Last week I wrote about one reason why I wrote The Tortoise and the Hairpiece. Aside from having an idea I really liked for a story, I liked that parents could use the story to help children to cultivate a positive attitude about how they look…to appreciate their own unique beauty and not to feel like they have to look a certain way in order to be considered attractive. Admittedly, it can even be hard for adults to deal with the pressure to look a certain way that we receive from the media. But as parents, we’d like to do our best to help our kids deal with that influence in a healthy, positive, happy way.
So I’ve compiled a few ideas you could try using to help your kids develop a positive self-image about their appearance, and also a positive attitude about the way other people look. You can find a few more ideas in this article on the WebMD website too.
- After meeting a new person, once you are alone with your child, point out positive, appropriate things you noticed about that person’s appearance. Mention the color of their eyes or their nice smile or anything else you appreciated. This will help children learn to look for the good aspects of other people’s appearances and not just to focus on the bad. Training them to be able to see this way will help them learn to see themselves in the same way…appreciating the good things about their appearance.
- Refrain from making negative comments about other people’s looks in your children’s hearing.
- When you see someone who looks happy and content, even a stranger in a crowd, if it is possible to do so in a discreet way, point that person out to your child. Draw their attention to the idea that a person looks attractive because they look happy. This could help children realize that attractiveness is not necessarily dependent on physical features.
- If necessary, you could point out to your children that there’s connection between practicing good hygiene and being considered attractive to other people.
- Set a good example. Don’t let your children see you hating things about your own appearance. Show them through your words and actions and the comments you make about yourself that you are comfortable with who you are. Even if there are things about your appearance that you would like to change, let them see that these are not the most important things on your mind.
Well, those are only a few ideas. Are there any other ideas out there on how to help kids develop a healthy self-image regarding appearance? What has worked for you? What have you learned about this as a parent? If you try any of the ideas above, have you seen any positive results? I’d love to know what you have to say.