It may be difficult to keep teens in proper-fitting attire because of growth spurts and budget constraints, but do your best to get clothes that your teen feels confident in. This will do wonders for his or her attitude.
Use Random, Unexpected Compliments
Your teenager may not respond well to your compliments in the moment, but they do mean something to him or her. Every now and then, provide a compliment about your teen’s appearance. This doesn’t have to happen every day, and it shouldn’t seem forced. A sincere, natural compliment will not be hard to come up with, and it’s not something you have to dwell on for long. All you need is a little seed of positivity, and your child’s mind will take care of the rest.
Avoid Making Negative Comments About Other People
One of the biggest reasons why teenagers feel self-conscious is because they have judgmental people around them. “If dad thinks that about a major celebrity, what does he really think about me?” Before you joke around with your teen about negative features on other people’s bodies, think about how that may impact your teen’s body image moving forward. The less judgment you have in the household, the better off your teen will be.
Carry Yourself With Confidence
You are your teen’s biggest role model – even if he or she refuses to acknowledge that. Your teen takes your words and actions to heart, so it’s important that you carry yourself with as much confidence as you want him or her to have. It’s natural to feel insecure about your body, but don’t let your teen see that insecurity. Also, keep in mind that the way you see yourself is not how others see you. To your child, you could be the best-looking person in the world.
If you need help with self-esteem counseling for yourself or your child, contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Metro Detroit, MI to learn about our teen counseling and family counseling programs.