Our top tips on how to talk to your kids about weight and appearance - Little Kids Business

Our top tips on how to talk to your kids about weight and appearance

As the Mother of a nine year old little girl and a 12 year old son entering puberty,  I understand that some children at school can say mean things about weight and appearance. As a parent , it is my job to be a good role model  and teach them how to always be kind and considerate of other peoples feelings. 
I might not be able to change what someone has else says to my children  however I can be mindful and teach them how to react and cope with about these comments when they are directed at them. 
First - Here are our top tip for talking to your kids about body weight and appearance. 
1. It's ok to explain that everyone looks different and that everyone is beautiful in their own way. You can never start this conversation too early. Whether it relates to race, hair colour, body shape, height or similar. We are all beautiful and unique. 

2.. Don't directly comment if your child has  lost or gained weight. Here are some things you can say instead:

"You look so fit and healthy ".

"I can see how happy you are - it's written all over your face."
If weight gain is involved " Let's get healthy together this month" 

2. Don't comment on other peoples bodies. If you do this, then your child will also do this.

Teach them about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards themselves. 
3. Don't talk about how much you hate your body in front of your child.
Don't ever say you are on a diet. You can say you are trying to get healthier and nourish your body. 
Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don't say, "I'm not eating carbs right now." Your child should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.
4.  Encourage and model a healthy outdoor lifestyle to your child. Encourage your child to play sports because it makes them feel  happy and healthy. 
How to deal with cruel kids 
At times other tackless and mean Kids may say thinks such as " you're ugly " or " you're fat". This hurts a developing child allot and can really rock their self esteem. For this reason it is import to teach your child how to turn these comments around and how to compartmentalise cruel kids comments if they receive them. 
1. Teach your child that what they are saying is never ever true. They are just a child who has nothing smart to say and is trying to get attention by making things up and showing off. 
You do you because you're amazing. 
2. Teach your child to accept and take control of the insult.
When they say "your ugly" you say " hmm I don't really like my toe, I guess you're right it is a little ugly.
If they say no "your face is ugly" you say "sadly I don't have blue eyes like you but I like mine".
If they continue you continue. If it keep going on and on, then break the cycle by naming the behaviour by saying something like this,  "why is attracting my attention so important to you?"  
I hope that you now feel encouraged to be a wonderful role model for for your kids. Their bodies and health should be subtle messages rather than direct discussions. Encourage them to always be respectful and to have the confidence to handle a bully when they say mean things. 
Remind your child that the best thing she can do with their body is to use it to carry their beautiful soul.
If your child needs to talk to someone other than you, please encourage them to call the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
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