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Raising Children Topics..

You are here : home > Raising Children > The Girl Child > Raise Daughters with Positive Body Image

Raise Daughters with Positive Body Image

Most of the girls become obsessed about their looks when they grow-up. Therefore, developing a positive body image is very important while raising daughters. Let us take a look at some tips for raising daughters with positive body image.

Parents of girl children face a major issue in the modern world and that is the challenge of raising daughters with positive body image. The excessive media glitz, the stress on unachievable slim bodies and the excessive preoccupation with achieving a “perfect” physical appearance has propelled many girls towards eating disorders.

A recent survey shows that half of the female population under 20 is unhappy with the way they look. The preoccupation with being thin has spread amongst girls of lower and middle school too. As parents it is imperative that you step in and actively help cultivate a positive body image for your daughters.

Focus on Qualities Instead of Appearance

One of the major ways in which you can stop body image issues from occurring is to cultivate a focus on qualities. Talk to your daughter and compliment her on how she performed or behaved and demonstrated humane qualities on specific occasions instead of always complimenting her on her appearance. Saying things like “you really helped your friend today” or “you are really a generous person” is much more productive than saying “you look so beautiful”. Also instead of focusing only on beauty, you must encourage healthy habits, hygiene and cleanliness in your daughter.

You can even talk about negative situations and emotions in a matured way all the while urging daughters to develop a line of thinking of their own. For example, saying things like “even though I do not agree with you I respect and understand your opinion” is a healthy way of letting girls knows that they have a mind of their own and the right to choose their notion of a good physical appearance. Teach her in an age appropriate manner that having a beautiful soul is important than outer appearance. When you teach such things to your daughter you must also be a good role model for her.

Point Out the Mirages of Media

Whatever the media shows the world especially in terms of women’s bodies is essentially a mirage. Most images of beautiful and fantastically slim women are photo-shopped, air brushed and technologically altered. Most celebrities or models and public female figures have undergone cosmetic surgical alterations to enhance their appearance. Your daughter however does not know all this and hence views the glamorous female world as a fairytale into which she has to fit in at any cost.

Talk to your daughters about the ultimate objective of media campaigns, the goal of media glitz and what airbrushing and Photoshop can do. Also talk to your daughters about cosmetic surgical procedures and their repercussions when they are old enough to understand. Once they understand the false image projected by the media they will be less willing to be fooled by it.

Stop Preoccupation with Appearance

The moment you choose only overtly feminine colours, feminine dresses and feminine toys for your daughter in early childhood you automatically set off a chain of events which support the concept of gender centred expectations. Your daughter’s get the message that they are expected to behave in a certain way and look in a specific way.

As adults you should make a conscious effort of not responding much to how your daughter looks and focus on the things she does as a person. The effort for girls to cultivate a balanced of non appearance oriented perspective towards their bodies should begin from childhood. They should learn to respect their bodies and focus on developing and maintaining a healthy body right from early childhood.

Filter Content

In this permissive society many people view filtering content for their children as unnecessary or regressive. However, it is a fact that the innocent young years of childhood should be shielded way from the excessive focus on sexuality and false glamour that enters homes through the Internet, magazine, newspapers, television etc. keep watch on what your daughters are reading and watching and install parental control if you have to.

Do not encourage excessive attention on appearance and rationally curb it whenever you see the first traces. Looking presentable is of course important but paying too much of attention to looks and appearance can become an obstacle towards building a positive body image.

With a little effort and perseverance you can surely raise daughters with positive body image.

Why is it important to develop positive body image in girls? What are the ways to raise daughters with positive body image? What are the ill effects of false body image on girls? Discuss here.

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Gaurav.3 years ago
A positive body image can help to improve the overall personality of a girl child.
Hetal.3 years ago
I agree with gaurav and naina....Looks do not matter at all but the media gives a lot of importance to looks and appearance and kids get carried away with it. They also want to look like stars.
Naina.3 years ago
Instead of giving importance to looks it is important to give importance to good qualities and virtues in a person.
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