Body image comes from within. As a parent, it’s difficult to explain to a middle-school age child how the images from the magazines aren’t real life, so let us help you.
As National Eating Disorder Awareness Week commences, we want to shine a light on a very important topic: self-esteem.
It’s important to talk with your kids, boy or girl, about the dangers of sacrificing one’s health for an image. Explain from an early age that as long as your body is healthy, your physical appearance isn’t the highest priority. It is difficult for young teens to grasp the concept of the two entities not connecting, but they must understand that a healthy lifestyle and a size 0 aren’t always going to correlate.
Kids this age can be heavily influenced and that pressure can set a stage for self-image problems later in life. If the importance of health versus image doesn’t get addressed early, they are more susceptible to succumb to dietary problems later in life. This is the same for underage drinking. Address with your kids, sooner rather than later, the importance of standing up for what you know is right, and how that might not always be the easiest thing to do.
It is also important to instill on your young teen to never say comments about others’ appearance or weight. Middle school can be a time of speaking before thinking; make sure your child isn’t unintentionally making an impression on another student.
Peer pressure is dangerous in middle school. Whether it has to do with health habits or underage drinking, the idea of the confidence to say NO will be the same. Start the conversation with your kids today. Say YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking.