In terms of personal development, body image can be a major downfall for a lot of people. Since personal development involves positivity about all aspects of your life that also includes how you feel about the way you look. Negative self body image can be incredibly hurtful to yourself and others. It can even be incredibly dangerous triggering all kinds of harmful thoughts and actions due to desperation to achieve a certain look. More importantly, negative self body image can negatively affect children. Here are some of the ways that negative self body image can affect children.
What many parents do not realize is that their children, particularly those that are very young, look up to their parents. They see them as role models. A role model is someone that they want to emulate. You are someone that they aspire to be in the beginning because you are familiar and all that they know at the time. When you say negative things about how you look, they will hear it. What they won’t do is understand. Children are not born with prejudices about what is attractive and what is unattractive; they are taught it through their life and influenced by their surroundings. When they hear a parents say things like they’re fat, hideous, unloved, should starve, go on a diet, die, etc. that affects the children. Many of them will not understand why someone that they love and look up to would walk about themselves like that because they love you unconditionally, flaws and all.
What all of this means to children is that the older they get, the more they may feel that negative self body image is normal. They have watched and listened to their parents due this their entire lives, so they don’t see it as harmful or problematic. The older they get, the more inclined they are to do it to themselves and keep passing it down the line to their descendants. This then leads to more perpetuated images of what beauty is and how one should hate themselves if they don’t live up to that standard. This can then lead to medical problems like depression, eating disorders, or possibly even suicide.
It all starts with you, the parent. Consider what you say and how you act around your children with your self body image. Your small children will most likely see you as a role model, so you need to be a positive one. You need to show them that everyone is beautiful no matter what they look like and what flaws they may have. Show them positivity by not being so negative regarding yourself. This can then help them possibly grow up appreciating their own qualities instead of falling into the trap of trying to achieve the self body image that others think they should have.
Negative self body image is incredibly harmful to you and to others. When your kids see and hear you speaking poorly about how you look, they are most likely to do the same thing as they age because they may see it as commonplace. It is harmful to you and them, so be a better person by becoming a more positive person and teaching them self-acceptance.
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