As children grow up and experience changes, they may develop issues with their body image. This may be a result of being flooded by images of what the ideal body looks like in the media. With the current levels of access to the internet across the world, it’s easy to see just how much information the average teen is able to consume, a lot of which could leave them struggling with a poor body image. If your teen is facing this issue, there are a few ways in which you can help them turn things around, and ten of these methods are outlined below.
1. Talk to Your Teen
The first and most important thing that you need to do the moment that you realize there’s a problem is to talk to your teen. Make the environment in which you talk to them as open and free of judgment as possible. This is going to help them tell you the truth about their issues, and you can get to the root cause of their poor body image. As a result, you may have a better chance of helping them turn around their problem and start to develop a healthier image of themselves. Make it clear to them that they can talk to you at any time they feel like they’re getting overwhelmed so that things have a low likelihood of getting serious.
You can look for ideas online on how to approach this subject because it can be a sensitive one to deal with. In fact, you should know some of the signs to look out for that could alert you to your teen having poor body image because they may not be direct in talking about it. When you start to notice these signs, approach the issue knowing that you may get a bit of resistance, but you need to be patient and tactful if you are to make a positive impact. Right from the start, your main aim should be to get through to your teen and silence the noise they’re getting from magazines, the internet, and even the popular kids in school.
2. Seek a Professional’s Help
If you feel at all as though you’re not getting through to your teen, or you don’t have the skill to talk to them about their poor body image, you can always seek professional assistance. This could come in the form of counseling services, especially those geared toward working with teens. They should know the best way to talk to your teen, the most effective language to use, and other details surrounding the matter. These include how to tell the degree to which your teen is affected, and how to know if they’re making a positive impact on them. Depending on the outcome, the professional should know whether to make changes or carry on with the method that they started with.
While looking for expert help, you may want to find out whether it’s possible to get telehealth counseling if this is something that you or your teen would be interested in. This could come in handy if you can’t make it to regular counseling sessions for one reason or another. In this case, you can be sure that your teen never has to miss a session. If you opt to find a professional with whom to work, they can teach you how to help your teen improve their poor body image as well. This will have the effect of ensuring that your teen has access to the full scope of treatment and that they have the best possible chance of improving fast.
3. Make a Point to Eat Together
As far as body image is concerned, it’s important to remember that gut health has a serious role to play. This means that you need to aim for healthier diets as a family. That said, you need to be mindful of the language that you use concerning food as a family. On this note, you can refer to proper eating as healthy eating as opposed to calling it dieting. This can help take away some of the negative imagery associated with body image because dieting is normally prescribed for weight loss, and not in the healthiest ways either.
To get your teen on the path to a healthier image of themselves, especially if they have concerns with their weight, the best thing that you can do is to eat together with them. Try your best to be at home for meals, even if it’s just one meal a day, and eat together as a family. In addition to helping you bond as a family, this is a measure that will help you hold each other accountable for the meal choices that you make. You should also head out to shop for groceries together, trying to shop mainly at a health food store that has a variety of fresh, healthy ingredients. This will give you and your teen the responsibility of knowing what goes into your plate, and it may give you more control as well.
4. Help Them Access Activities They Enjoy
Next, give your teen easy access to the activities that they enjoy doing so that it’s easier for them to stay active. Keeping active is a great way to stay in shape, and it can also provide a welcome way to pass the time for your teen. This could give them access to a world in which they’re free to be themselves and have a great time while at it. One of the activities that you could do well to avail your teen is swimming, for which you can enroll them in a nearby swimming facility. In fact, you can construct one right at home if you have the space and budget for one.
With a swimming pool at home, you can all head out for a swimming session whenever you like. This may be the most fun way for you to get in your daily activity level as a family. With regular swimming, it’s possible to lose weight and become fitter, all while having lots of fun. In addition to helping solve the issue of a poor body image, a swimming pool is also going to help make your property more valuable and appealing. This makes it an amazing investment to make.
