You have your body but you are not your body; you are much more. You are made up of sunshine, moonlight and starlight. The growing child will forget this. The child lies in a web of peers and media. She is continuously comparing herself with what she sees.
Sometimes, she must also be getting criticized by her colleagues for having a long nose or curly hair or those little scars on her face. It is more difficult for the child than you think. She might get thoroughly entangled in that web(or not if you chose to help her.)
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Here are some of the ways in which you can:-
Keeping Perfectionism Aside
The first thing to understand is that when you are constantly thinking about the flaws of your child, you are being a perfectionist. If you are constantly wishing if your child was an inch taller, you are being a perfectionist.
Perfectionism is a mirage. It does not exist. Instead, you are hurting your child’s self-esteem. You are not accepting her the way she is. Therefore, keep perfectionism aside and let your child be her unique self.
Say ‘No’ to Comparisons
Everything in this world is unique and special. It is time you embrace the unique appearance of your child. Say ‘No’ to comparisons with her peers; say no to comparisons with her siblings. These comparisons are useless. They will only lead to unhappiness.
Shun the Media
The media is bombarded with bodies of men and women considered to be ideal. They have an ideal skin tone, an ideal height and an ideal weight. Those pictures are thoroughly altered to appear the way they are.
You need to tell your child that her body is the most precious gift that God has given her. It need not be like that of a poster-girl which is an illusion; it is good the way it is.
Learning to Appreciate
Teach the child to appreciate the little things about her. Let her keep a diary on her bedstead. Before sleeping every night, she should write down one thing she likes about herself. Over time, she will be able to develop a healthy and positive body-image. She should also learn to thank God for whatever she has in her prayers.
Teach your child to not to seek the approval of others for her appearance. She should be able to love herself unconditionally. It should not depend on how other people judge her.
Be gentle to your child even during her failures. Talk to her in an encouraging way. Use polite words. Your compassion and kindness will go a long way in developing the self-confidence of the child.
Helping her Choose a Hobby
Obsessing over the appearance of the child is not a solution at all. She should take up a hobby that she is good at. Bit by bit, she will be able to develop a healthy pride in her achievements. She will realize that beauty is only skin-deep!