So, Mom, what would your reaction be if your little girl came home from school with the words: “Mom I’m fat!” The truth is that there is a growing trend where little girls are incredibly self-conscious about their bodies. Least to say, it’s devastating.
According to Dr Leslie Sim, clinical director of Mayo Clinic’s eating disorder program and child psychologist, moms have probably the most important influence on their daughters’ body image.
Sure, it can be hard for us moms to love our perfect imperfections after giving birth to the extraordinary being looking up to you (especially when your tummy looks more like a Shar-pei puppy than that of a super model!), right? But, it matters how we talk to our girls about their bodies.
Does your daughter see you looking in the mirror disappointed in what you see? Or, does she frequently hear you criticising yourself or other women on their appearance? Research shows that no matter how much you shower your daughter with love, she will more than likely feel negative about herself if you have a negative view of yourself.
Ideas about body image will filter through their minds constantly, whether it be at school, on television or from social media. And, each moment these topics come up you’re going to have to choose how you’re going to handle them.
Be sure to tell your daughter that fat is not a bad word. Fat is not something you can BE. But it is something that you can have; we all have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones, and keeps our bodies going by providing us with energy. Each of us has different amounts of fat but that does not mean that one person is more worthy than another.
Teach your daughter about kindness towards others, but also about kindness towards herself. It’s important to value a world where we value all the women around us. Women don’t always have to eat brown rice, chicken, and broccoli to be validated. It’s important to teach them from an early age what they should mostly stay away from, not because it might pack on the pounds, but because it’s simply not healthy. And yes, teach her how to cook kale but also teach her how to bake the family chocolate cake with icing sugar and butter.
Encourage your daughter to run because it will make her less stressed. Encourage her to climb a mountain because there’s nowhere better to experience your spirituality than at the peak of the universe. Encourage her to mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.
So, mom, it is your job to continue to be the loudest, most accepting, positive and CONSISTENT voice that she will hear.
“Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilise her beautiful soul” – Sarah Koppelkam
Source: www.huffingtonpost.ca, www.littlethings.com, www.sanduskyregister.com, www.theodysseyonline.com, watkinsandgeorge.com, parentingychef.com, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.huffingtonpost.co.uk, parentingteenagegirls.com, saraashleigh.ca, unitedmomsnetwork.com, www.psychologytoday.com, www.usatoday.com