Both boys and girls struggle with body image and self esteem issues. Whether it be wishing they were as thin as the photoshopped models in the magazines, or struggling to eat and maintain a healthy diet, you and your child are not alone. This page provides resources on how to help your child develop a healthy body image, and to provide support when body image issues arise.
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Body image is how we feel about our bodies. Whatever their size or weight, children can develop either a positive or negative view of their bodies. And, body image disturbances can begin as early as preschool, so parents and other adult role models need to play a pivotal role in promoting a positive body image for children.
The facts are disturbing. Nearly half of the nation’s girls are unhappy with their bodies. An obsession with thinness is affecting not only high-school girls, but also their younger sisters. According to the Center for Disease Control and National Association of Eating Disorders, by age 6 girls start to express concerns about their own weight or shape. Additionally, around half of elementary school girls are concerned about their weight or about becoming too fat. Parents of girls face a challenge today: How do they raise their daughters to feel good about their bodies without falling into the eating disorder trap? (PBS)
Helping your loved one recover from an eating disorder will take a lot of work from everyone involved. As with many jobs, having the right tools is crucial. Eating disorders have a steep learning curve, and you and your family member will need to develop lots of tools to work towards recovery. (National Eating Disorders Association
Media messages play a big role in shaping gender norms, ideas about sex, and body satisfaction, from the time kids are in preschool to their adolescence. Common Sense Media's latest research paper Children, Teens, Media, & Body Image (2015) highlights the latest pressures kids are facing and offers helpful tips for parents.
Self-esteem is your child’s passport to a lifetime of mental health and social happiness. It’s the foundation of a child’s well-being and the key to success as an adult. At all ages, how you feel about yourself affects how you act. Think about a time when you were feeling really good about yourself. You probably found it much easier to get along with others and feel good about them. Try these tips and advice to help raise a confident child. (Ask Dr. Sears)
Eating Disorder Hope has compiled a comprehensive list of information on California eating disorder support groups.
This film series celebrates the #ActuallySheCan spirit through inspiring portrayals of young women who are achieving their ambitions with confidence and positivity.
Celebrating Every Body: 20 Body Image Positive Books for Mighty Girls
Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary
Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting and Live Large by Kim Brittingham
30 Specific Strategies for Overcoming Emotional Eating by Katie McLaughlin