Your teenager is going to go through some days (maybe weeks or months) of low self-esteem. How do you convince your daughter that she is truly beautiful? How can your son overcome his image anxiety? Although it's not completely controllable, there are a few ways you as a parent can help your child understand and appreciate the life he or she has been given. It all begins with you.
Believe it or not, teenagers look to their parents, often in secret, for how to behave, speak, or even feel. If you are self-conscious, shy, or self-loathing, your child will be, too. Avoid using negative body-related words like "fat" or "stick-thin". Your teenager will pick up on it and feel like it's okay to feel that way, too.
Compliment your child
Without being overbearing, tell your daughter she is beautiful when she comes down the stairs in a nice outfit before school. Ask your son to work out with you for a little bonding time. Give praise, and give it often. If you have multiple children, make sure they each know they are loved and appreciated. Don't single out one child with compliments when they are all in the room. Feelings can be hurt easily, especially with girls, so it's best to say something to everyone, or no one at all.
Help your child with extra needs
Physical changes or finding a personal style through clothing can be an awkward time for teenagers. If your child is sensitive to the situation, be careful how you offer help. These phases don't last forever! It helps to know that parents were awkward once, too.
Avoid any negative vibes or emotions
If you complain about your hair, she'll complain about hers. If you make fun of larger people on TV or in public settings, he'll feel ashamed if he has body issues. Don't criticize anyone or anything. Accept all people and love every part of your child. Don't forget to love yourself, too.
Jenna Koford is on the content team at FamilyShare. She graduated with a degree in Communications—Journalism and a minor in editing. Jenna enjoys painting and calligraphy, planning a wedding, and Pinterest and Netflix.