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How we talk matters

Appearance is a big and difficult subject. How we talk, at home, with others, with ourselves and with our children matters. Have you thought about how you talk, for example, when you try on clothes in a fitting room in the store? The children hear and imitate our way of judging, ourselves and others. If we talk down our appearance, we show that it is important to be nice. It's not easy to get everyone right all the time, but a list to remind us of how much we can actually influence in different directions can be good to have:
  • Never comment on weight. Not that he/you/anyone else has gained or lost weight. We must understand that if we comment on what we consider to be superficially positive, we are saying in the same breath that there is an opposite that is not worth striving for. Therefore, even what we might think is a compliment easily becomes toxic.
  • Don't talk bad about your own body. Instead, try saying that you feel beautiful and that you are glowing because you feel well and feel strong. Talk about everything the body can do! Teach your child to touch without being afraid of dirt. Think of everything a body can do and underline it.
  • Don't talk bad about other people's looks or about someone's body. Go to a sauna together. Or nude bathing if that works. There, bodies are neutralized and the usual focus we have on nudity (that it should please others) does not exist in the same way. Staying in environments where the sexualized aspect is gone hopefully contributes to a healthier way of looking at oneself.
  • Don't count calories high and don't talk about food as something to avoid. Discover new exciting foods together. A healthy view of food is built on food interest, knowledge and above all - enjoyment. Not out of bad conscience and calculations.
  • Clothes can e.g. be nice, funny, cool or comfortable on the body. They don't have to be flattering. There is nothing perfect or wrong when it comes to our bodies, as statements like "flattering" and "unflattering" indicate. When you comment on children's clothes - praise the clothes themselves, not how the body looks in them.
  • For many adults, exercise revolves around losing weight and shaping the body. Emphasize the well-being that exercise contributes to instead. Be careful how you talk about it - children perceive more than we think. Talk about exercise in terms of health, entertainment and benefit, not looks and weight or goal pictures.
  • Criticism of the body starts early. It can be a comment from a friend, it can be a celebrity who is talked about because of beauty or someone else who is devalued because of how they look. Be the counterweight in your child's life that elevates attributes other than the physical, such as the artist's cool choreography and creativity. Teach your child that he never has to change and that his value does not diminish because of what someone else says.

Come in and look at our emotional cards. They are a nice support in conversations with children and young people. You will find them HERE