Some young girls take to their changing bodies well whereas others can find it awkward and unusual.
As your daughter grows you will find she changes from your little girl to a little lady in no time at all. While for parents this can be a little disorientating for the girls themselves, it can be anything from easy to stressful.
Some young ladies take to their changing bodies well whereas others find it awkward and unusual.
For the sake of your daughter, it is your job to help them love their new curves and the changes in their body. Here are some tips on making the process easier:
Be body positive - Starting from a young age your daughter should feel comfortable in her skin and that begins with parents. Parents should encourage body positivity at home and avoid the incredibly common “putting yourself down” attitude. It may be that you aren’t comfortable in your skin, but impressionable kids listen, and they learn from parents first. So, ditch the negative talk about your body and image or at least wait until the kids are in bed.
Have healthy eating habits - Healthy eating is not about being skinny but more about being of a healthy weight and being healthy. Teach your daughter that healthy food is not consumed to keep their bodies a certain shape but to keep bodies healthy. Don’t confuse the two as too much talk about losing weight and dieting will have a bad impact on your daughter’s attitude toward healthy eating habits. It is good to eat well but not primarily for a certain figure but instead to have a body that is well-maintained and ensures getting enough nutrients to encourage long-term health and well-being.
Answer questions and be approachable - Talk about the changes in your daughters’ body especially if she wants to and if she doesn’t, be gentle and supportive. Some young ladies will find it embarrassing having to ask for bras and new knickers so be the first one to mention it ahead of time, so you don’t leave them nervous about it. Make sure you leave them in their room and further down the line offer them a shopping trip to see what they like. In some cases, they won’t want to go but some will be happy to hit the shops. Pay attention to their growing needs and buy new outfits as needed. Your daughter may choose to wear looser clothes for a while and accept this if she isn’t ready to wear a nice dress or outfit. Give them time to grow into their new skin. Don’t force them into wearing clothes they aren’t comfortable in and try to remember how it was when you were young too.
Watch how you talk about others – If you are the type of person that berates people or judges’ people on their looks then you are asking for trouble as your daughter will struggle as her body changes. Avoid calling people “fat” or laughing about people who don’t have perfect bodies or skin for example. Body image is everything to a young person who is finding their place so avoid being mean about others and teach your kids to have kindness and consideration. That way your daughter won’t feel inadequate as she changes and will feel like she has your full support.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.