When it comes to our students at A Child’s Academy, we worry about how they see many things, not just the knowledge they obtain on subjects like reading and math. Even at ACA – One of Gainesville’s Best Florida Child Care service providers we’ve taken notice of this issue arising. One of the most worrisome aspects of how children think these days, is their negative opinion of their bodies. Did you know that studies show that children as young as five years old say that they don’t like their bodies? How is that even possible? At five years old, the last thing a child should even be thinking about is how they look in comparison to their peers. Those are pressures that used to come much later in life. However, these days, with so much emphasis placed on physical appearance and things like being “skinny,” children hardly have a choice in the matter. They are bombarded from the day they are born with the opinions of others regarding their appearance. Luckily, as their parent, you have the ability to reverse this body shaming mentality. Continue reading below to learn a few ways you can help to assist your child in having a more positive view of their own body. As one of the top-rated Gainesville Florida Child care providers we feel it’s our responsibility to help parents face the challenges that come with caring for their children in 2018
Try to avoid media that shows certain stereotypes – Florida Child Care Tips
We know your little one is probably a big fan of television and movies, but much of this entertainment could be greatly contributing to your child seeing themselves in a negative light. With this in mind, you will want to try to prevent your child from watching media that idealizes healthy body sizes only and that are overtly sexualizing people with certain body shapes.
Acknowledge stereotypes when you do see them – Gainesville Florida Child Care
Often, children and even adults sometimes are not aware of different ways men and women are portrayed in media. Often pointing out the difference between the way women are presented and the way men are presented will lessen the pressure they feel to be like those people they see on TV. If a commercial comes on that shows a woman in a bikini, and then the next ad shows a fully clothed man, ask your child questions about it so that they can get a firm grasp on the stereotypes being presented.
Begin to challenge assumptions – Professional Florida Child Care Services
When your child makes a statement about a slim or heavyset character from a TV show or their favorite toy, make sure to follow up on what was said. Take the opportunity to reinforce that bodies come in all shapes and sizes, even if that isn’t really what they see in the media all of the time.
You can also use certain media to help your child empathize with others who may not have “perfect bodies”. When watching anything where someone is being criticized for their appearance, make sure to ask your child how they would feel if they were being teased in such a way, then reinforce that bullying and body shaming is never okay.
Don’t allow “fat talk” in your home – APPLE Accredited Gainesville Florida Child Care Center
Many parents are also very critical of their own appearances and will shame their own bodies in front of their children. This leads to the child picking up these poor habits. Begin to outlaw “fat talk” in your home. It may take a little while for you to stop making casual negative comments about your appearance at first, but slowly this bad habit can be eliminated from your home entirely.
Place an emphasis on behavior, talents and character traits instead of appearance – Florida Child Care & Development
Your child is perfect to you, but often if you are placing more emphasis on physical appearance than other wonderful aspects of them, they tend to forget what else they have to offer. It’s beyond important that you continue to praise your kiddo for all that they are, which is much more than a shape or size. Continually point out their good behavior, their many talents and the character traits that make them a wonderful person. This will lead to them feeling empowered rather than downtrodden. Contact us today with any questions regarding our preschool, VPK, or afterschool programs.