As puberty strikes, teens feel more alienated from their bodies and less in control of them than ever. While they may look forward to some of the changes the process will bring, the experience is a confusing and often worrying one.
Combine this with a desire to be more like a personal hero and you can have a recipe for trouble: A teen's self-image can deteriorate when they feel like they don't match up with their desires.
Plus, this is the age when teens start to compare themselves more and more to their peers. Small differences among friends (and not-so-friends) can seem like very serious matters to teenagers: A few inches of height, for example, or early development of facial hair.
You Can Help Adolescents and Teens Maintain a Healthy Body Image as They Grow
As they define their individual perspective on the world, young people seek space apart from the adults in their lives in certain ways. However, parents and others who care about them retain great influence in helping them through body image woes and other issues.
There are many ways to help kids and teens stay positive about body image:
- Compliment your teen's positive personality traits - they are more than how they look.
- Adopt healthy habits like eating well and exercising. Your example makes a difference.
- Ask open-ended questions to help teens feel safer talking about body image concerns.
- Teach your teen about airbrushing and other media tricks that create unrealistic standards.
- If you suspect eating disorders or other problems, don't hesitate to seek professional help.
WinGate Wilderness Therapy provides a safe environment for adolescents and teens to reassess their self-concept and make real progress against their challenging issues. To find out more or get started, contact us today.