Children & negative body talk
Are you concerned about how your child feels about their body?
Do you worry about their mental health and that they can’t see their strengths and beauty, only their flaws?
I have a monumentally important tip for you as a parent…
Quit your own negative body talk including any diet-talk.
Regardless of how much you tell your child how incredibly precious they are in the beautiful bodies they were born with, they are listening to the exact opposite if you talk about all the things you dislike about your own body and how you have to diet to change it.
It is imperative that they hear you speak gently to yourself whilst celebrating your own perfectly imperfect body.
Then they may learn to trust their amazing bodies (as they did as young children); eat when they are hungry, foods that make them feel well, and enjoy moving their bodies in ways that make them feel happy.
I have committed to create change in my family for my children. The buck stops with me – messages of shame around bodies will not be passed down to them. I am trying with all my power to model body positivity for my daughters…they deserve nothing less.
Support and referrals
If you feel you need help with any of these concepts then there are HAES (Health At Every Size) professionals out there: psychotherapists (such as myself), dietitians and body positive personal trainers. I’d be happy to chat to you about your concerns and refer you as appropriate.
Ailsa Robson (MCouns & Psych Th) has a private counselling and psychotherapy practice in Adelaide and sees clients in both Stirling and Brighton, South Australia. She is the author of Perfectly Imperfect.