This week at GOTR, we talking about inner beauty and standing up for your own values. There has never been a better time to talk to your daughter about these issues. Why? A recent study found that 80% of all 10-year-old girls have already been on a diet to lose weight (http://seattle.cbslocal.com/2012/07/02/study-finds-80-percent-of-10-year-old-girls-have-been-on-diet/). 80%! A few years ago that number was closer to 40-50%. What’s causing this rapid rise in body dissatisfaction in our girls? Blame celebrities. Blame internet chat rooms that advocate anorexia and bulimia. Blame America’s Next Top Model. It really doesn’t matter. The point is that it needs to stop.
So how do we stop, or better yet prevent, our daughter’s body dissatisfaction? Once again, it all starts at home. You are the best advocate and role model for your daughter. A friend of mine once asked me, “So the fact that I tell my daughter that weight doesn’t matter and then cuss out myself in the mirror every morning when I weigh myself probably isn’t good parenting, huh?” My point exactly. Sometimes actions really do speak louder than words. And as your daughter enters puberty, your actions may seem to be the only things your daughter listens to!
So what should you do? 1) Make sure that your daughter knows that you value her for who she is and not what she looks like. 2) Make sure your daughter knows it’s okay to stand up for what she believes in even when other people disagree with her (even you!). 3) Look in the mirror and make sure you are following those adages for yourself (see my earlier blog on positive self-talk for a refresher). If you focus on your own appearance, your daughter will too. If you are afraid to stand up for what you believe in … see where I’m going with this? To be your daughter’s best advocate and role model, you need to be your own best friend.
Stayed tuned for next week’s topic: Helping Your Daughter Deal with Peer Pressure
For more information on this week’s topic, go to: