5 Tips for Par­ents With Teens in the New Year

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS -

Canada’s most com­mon New Year’s Res­o­lu­tion this year – for teens and for adults - was to lose weight. While set­ting health-re­lated goals can be pos­i­tive, fram­ing them neg­a­tively and set­ting un­re­al­is­tic goals can set us up for fail­ure. New Years is a time for self-re­flec­tion and re­newal, but too of­ten for teens in Canada this can turn into a spiral of neg­a­tive thoughts and emo­tions, of­ten re­lated to their bod­ies. Some teens may have made res­o­lu­tions that they may not be able to keep, and oth­ers may not have the nec­es­sary tools or re­sources to start boost­ing their own self-es­teem.

Good body im­age and self-es­teem starts at home, and at Kids Help Phone we know that by help­ing their chil­dren rec­og­nize their in­ner qual­i­ties and fo­cus­ing on their ac­com­plish­ments, par­ents help to teach kids that what is re­ally im­por­tant about them has noth­ing to do with their size, shape or weight. Par­ents can cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment that pro­motes self­ac­cep­tance and pos­i­tive self-es­teem and help young peo­ple feel com­fort­able in their own skin, pos­i­tively af­fect­ing their con­fi­dence, thoughts and be­hav­iours. Nor­mal­ize and cel­e­brate di­ver­sity.

Help your child to un­der­stand that it can take time to ad­just to the changes in their body and that peo­ple come in all shapes and sizes. En­cour­age them to ac­cept them­selves and oth­ers the way they are. Be mind­ful of how you talk.

The way you talk about body im­age and food can make a last­ing im­pact on your chil­dren. Think about the mes­sages that your chil­dren are learn­ing from you re­lated to body im­age and self-ac­cep­tance. When you are more ac­cept­ing of your own body, you make it eas­ier for your chil­dren to ac­cept them­selves and their own bod­ies as well. Tak­ing the ‘No Year’s Res­o­lu­tion’ chal­lenge to­gether can be a step in the right di­rec­tion! Ed­u­cate.

Tele­vi­sion, mag­a­zines, mu­sic videos, movies, and mar­ket­ing all in­flu­ence our per­cep­tions and stan­dards of phys­i­cal beauty, even though many of the im­ages they por­tray are un­re­al­is­tic. En­cour­age your child to learn about the ways that the im­ages they see can be dig­i­tally ma­nip­u­lated and air­brushed. En­cour­age your child not to com­pare them­selves to the pic­tures they see in the me­dia.

Tell them about Kids Help Phone. Kids Help Phone’s pro­fes­sional coun­sel­lors are al­ways here for young peo­ple ages five to 20 is strug­gling with prob­lems, big or small. If a young per­son in your life needs to talk, they can call 1-800668-6868 or visit www.kid­shelpphone. ca<http://www.kid­shelpphone.ca>.

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