“I’m fat mummy”.
Does that sound familiar? An eight year old recently said this to her mum – she thinks she is fat because her older brothers tease her. This little girl is a normal, healthy child but is worried about her young, innocent and perfectly beautiful pre-pubescent body.
We learn so much from elder siblings, and if we don’t have them, invariably someone else will. Influences both negative and positive spill out into the classroom, the playground and beyond and there is nothing we can do about it.
So how should we support a child and ensure they have a healthy, well adjusted body image?
At what point, if ever, do we decide that there is more beauty and aesthetic pleasure to be gained from our imperfections? To be perfect is impossible. Yet for many the acquisition of perfect is the quintessential conclusion we must all, surely, wish to achieve. Through our jobs, our homes, our bodies and our clothes.
How then can we teach children, and ourselves, that beauty comes from within and shines out from inside like a beckoning beacon.
For younger girls (say from 3-11yrs) this book; Beautiful Girl is simply perfect, written by Dr.Christiane Northrup, the essential element of the story is to introduce girls to their bodies, for them to understand they are beautiful just the way they are and for them to begin to discover the incredible gifts and magic that their bodies contain.
It might seem stupid and ridiculous to you but positive visualisation, a kind of easy meditation, is something you can do with children – it is so gorgeously simple and it is also a really wonderful thing to do together. Your are literally just telling them a story. Practice it in the classroom, at bedtime, sitting quietly under a tree or snuggled up on the sofa. It is a moment when a child or children can close their eyes and indulge in a short story told by you.
These visualisation techniques right here will give you the tools to begin to help your child regulate difficult emotions, fears or worries. These brilliant ideas from the Kids Relaxation team can help teachers and those working with large or small groups of children – especially using this: the Mind Pirates visualisation and game.
Give a child the tools to believe in themselves and give them a way to help them believe in themselves and help yourself and learn along the way.
Do you have a reason to believe in yourself?