5 ways to help tweens and teens with body image issues

30 Aug 2019 #Puberty

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The challenges of accepting one’s own body is tough for the best of us. But it is even more difficult during the adolescence when our bodies hit puberty and undergo significant changes. And what makes these times even more confusing for the tweens and teens are the different rates of development among their peers.

While boys and girls start to appear fundamentally different at this stage, even among their own gender groups, people develop at varied paces. Add to this mix of confusion, the media-influenced shape of a male or female body, which is often unrealistic and baseless.

And you have a body image issue for life!

Here are 5 ways you can help adolescents deal with their body image issues:

Compliment them

Humans seek validation and acceptance across ages and more so in their adolescent years, as their body and emotions experience considerable transformations. When you compliment them, it builds their confidence and self-esteem.

Allow them to try new styles

The teenaged years are considered as the most decisive years of an individual’s life. It’s the time when they learn to unfurl their wings and try new things in life, leaving behind their comfort zones. It is essential to let them try new styles or looks and decide for themselves what they want, for trying to impose parental choices often leads to low self-esteem in later adult life.

Avoid criticising their appearance

During the teenage years, most children are vulnerable to body image issues that arise due constant criticism about their appearance, skin colour, height, body weight and other factors. These reasons often lead to deep-seated insecurities among people in their adult life as well.

Ensure they live a healthy life

Teenagers must receive proper nourishment, sleep and exercise that will enable them grow into healthy adults.

Earn their trust

Parents and teachers must earn the trust of adolescents by talking and listening to the child. This will help in understanding the specific body image issues the child has and will facilitate quick remedial action to dispel such negative emotions.

Bullying also plays a significant role in heightening body image issues. You can read more about how bullying impacts adolescents in ThatMate’s blog post.

ThatMate is a platform that enables young adults across the nation to understand their world better. We provide an end-to-end ecosystem to help tweens and teenagers make informed choices, partnering with parents, schools, doctors and organisations. To know more about us click here.

(Image Courtesy: Google)

-By Rituparna Banerjee