Teach Your Children Positive Self-Image Through Fitness

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Raising a pre-teen or teenage daughter (or son) is not easy and can cause any parent a lot of stress.  There’s so much to worry about – dating, drugs, alcohol, sex, school grades, just to name a few.  But one crucial element often gets overlooked until it manifests itself in extreme ways (like through an eating disorder). I’m talking about self-image. It’s extremely important that parents ensure that their children have a positive self-image, especially in relation to their body.

The key to ensuring strong self-esteem and a positive body image starts with the parent. If you don’t feel positive about your self-image, then how can you expect your children to? While this is important for both daughters and sons, it is especially critical for raising a healthy daughter. And beginning the lessons when a girl is young is imperative, so don’t wait until it’s too late – teaching your daughter to feel good about her body needs to start at a very young age.

Eating disorder experts say girls are developing eating disorders as young as 5 and 6 years old. And a recent study indicated that 70% of the sixth-grade girls they surveyed said they began worrying about their weight between ages 9 and 11. Why are so many young girls thinking that they are fat? Many are obsessing about their weight because they have parents who are preoccupied with their own poor body images.

While the statistics are disheartening, the good news is that there’s a lot that can be done to help our children have positive self-images. And, even small changes that parents make can help. Here are few tips to help your children avoid warped and negative body images:

Remember that something as small as talking about losing weight in front of your kids can have very detrimental effects on their self-image as they age. Damaging behavior learned from a parent at a young age can take years for a child to overcome. So, the sooner you start incorporating the tips above into your life, the better for you child. But don’t forget that it has to start with you – make sure that you are incorporating healthy fitness and eating rituals into your daily routine and that you have a positive body image (no matter what your size or shape is)!

 

Lynn Bode offers her personal training services online through her company, WorkoutsForYou.com. Workouts For You provides even the busiest of parents affordable, personalized exercise programs (via the Internet) for losing weight, toning-up, building muscles & increasing stamina. The programs can be done on their schedule and in the comfort of their own home (or gym or on-the-road). Visit www.workoutsforyou.com for a FREE sample workout.

If you would like to publish this article in print or electronically, please contact Lynn, click here.