Teaching your children about body image at home
Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Home-based schooling? Yep, we've been at it too...
It seems as though all schools are approaching things differently- some have bombarded parents with more than enough content to fill the lockdown hours, others- well it's a bit more self directed.
For those who have any energy left, this is actually a great opportunity to engage with your kids around the topic of body image... but yep, it's tricky!
So we thought we would bring you a few tips and resources that are relevant for children at a range of ages - save them for later if you can't face it now!
First up- key messages:
🤖All bodies are good bodies- regardless of size, shape, or colour we are all worthy, important, and beautiful.
💪🏽Embrace functionality- your body is amazing- focus on what it can do!
👭You are your own person- no one is like you, so focus on you and your best- it’s ok not to compare yourself to anyone else.
😻Real ideals- the pictures that you see on tv and social media often aren’t real…
Although there are a lot of things out there, these resources are all evidence-based- ie, researchers have tested them and found them to be effective.
First up- the book Shapesville. Research has found that reading this book twice led to improvements in 8-9 year olds girls body image. This video is a little crazy but its the only read aloud I can find! Watch from 4:28 to 7:50.
For the younger children at pre-school and stage 1: Body Confident Mums own Dr Laura Hart developed Confident Body Confident Child - and evidence-based program to promote body image in 2-6 year old children. Research evaluating this program found that parents who completed the full program had more knowledge, and were more likely to use positive body image parenting strategies with their children. There is so much information on the Confident Body Confident Child website, but this link takes you directly to some really great activities that you can do at home to start spreading the body positivity while kicking #homeschool goals...
Next- for slightly older girls, the Dove Self Esteem Project have a great resource for mothers and daughters called 'Uniquely Me'... Full of tips, ideas for discussion, and activities to complete together. Our fabulous colleague Phillippa Diedrichs evaluated the impact of the Dove Website- girls of the mothers who engaged with the materials had improved body image afterwards! We recommend this for girls 8-13 years old, and you can use it with boys too, it's just not made specifically for them.