Children are a genetic scramble of two people. There are many things about a child that it’s parents to do not get to decide to pass on… and others there is some leeway.
What are you passing onto your child(ren)?
No one chooses their eye color, body type, hair texture, bone structure, or personality.
These things are woven into our genetics; both largely effected by parents. Children to not choose their parents and have no say in these attributes of themselves. Parents and children do, however, have a choice in how they view and respond to these characteristics.
Have you ever heard of a child whose first comment about their mother’s appearance was calling her ugly or fat? Every child thinks their mom is beautiful! Every child thinks their dad is handsome! Eventually, as they are more and more influenced by society, opinions shift. And part of that influence is mom and dad themselves.
How often to adults talk negatively about their own bodies? Of course movies, magazines, and celebrities will influence youth, but what can parents do to model being at peace with your body and what can they avoid? If mom or dad complains about their big thighs or their flat hair, children will see that self-criticizing your body is normal and that there is an ideal they should be shooting for.
These ideas in and of themselves should be motivating enough to keep us from teaching negative body messages onto the future generation; especially with the rampant body images issues (which are rising in boys too!). These concepts are not new, however, I want to ADD something to this… and this is a part of the conversation that I feel is often neglected.
Moms, dads… your children carry many of the phenotypic (physical attributes) that you do. If you carry weight in your belly… your child will likely as well. If your ears are “big”… your child will likely have big ears too. Need I give more examples? Is what you complain about something that you have passed onto your child(ren)? Before you feel remorse for passing it on… STOP… and choose to think of that trait differently.
Parents who value themselves and speak positively about themselves are able to give their kids a fighting chance in this negative body image society. So many of the decisions parents make greatly impact their children’s worldview and the children have no say in how their minds are molded. What habits are you passing on? What ideals are you passing on? What messages about body image are you passing on?
Kids are listening. Kids are watching. Kids are mini versions of you. What are you telling them about THEIR body through what you are saying about YOUR body?
Please feel free to comment below!
Also, if getting a handle on your nutrition is a part of your life that you need and you want to pass on positive eating habits to your children, please contact me about the thirty day nutrition group I will be running with personal trainer Joe LoGalbo. You will get recipes and sound nutrition education, with the possibility of a free consultation with a nutritionist. Contact me today!