How to Raise a Body-Confident Child
Dr. Kristi Smith   •   February 25, 2022

As adults, we all know what it’s like to have dips in our self-esteem.  Everyone suffers from lacking self-confidence during difficult periods in their lives, and it can be absolutely heartbreaking.  As parents, we want to do our best to build our children’s body confidence that will grow throughout their lives. This will help them be successful and develop positive mental health into adulthood. Here are the best ways to develop body confidence in your children.

The most important step you can take is illustrating the behavior you want to see in your child. Your child loves you and thinks you’re beautiful. If you are using negative language to describe yourself and your appearance, your child will start picking up on the same insecurities you’re expressing. Model in yourself how you want your children to view themselves. In addition to the language you use, push yourself to try new physical activities. Getting yourself active with your child shows them that the real beauty of your body is all that it allows you to do. 

Try to counter the negative voice in their head that’s telling them to give up.  Your child might show interest in playing a new sport or trying new hobbies, but feel embarrassed at the prospect of failing. Make sure they know that it is okay for them to try a new physical activity and fail as long as they get back up and try again.  Their bodies are growing, will get stronger and are capable of taking them wherever they choose to go. Getting your child into new activities that challenge their bodies will push them to see themselves as resilient and strong, and will help them overcome fears of failure. 

You know how beautiful and strong your child is; help them know it for themselves. Make sure you are lifting them up with positive affirmation and encouraging them to try new physical activities that build strength and confidence.  Don’t forget that your child is looking to you for how they should be feeling and acting. Talk about yourself and participate in experiences the way you want your child to act as well. Building body confidence in your child is challenging, but remaining consistent in these steps will only help them to see themselves in a positive light.


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