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How To Help Your Teen's Body Image

     Teenagers are highly conscious and critical of their own bodies. Many girls worry about being too fat, even when their weight is normal. Many boys worry about being too short. You can help your teen to develop a better body image in several ways:

1. Compliment your teenager, whenever you can, about physical attributes. Too often as parents, we focus on what we don't like. Find something positive and let your teen know that you notice.

2. Don't tease him or her about physical characteristics, especially about weight. Young teens take comments like, "Aren't you getting a little heavy?" very seriously. Many parents mistake a girl's weight gain at puberty, necessary not only for feminine curves but also for normal menstrual cycles, for an inclination towards obesity.

3. Examine your own feelings about your body. If you don't feel good about your own body, you may be serving as a negative role model for your teen.

     Your own health habits, body image and attitudes can greatly affect your teenager in positive and negative ways.

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