How to Raise Body-Positive Children

The next generation of moms is here with their advice on building body confidence in kids from a young age.

A few weeks ago, we reached out to the Dia Community on Facebook to see how body positivity was instilled from a young age. We were disheartened to learn that so many childhood experiences didn’t prioritize building body confidence—but, since the body-positive movement has only picked up steam in the past few years, we weren’t too surprised. So, we turned to the new generation of moms to find out how they’re prioritizing body positivity on their parenting to-do lists. Keep reading for the advice that inspired us most. *Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

whitney on body positive kids

“My mom was always unhappy with her size and, since I’ve become an adult, my sisters and I have talked about how what she said about herself affected us. I’ve tried to instill in my 16-year-old daughter, Annabelle, that her health is more important than her weight—and I’ve tried my best to not equate healthiness with body size. We didn’t have a scale in the house for the majority of her life and when she goes to the doctor, she turns her back to the number on the scale. She’s not interested in what the number is, but instead, how she feels.

Worry most about how you speak about yourself in front of your kids. If they hear you constantly putting yourself down, that’s what they’ll come to know as normal. Buck the trend! Speak openly and freely about the things that you love about yourself.”

Dia&Co CX Associate Whitney B.

sara on body positive kids

“My mom and the other women in my life were really good about just being comfortable with their bodies. If it was hot out, they were going to wear shorts and tank tops even if they weren’t a size 6—and that mentally helped me be okay with being comfortable in my skin, even if it is less than perfect.

For my own children, I have tried to compliment them on some part of their character since they have control over how they act and treat others, as opposed to their looks. I also try my hardest to practice body positivity with myself, since kids tend to copy what they see at home. I want them to love themselves. Your kids are going to look to you for how they see themselves, good or bad, so make sure you are a positive voice to them.”

Dia Stylist Sara M.

amanda on body positive kids

“My mom and dad never talked down to me, but they never taught me how to love myself either. I have a 12-year-old daughter, so self-image is really hitting home right now. Bullying is tough and kids are mean. I feel like the only thing I can do is to let her know each and every day how beautiful she is, and that it doesn’t matter what size she is as long as she’s healthy. I also remind her that we are not all created to look exactly the same. What a boring world it would be if we did! What everyone else thinks of her is not important—the only one who matters is her! It is never too early to teach your child self-love, no matter their size.”

Dia&Co CX Lead Amanda B.

jessie on body positive kids

“My mom has always been a big advocate of self-care. Even if she was having a bad couple of months, she would get her nails done, rock cute outfits, and her hair was always done. She showed me that taking care of you is important because no one else is going to look out for you better than yourself.

My daughter is three and a half. Since she was about two years old, we say affirmations before bed: ‘I am strong, I am loving, I am smart, I am beautiful.’ Now she says them by herself when I tell her it’s time for affirmations. I want her to start understanding at an early age that she is strong, loving, smart, and beautiful.

Check in with your kids. Sometime they may feel insecure but keep it internal. Make sure to compliment your kids, especially in areas where they may feel discouraged.”

Plus-Size Dancer Jessie D.

 

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