The trending social media offers perfect filters to hide your flaws over the internet but somehow no such filter exists for real life. But, there are ways to break the noise and protect your teen’s self-image, and encouraging body positivity in Teens.
Teens nowadays are spending major time on their screens. An average 13- 18-year-old teen spends about seven hours on screen per day and 41% of those accept that they are spending too much time on social media. Spending too much time on-screen comes with many negative effects. Experts say that scrolling down through pictures, selfies, and Instagram stories is somehow connected to body image. According to a recent study, teens who post more pictures on social media have a high awareness of their appearance and it is related to taking their body negatively.
When kids do not match their ideals on social media, they tend to have an inferiority complex which has a negative impact on their self-esteem. This affects their school performance, high-risk weight-loss strategies, eating disorders, and mental health conditions. But, thankfully there are tools that parents can use to help their teens fall into the pressure of false perfection.
Help Your Teen Build Their Self-Image –
1. To help your teens with body image, set boundaries with mobile usage. As social media is hampering a teen’s body image, disconnecting them from this virtual world is the key. Parents must follow the same. If you are checking your phone continuously in front of your children, don’t expect them to take social media breaks.
2. Take your teens for a walk and talk to each other, play a game after dinner, and set one-on-one bonding. If your teen feels good to connect with you, it will get easier for them to disconnect from social media.
3. Be honest about your appearance and watch your own body language and behavior. Give body positivity to your teen. Show off your imperfections and flaws. Tell them that you are not ashamed about how you look and there is nothing to be shameful about.
4. Have an open conversation about what’s real and what’s not. The more you tell your parents about the falsehoods of social media, the better. Talk to them frankly about the way social media promotes an unhealthy body image. Encourage them to think for themselves and ask them to avoid what they see on social media.
5. Tell your teens that social media merely highlight negative aspects of anybody’s life. Everyone on social media is trying to show that perfect and are not real. Different shapes, sizes, and colors are the reality of humans, and avoiding reality is not helpful. This will help your teen identify what makes them unique and embrace that.
If you see that your teen is spending too much time on social media and is feeling stressed, it is high time to limit their access to social media. Ask them to unfollow accounts that share unrealistic and highly filtered images and encourage them to follow more body positivity.