Do you know a girl who is super stressed by her body? Is your daughter obsessing or feeling anxious about her appearance? In a world that bombards our kids with messages about perfection and flawlessness, how can we build body confidence and resilience in our children?
Bethan Christopher, coach and creator of the Gorgeousness Programme, offers four simple steps to help your teen to reconnect with her unique beauty this summer.
Bethan says, “I have coached many incredible teen girls who are talented, brilliant and have something powerful to bring to the world. Not one of these girls were aware of their brilliance. Most were certain that they had to be thinner, prettier or physically perfect before they’d be ready to live an awesome life. These girls were acutely aware of their failures and their flaws. They were all waiting to be validated or deemed worthy through their physical appearance. As the parents and carers of the next generation, we need to step in and help our girls steer out of this body-esteem epidemic by giving them the tools and strategies to reconnect with their physical bodies and live their fullest, happiest lives.
P.S. I get that actually engaging your teen in these steps may seem daunting, but the key here is stealth. Slip the steps/suggestions into casual conversations during the day; eating dinner, watching TV or car journeys. Initially your teen may look at you like you’re from another planet, but let’s face it … that’s how teens look at us parents anyway!”
Here are 4 simple steps to help your teen build her unique body gorgeousness:
Listening is the first and most basic step in helping your teen to positively shift her body esteem. Often we may think we’re listening, but actually we’re interrupting , interpreting or trying to fix the problems we’re hearing. Listening is just being silent and hearing what a person is saying, without criticism, judgement or finding a fix. By giving your teen true listening, he or she should feel “heard” and hence valued as a person. This will result in a sense of safety around talking, building a vital bridge of trust between parent and teen.
- INTRODUCE GORGEOUS ROLE MODELS
When your teen is exposed to women whose sole offering is Looking Good (models, celebrities and online personalities), your teen learns that a person’s value is based predominantly on her looks. Work out a way to introduce your teen to diverse range of female role models. Aim to steer her focus towards women whose offering is action-based, inspirational, change –making or in leadership, rather than just whether she has hit 2017’s #hairgoals.
- GET HER TO CHALLENGE HER PHSYICAL STRENGTH
There is nothing more empowering than experiencing the body in its strength, health and awesomeness. For many, the concept of exercising is tangled up with the desire to lose weight, look thinner, achieve flauntable abs etc. Exercising from this angle tends to spring from negative self image, however, if your teen can get a taste for sport there’s a big chance that her self-respect and confidence will lift. Physical exercise also releases endorphins, elevating mood and triggering feelings of self-esteem.
- CHANGE YOUR BEAUTY RECORD
As the guardian of your teen girl, your own body-esteem will have a major impact on hers. If she hears you berating your wobbly bits or judging other women on their appearance, this becomes the internal dialogue that plays in her head too. Try and step back and observe what you say in front of your teen about bodies (your own and other’s). If what you are saying is negative, do your best to alter these statements so they become affirming and even better – loving.
Freshwater Gorgeousness Programme
This summer Bethan is taking the Gorgeousness Programme on a road-trip around the Isle of Wight including the West Wight Sports & Community Centre. Sessions start on Friday 18 August 10.30am to 2.30pm and then will run for 7 weeks on Tuesday evenings 6pm to 7.30pm. The programme is completely free, click here to book your place
For more information, visit www.cactusflowercic.com/gorgeousness-programme.html.
You can also get in touch with Bethan direct at Bethan@thegorgeousnessprogramme.com