Are you struggling with your weight? Are you an intermittent dieter always dissatisfied with the way your body looks? Like many women, you might make negative comments about your body or seek reassurance that you are loveable despite your body's imperfections.
Surveys suggest that more than 90% of American women are dissatisfied with their looks and often it's body shape or weight that is the source of the unhappiness. Even if you are dissatisfied recognize that hating the way you look is not a useful weight loss strategy and, if you have a daughter, it's likely to have negative consequences for her.
Parents frequently lose sight of the influence they have on their children by modeling. It easy to see kids imitating their parents when they're young. Girls will want to put on makeup like mommy and boys will want shave like daddy. When kids get older, even if it isn't as obvious, your children still are observing your behavior and are influenced by what they see. If you have a daughter, is she is picking-up on your dissatisfaction with your body? Is she starting to think she's too fat? Although it's not your intention, you may be teaching her to dislike her body.
Regardless of her weight, your child should feel good about her body. When a child is unhappy with her body the risk of binge eating increases as well as the likelihood of developing an eating disorder. Even if there isn't an increase in disturbed eating, body dissatisfaction affects a child's self-esteem and overall psychological wellbeing. It's hard to feel good about yourself if you hate your body. Having a negative body image makes it more likely that your child will withdraw from activities like athletics or dancing that draw attention to her body and would make her feel self-conscious. Regardless of weight, your child should like his or her body. You can help your child by modeling a healthy respect for your own body despite its' real or imagined flaws.