According to a study out of Nova Scotia, a child’s level of happiness is directly related to the way she perceives her body. A common challenge for parents is how they can positively impact their children’s body and self image when it seems so many things negatively impact their children’s sense of selves. But there are concrete things that parents can do to help their children. Here are a few suggestions from Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance.
- Watch your language. From an early age, children watch and mimic their parents. If you are prone to belittling yourself, your body, or others, you are teaching your child to think and act that way towards herself and others. By watching your language, you model for your child what’s appropriate in terms of self-acceptance and acceptance of others.
- Begin celebratory rituals. Paint a You are Special plate at a local paint your own pottery studio or designate a “Caught You” box with notecards in your home. The plate can be brought out on occasions worth celebrating any family member to remind that individual of their contributions or talents and to remind everyone that it is important to take note of one another. The Caught You box can be used as a way for a family member to record something special he has seen someone else in the family do. Once a week, open the Caught You box when all the family is gathered and share the celebrations with one another.
- Offer sincere compliments. Children need to know that their talents, values, skills, and personality are what you value. Ground your compliments on what a child does. But make sure your compliments are earnest. Even the young can spot insincerity.
- Give a child a journal. Self-awareness is a powerful tool. Helping a child find her inner voice is providing her with a security net for her future. By giving a child a journal and encouraging her reflection, you are encouraging her in her journey to self.
- Help a child find a passion. We are at our most joyful and most purposeful when we are engaged in something we love. By helping a child explore her interests until she finds her passion, and then encouraging her in her passion, we are giving her a gateway to compassion, commitment and, ultimately, confidence.
Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance is a practical and inspirational tool for realizing a healthy self-image through championing one’s own emotional and physical well-being. Drawing on self-awareness, creativity, mind-body, and practical techniques, Beautiful You is an action plan to give women what they need to champion and fully live their own lives, coaching them into the most extraordinary- and necessary- habit of treating their whole selves well. The book’s user-friendly format allows each reader to decide her journey and it includes daily essays or reflections and a daily tip or exercise for enhancing one’s self awareness.