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5 Ways to Show Your Daughter She is Beautiful
We have passed this pathological dissatisfaction on to our daughters: 81% of 10 year-olds are afraid of being fat, and the number one wish of girls 11-17 years old is to lose weight. 51% of 9 and 10 year-old girls feel better about themselves when dieting, and 9% of 9 year-olds have vomited to lose weight.
The fact is, if you are not proactive in affirming your daughter's natural beauty and self-worth, chances are she will be seduced by the cultural lies that tell her she is not quite good enough.
Fortunately, you can show your child she is beautiful just as she is, right now. Here are 5 steps for improving your daughter's body-image:
1. Become an example: When you improve your own body image and eliminate negative body-talk, this will dramatically help your child.
2. Discuss the concept of beauty with your child – teach her to recognize beauty in people of all different shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities. Beauty is more than skin deep and is much more diverse than what is shown in fashion magazines. Let them know that the images in magazines aren't real; they have been touched-up and air-brushed.
3. Let your child know that you love her exactly how she is, no matter what. Encourage healthy lifestyle choices, but avoid suggesting that your child should look a specific way or be a certain weight or size.
4. Teach your child to be grateful for exactly who she is. If you are religious, you can teach her the following prayer: "Thank you, God, for making me just the way I am." If you are not religious, you can simply teach her to repeat this phrase to herself, acknowledging all the great characteristics she has, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
5. Encourage mind-body centering activities such as yoga and meditation. Numerous studies show the health benefits of meditation. Learning to meditate will help your daughter reduce her stress and increase her ability to navigate the challenges of adolescent life. Meditation will also help her become conscious of her thoughts: negative thoughts and feelings can have a negative effect on her well-being, whereas positive thoughts and emotions have the power to transform for the better. Teach her that she can make choices about which of her thoughts she is going to listen to and which she is going to ignore.
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