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How to Encourage Body Confidence from Toddlerhood

We all want our kids to feel confident in themselves – proud of who they are, inside and out. Here are our top tips on teaching future generations body confidence:

Child next to Damien Hirst body sculpture in Norwich on Little Hotdog Watson kids confidence blog

Celebrate health

Becoming a parent makes you realise just how incredible the human body is. It’s easy to take for granted what our bodies can achieve! That’s why it’s so important to put an emphasise on how lucky we are to be healthy. And to do all we can to keep our bodies in great condition. It’s not all about the ‘look’, and the earlier we can teach our children that the better!

Finlay Fox image of child cooking on Little Hotdog Watson blog

*image Finlay Fox

Start by teaching your children about the basics of a balanced diet, how exercise helps our bodies (and mind) and generally taking more time to celebrate their bodies for all they allow. Asking them questions is a great way to get them engaged and thinking about how important our bodies are. Plus gives us a fascinating insight into their already developing beliefs about themselves.

 Emma Watson and daughter on the body confidence blog for Kids on Little Hotdog Watson

Be careful with your words

Our words are so powerful. It’s important we’re careful with them around our children. Are we using ‘negative’ words to describe their bodies? Or focusing purely on their aesthetics? As parents we have the chance to shape the next generations way of thinking. Instead of looking at themselves and thinking… ‘I look fat/skinny/pale’ we can help them to start thinking ‘My legs are so strong’, ‘I feel full of energy’, ‘I love that my body is unique’.

Little Hotdog Watson blog on body confidence for Kids with Damien Hirst sculpture

*Image - Norwich, Damien Hirst. Hat Trailblazer 

Teach them self care

Body confidence comes from valuing your body and you can start to teach your children how to care and value their bodies from an early age. Encouraging them to take responsibility for simple self-care acts like cleaning their teeth, washing their hair, choosing their food – we can empower them to make choices that promote health and well-being. Explaining why we do these things is important too. And if you can make self-care fun, even better!

Teach them to trust their bodies

Another great reason to hand our children (even toddlers) more responsibility is so that they learn to trust their bodies. A few ways you can help them:

  • Respect their personal boundaries when it comes to things like encouraging them to give family and friends hugs and kisses
  • Respect their timing on things like toilet training… Definitely easier said than done!
  • Try not to force them to eat...

If we can help our children to trust their body and body signals, we help them to feel confident in their body and how it works.

Image of child showing self expression on Little Hotdog Watson body confidence blog

*image Little Hotdog Watson wearing HAH Wonderful Top

Allow self expression

Body confidence can be boosted by the clothes we wear. Clothes that makes us feel confident are usually clothes we feel best reflect our personality, so give your child the freedom to self-express and you’ll be doing wonders for their self-esteem. Let them have fun!

 

Validate their body and their feelings

No matter how hard we can try to shape a positive attitude towards their bodies… kids have feelings too! And society’s/social media’s messages can be strong, contradictory and confusing. As your child grows, validate their feelings and opinions on how they look before you attempt to reframe things. I think we’ve all experienced how: when our children feel understood they’re much more likely to take our thoughts onboard!

 

Mum and child as featured on the body confidence blog Little Hotdog Watson

*image Mikailahp wearing Arctic Cub Panda Pop Hat

Role model the right attitude

Most importantly, try to be the role model they need! It’s amazing how much children learn just from being around us. The language they’re picking up, the undertones they’re sensing… Be positive about your body; celebrate the possibilities it allows you, and let your Hotdogs see that you are confident in your own skin too.

Enjoyed this blog? Then you might like our post 8 Bedtime Stories to Build Confidence. Read now!

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

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