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Raising Body Positive Kids

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Raising Body Positive Kids

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, one of my main hopes with Kortni Jeane is to help women be comfortable in their own skin. But lately I’ve been thinking about my babes and how I can raise them to feel confident and comfortable about their bodies. Raising a body-positive kid is so important for so many reasons. Here are some tips on how to raise your own kids to love their bodies and build their confidence from an early age. 

Lead by Example

In order to have kids that are body positive, we have to be too! If you’re off and on with diets or obsessing over food, your kids will notice. Avoid complaining about your body, opting out of family meals, and never wanting your picture taken. Some of us spend so much of our precious time, energy, and resources with body image issues, and kids will remember that! You may unintentionally pass down the struggle to them. So first things first, we have to resolve our own body image issues and lead the way into a life-changing and positive body mindset. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our post Building Body Image Resilience! It’s a winner! 

Teach Them Self-Acceptance 

Be the parent that teaches their children that bodies are something that deserve unconditional respect and acceptance. Building self-confidence can be hard for anybody but it’s even harder when you’re young {I’m sure you remember, middle school is especially hard I think}. Teaching your little ones about self-acceptance is a critical part of building them into confident people. This way, they can shift negativity away from themselves! Let your child pursue their interests, and even help them set some goals. Offer praise at their abilities and make sure they have opportunities to value success and failure equally. Make it as clear as possible that you love them, no matter how they look, or if they didn’t win their soccer game. 

Provide Balanced Foods

We and our kids should not be afraid of food -- I mean, food is the best! And of course we want our kids to have good nutrition. That’s why we will offer them fruits, vegetables, and all other food groups (including tacos, cookies, and pizza). If we pay attention to how our kids react + feel towards certain foods, they will eventually learn to do the same for themselves. Remember that time you ate junk all day long? How did you feel? Your kids will feel the same and will appreciate you taking the lead on helping them have a balanced food plan. 
      Raising Body Positive Kids

      Shut Down Body Shaming

        We live in a society that falls into a habit of body-shaming in social media and television shows, to name a few. But even more frightening is how common it is to find body shamers within our own families. Make sure that body shaming is absolutely shut down in the home. There is no room for body shaming at the dinner table or anywhere else in the child’s world. Even better, teach your kids polite but firm ways to shut it down themselves! They’ll need to know how to stop body shaming when they face it at school, with friends, and even online. They can interrupt it: “Let’s talk about something else.” They can redirect it: “Hey, how’s your project going?”  Or they can shut it down: “Please don’t talk about my body that way.” These are good things to practice ourselves so give it a shot!

        Say No to Diet Culture

        Guess what?! Our bodies will be fine if we don’t ever diet! As long as we learn to listen to our intuitive hunger cues and move our bodies in ways that make us feel good and sustainable, our incredible bodies do a great job of maintaining the weight they are meant to. Our “natural” weight may not be the weight we would “like” our bodies to be, but that’s not the point. Bodies are not meant to be controlled or starved, especially for your kids. Bodies are meant to be respected, nourished, and cared for. Teach your kids these things, and they will definitely grow up body positive! 

        Encourage Physical Activity

        Kids should enjoy their bodies, but they might need your help to do it. Find ways to encourage your kids to be active in ways that they love. Luckily, kids don’t need fancy gym memberships or personal trainers; they just need to follow their passions! This could look like gymnastics, taekwondo, or running around with their friends. You could even join the physical activity by going on walks or bike rides together. Be sure to praise them when they accomplish any activity, and support them when they challenge themselves. It is totally okay if your child has different athletic abilities and body types than their friends. Whatever works for them, help them find what they enjoy so they can keep their body healthy.

        Daily Affirmations

        If you haven’t seen Jessica’s Affirmation video, watch it and let it give you all the feels! This little girl gets it, and our kids can too! Make it part of your kids daily routine to say out loud {and it could be in front of a mirror} any affirmation that will build your kids up! “I can do anything good!” “I like my hair.” “I like my stuff.” “Yeah yeah yeah!” These are just a few of Jessica’s ideas, but you can come up with your own that are meaningful to YOU! Parents can even join in on the fun! I bet making daily affirmations a part of your morning routine will make a huge difference each day and in the long run.  
        From building positive relationships with your kids around food and encouraging physical activity, it is totally possible to raise kids to be body positive! It can be overwhelming to think about our kids navigating the crazy world that we live in, but with the right tools, they’ll be unstoppable! What other ways are you helping your kids to be body positive? We’d love more ideas! You can list them below! 
        xoxo,
        Kortni Jeane + Team

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