How does a child perceive himself looking in the mirror?

like sponges, absorb our attitude, our beliefs and views of the world. How does a child perceive himself looking in the mirror.

How does a child perceive himself looking in the mirror?
How does a child perceive himself looking in the mirror?

Would you be surprised if you were told that someone was constantly watching you? But that's the way it is: your child is watching you closely. A pair of watchful eyes looks, analyzes, remembers and prepares to repeat your every move, every step. You probably immediately understand what it is about if your baby at least once uttered a bad word that escaped you once in a traffic jam or in a long queue. But it's not just about words. Children, like sponges, absorb our attitude, our beliefs and views of the world. How does a child perceive himself looking in the mirror.

It is important for parents to understand that they can be their children's first and foremost teachers for appreciating and loving their bodies. It is parents who can teach children to understand the constitutional features of different people, teach what is the "norm" for the body and how broad it is, teach to analyze how online publications and the media present the body image (correctly and distorted), and teach not to focus on your weight and take more care of your own health.

The example of the right attitude to our own body is reminiscent of the lessons we give our children about racial equality, respect for people with disabilities, helping other people who are less fortunate in life. So why don't we just as actively teach babies to respect the body in which they were born and the bodies of other people?

A good attitude towards one's own body leads to greater self-confidence and an active lifestyle.

So what can we do to become better teachers and role models for our children? Here are five statements you can make to your child / teen to support their positive attitude toward their own body and health.

  1. "Your body is healthy and strong"

Rejoice in the capabilities of the child's body, not in how it looks. This will help instill in her a sense of gratitude for the body's own abilities. Can a child swim, climb a mountain, throw a ball far? These classes bring happiness and satisfaction. It is important to consider your body an instrument of joyful movement, not just a good accessory.

  1. "Fullness is not a feeling"

If your child says that she feels "smooth", ask her to describe her (true) feelings in more detail, and analyze her inner state and probable causes. Maybe she's worried about what her classmates think of her? Or feel insecure on the first day of a new school? Are you worried about entering the university?

When we describe aloud our negative feelings (say them), it helps us reduce sadness, anger and pain. Help your child find the right words if it is difficult for him to do it himself. Adults have a large vocabulary to describe feelings, and it is important that you be able to teach your child that negative emotions are not related to the "feeling of fullness."

  1. "There are no 'good' and 'bad' foods"

Children may be inclined to think that a "bad body" can be corrected by eating "good, right foods" or going on a diet. Tell them that all foods contain nutrients and calories in varying amounts. But even foods low in nutrients and high in calories should be present in our diet (unless, of course, there are medical contraindications). Sweets can be very important for building a relationship (for example, at a birthday party or just on a summer day with friends at the ice cream tray).

Treating certain foods as "bad" can lead to the feeling that you are doing "badly" by eating them. By the way, strict diets do not help and, as a rule, force people to treat their bodies even worse. We must saturate our body without excessive harshness or shame.

  1. "Let's go for a walk!"

Physical activity - even a ten-minute walk - improves the perception of one's own body, as well as a person's mood, reduces anxiety and stimulates creative thinking. An additional benefit of a walk with mom or dad is the opportunity for the child to express everything in her heart.

  1. "I love my body"

We should not forget about this statement. Say this phrase aloud. Say, "I love my strong legs that I inherited from my mother - I can easily go hiking in the mountains" or "I love my strong arms because they help me hug you tightly." For some people, such words are not very difficult. Others may think that they are simply lying, not believing their own words. In any case, it is very important for children to hear that you treat your body with approval. Just think: if you don't accept your body, then why should children expect their body to be acceptable to you or someone else?

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But not only the words of parents are important, but also their actions, a clear example. Here are some practical tasks for parents:

  • Wear a swimsuit without hesitation to look at yourself in the mirror and without hiding. Model the pleasure of your own body, even with all its (imaginary) imperfections. This will teach children to treat their bodies normally, as well as show what the body really looks like, as opposed to the edited and changed body images they see on the Internet every day. Your child's future friend will also have a real body - and he / she will gratefully accept that his / her real body will not be condemned.
  • Do not comment on other people's bodies. If you are an observant and witty person, being on the beach or in the pool, it is better to comment on funny swimsuits or hairstyles.
  • If you have problems with your own body perception, avoid talking about being overweight. Research shows that talking about fullness (for example, that you don't like your fat knees or how your stomach bulges), that is, talking about the body from a negative point of view, forces both you and the people around you to be even worse. body.
  • Let your family members make fun of or criticize other people for being overweight (or underweight) or any other appearance. Approximately 80% of women who suffered from eating disorders during their student years were ridiculed and criticized by their parents, siblings for their weight or body shape. By avoiding ridicule and ridicule, you protect your children from future problems.
  • Discuss with children (of any age) how they treat their bodies. All children compare their figure with the figures of other children. These can be either innocent comparisons in the first grade ("He or She has such a big belly") or with more condemnation in the eighth grade ("I'm the fattest student in the class"). Starting a conversation about this, you get the opportunity to share with your child an important belief: you need to take your body of any shape and size.
  • Talk about the images you see on TV, in magazines and on social media! These are the images with which pre-adolescent and adolescent children compare themselves. Tell them about the tricks their friends and classmates can do when taking selfies (choose certain angles to look more attractive, use filters, etc.) and how famous people and models fix their flaws with Photoshop. Ask the children to pay attention to "normal" people on the Internet and in the press.
  • Throw out fashion magazines with photos of celebrities and fitness stars. 20% of stories in the most popular sports and health magazines focus on body shaping and weight loss. At first glance, this may not seem like a problem, but such topics make appearance a priority over health.
  • When communicating with children, emphasize that in people we admire, the body is not the source of our inspiration. After all, who cares that a children's writer had a tummy? Who cares if a great jazz singer has cellulite? Such women are not valued for their attractive figure.
  • However, not only do your words and actions affect your child's body image, there is also the influence of society. Yet the mother's and father's lessons about the values ‹‹and acceptance of one's own and others' bodies create an important foundation on which to base children's attitudes toward their own bodies. When your child looks in the mirror, he will smile at his reflection.