Being the parent of a teen in this day and age is no easy task. It seems at times like the entire world is out to distract, diminish, or discourage teenagers from finding their true selves. Video games, social media, music, movies, and television are just some of the things that tend to creep into the lives of teenagers and provide them with unrealistic or unhealthy standards for living. One key aspect of the modern teenager’s life that tends to be heavily affected by such influences is that of their personal body image.
Body image issues in teens typically have much more to them than simply one’s physical appearance. Rather, body image issues tend to stem from a distorted perception of oneself. Instead of looking in the mirror and seeing yourself for who you truly are, you instead see only flaws. The measures that some teens will go to in order to “fix” these so-called flaws can be physically dangerous and mentally damaging.
For this reason, if you detect that your teen is struggling with body image issues, you will want to take steps to help them as soon as possible. Here are a few things that can help you to successfully guide your teen through body image issues.
Know When to Seek Professional Help
Body image issues can take a variety of forms depending on the person experiencing them. Some teens might simply feel a lack of confidence that can be corrected with consistent encouragement and positive reinforcement. Some body issues, though, tend to be more serious and require professional help. It is important that you not only recognize as soon as possible if this is the case for your teen, but that you also have resources available should professional assistance be necessary.
A discussion with your child’s normal healthcare provider is always a good place to start. Other resources that you might find helpful can be found at igniteteentreatment.com. Make sure that you are comfortable with the advice that you receive and do all that you can to understand where your teen is at with his or her body image issues.
Encourage Open Communication
One of the things that makes a teenager’s life difficult at times is the fact that they feel as though they are capable of handling everything on their own. In reality, no one can handle everything on their own, not even fully grown adults. However, such an image of adulthood might drive your teen to feel as though they need to keep their issues to themselves and figure them out alone.
If you detect that your teen is facing body image issues, you need to be proactive in letting them know that they are in fact not alone. They do not need to carry their burdens on their own. Establish open two-way communication so that you can listen to their struggles and help them come to a better understanding of physical health and beauty.