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Puberty can be a tumultuous time for a child. After growing slowly for years, there is a sudden growth spurt. To add to their woes of trying to fit in at school, they also have hormonal changes that lead to physical developments in their body.

I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point, staring unhappily at our figure in the mirror. Jotting down all the unsavory comments that are made by some insensitive friends, thinking about why we can’t look perfect all the time. The pressure to look a certain way starts early. This is called Body Shaming.

Here are a few ways to help your teenager through this frightening time.

Difference between reality and fiction:

Teens idolize actors and supermodels and try and ape their looks. It’s important for your child to know that models and celebrities have an army of people working on them to look a certain way. Talk to them about airbrushed photographs, makeup and plastic surgery and inform them about how they can change the way anyone looks.

Be a good role model

Children look up to their parents a lot more than your realize. Be more positive about your appearance and weight. Be vocal about how you feel about yourself. This will teach your teen to appreciate themselves and others better.

Don’t criticize him/her

Don’t tease or criticize your child. Especially in front of guests. If you think your teen has body image issues, try and encourage them to workout and appreciate their efforts to eat healthy.

Be a good listener and support them

If your teen is speaking to you about something that happened at school, listen and then advice. Body shaming is a huge problem in schools. It’s important that your teen learns to help themselves and be sensitive to others as well.
If your teen suffers from body image issues, try and get him/her to talk to a professional.

Download the Mai app to improve your child’s social skills

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