5. Give Them Healthy Compliments
To help do away with the issue of poor body image, find a way to compliment your teen in the best way. This involves pointing out the countless other positive things that your teen has and is capable of. This way, you’re sure to help your teen understand that they have many other qualities to be proud of and not just their appearance. By doing this, you can help your teen realize that they’re special and have other qualities that can be appreciated.
You can also compliment your teen on the positive efforts that they make towards solving their issues in a healthy way. This can give them additional motivation to solve things that they’re struggling with. Your main aim in this case should be to make sure that your teen no longer focuses on the negatives, especially if they’re not working towards solving them. In the end, they can develop a healthy perspective of themselves and therefore live a more fulfilling life.
6. Help Them Set Realistic Goals
While talking with your teen, it’s crucial that you help them set realistic goals for their lives, and not just as far as poor body image goes. This is a skill that will come in handy for them as they grow older, helping them understand what’s important and what they therefore need to focus on. These goals should be in terms of sports, school, life, and beyond. As a result, they’re going to have something positive to aspire to. One of the areas to look into if you’d like expert guidance and assistance for your teen is body image coaching.
Keep in mind that the best goals are those that encourage your teen to push themselves toward something that’s achievable, even if it’s difficult. Goals that are unrealistically complex are bound to worsen the situation and leave your teen feeling discouraged if they fail to achieve them. Encourage your teen to pursue their passions so that they can win at something in life and therefore get the motivation that comes from within.
7. Validate Their Concerns
While trying to encourage your teen to shift their focus from the negative, you should be tactful while doing this. On this note, brushing off their concerns will leave them feeling invalidated and ignored. This could lead to more trouble down the road for them as they struggle mentally. As such, acknowledge their issues and be understanding, and from this point, you can work on a way forward. If there are serious issues that need medical or other professional intervention, it’s a good idea to look for good health coverage by talking to various health insurance providers.
Keep in mind that while poor body image typically stems from physical appearance, it can affect many other health aspects. This is the reason why it’s best that you take time and get to the root of the matter. By acknowledging the fact that your teen is suffering from a valid concern, you may be able to see other issues that might stem from this one and therefore solve them effectively.
8. Teach Them About Self-Care
Self-care is one of the most important skills that people of all ages can have. That’s why it’s a good idea to teach your teen about self-care if they’re struggling with poor body image. This is going to alert them to the best way in which to take proper care of their health, and they’ll be less likely to fall prey to ineffective and downright dangerous solutions they come across in the media. To this end, you could start by looking into acne treatment services if your teen is trying to manage their acne. This is going to give them access to healthy solutions and treatments that are bound to work.
Medical grade skin care can also help your teen handle their worries about their appearance through the years. This is a sure way to give them a chance to manage their conditions effectively. They may also be able to stop issues from coming up in the future, and this is an amazing way to put the power into their hands because they’re going to be aware of the best way to manage their health-related issues.
9. Set a Positive Example
To give your teen the best chance of dealing with poor body image, it’s important that you set a positive example for them. Do this by modeling healthy behavior and attitudes around body image. This will let your teen understand what matters because they’ll see it in what you do. If you do have issues with your body image, you should find healthy and effective ways to deal with them so that your teen can see that it’s possible to live a healthy life and control aspects that they have issues within a positive way.
10. Encourage Exercising
Last but not least, encourage exercising and take part in it yourself so that your teen can benefit from it. With regular exercise, it’s possible not to just keep weight under control, but to also take care of mental health. This makes it a good idea to try and exercise as a family if it’s possible for you to commit to set hours of exercising. You can start small, with something basic like a jog or even brisk walking for a certain duration of time. Increase the activity levels slowly as you adjust, and you’re soon going to be capable of significantly more.
In these ten ways, you can help your teen with poor body image. They’re going to be grateful to you as they grow up into healthy, happy adults. That’s because they’ll remember most of the goals and solutions that help them improve their body image for the rest of their lives.