As a parent, the things you say and do can have a significant impact on your daughter’s body image.
While body image is an issue that primarily affects girls, a growing number of boys are falling prey to distorted body images and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
There is increased bullying in some schools which also exacerbates issues of self-image and self-worth.
To help your child develop a healthy body image, watch what you say about her body. Focus on nonphysical attributes, such as her character, her talents, her intelligence, her accomplishments and her personality.
Encourage your daughter to participate in sports through her high school years; several studies have shown that participating in sports helps girls have a better body image.
If your child is overweight, focus on health, rather than a particular number on the scale. For best results, the entire family should work together on eating in a more healthy way and adding more activity and exercise.
Do not single out the overweight child for a restricted diet; to do so will only make her more self-conscious.
If you suspect your child is having body image issues or has a weight problem, talk with your child’s pediatrician. He can help you address the issues in a positive way.