Being a teenager has never been easy, but today it is harder than ever. The many different ideas of ‘perfection’ that are offered up to young people in movies, magazines, online, and on social media all combine to lower self-esteem and self-confidence, and in some cases, to give young people truly debilitating body image issues.
These issues aren’t just for girls, either; anyone can have them, and with the hormonal changes that are happening for children at this age, it can make the matter even harder to deal with. However, there are things you can do to help your teen beat these body image issues. Read on to find out what they are.
Ask for Help and Support
Teenagers can be hard to understand and communicate with, and this might mean you don’t know how to tackle the issue, even though all you want to do is help. Getting support and asking for help for your teen if they are going through a hard time is certainly something you should do. Finding experts like the ones at igniteteentreatment.com for advice, or even booking your teen in for a residential treatment course can be exactly what is required, so never be concerned about getting the help you need.
Create a Gratitude Journal
Things can often seem bleak when you’re a teenager, particularly one who is suffering from body image issues. As a parent, you can help by encouraging your teen to create a gratitude journal. This is a simple method and you might be met with resistance, to begin with, but if you can explain exactly why this will help, and perhaps if you also have a gratitude journal to show your teen what you mean, they should open up and start writing one.
Essentially, the gratitude journal is a way of keeping a record of anything and everything the teen can be grateful for. The act of searching through memories and thoughts of the day in order to find the things to be appreciated and then writing them down can trigger more positive thoughts and acknowledge that there are good things happening around them.
Demonstrate a Healthy Attitude to Your Own Body
It’s amazing how much a child or teenager notices what their parents and other adults around them are doing and saying. Even a quick, off-hand remark, perhaps one you don’t even really mean, can affect them in some way.
Therefore, it is so crucial for you to have a healthy attitude to your own body image. Rather than complaining about ‘feeling fat’ or being unhappy with some aspect of your body, especially when your teen is around, you should celebrate how you look and think about how it might affect your teen. Being more conscious of the language used is important.
It may sound like a cliché, but the truth is everyone’s different, and the sooner your teen understands that, the better. This means they should never try to compare themselves to anyone else since there is no one quite like them. Just as this is an important lesson to learn, so, too, is the idea that we should embrace everyone’s differences because no one should ever be judged on how they look.
Plus, the images are seen on screen, and online and in print are digitally enhanced, so they are even further removed from the idea of what someone actually looks like. This can be hard to remember, especially as we want to believe what our eyes are telling us. But understanding this is crucial to overall well-being.