Skip To Content
  • Parenting Week [RIDEALONG] badge

28 Important Ways To Teach Kids To Have a Healthy Body Image

To help you raise kids who respect all bodies, including their own.

We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their best tips for raising kids to love their bodies. Here's what they said.

1. Don't insult anyone's body, even in jest.

2. Don't do anything you wouldn't want your kid to do.

3. Try to not to use gendered compliments.

4. Send the message that every body is different and that's OK.

5. Teach them how to find beauty everywhere.

6. Send the message that self-confidence isn't vain.

7. Let them know how much you love your own body.

8. Dole out compliments that aren't just about appearance — especially when it comes to women.

9. Think about how it might make you feel if your parent ridiculed their own body in front of you.

"I always make sure I don't say things around my daughter such as 'I feel fat today,' 'My hair looks bad,' or 'Wow, I wish my stomach were flatter.' I grew up with my mom saying those things, and her holding me up to the standards she grew up trying to fit into. As a result I've always been very self-conscious. I want to end that cycle with my daughter."

—Ally Sahr, Facebook

10. Teach them that there's nothing dirty about their bodies and that their private parts belong only to them.

11. Don't lie about your age.

12. Compliment their skills and intelligence.

13. Help young women feel strong and unstoppable.

14. Let kids choose the way they look.

15. Help them understand that what they see in the media might be problematic.

16. Treat menstruation as the totally natural thing that it is.

17. Normalize bodies and nakedness.

18. Make sure they're exposed to people with all different kinds of looks and styles.

19. And all different ways of doing their hair.

20. Make sure they know that there's no one way to be "normal."

21. Consider not keeping a scale in the house.

22. Rethink the "clean plate club" and let them choose what they want to eat.

23. Emphasize wellness and self-love.

24. Help them deconstruct the messages they're learning from movies and TV.

25. Don't make your kid do things like wear makeup or shave, but make yourself available if they want to talk about those things.

26. Teach them about their heritage, history, and background.

27. "Basically don't fucking nitpick your kid."

28. And of course, remind them of how beautiful they are inside.

Parenting Week is a week of content devoted to honoring the hardest job you'll ever love, being a parent. Check out more great Parenting Week content here.

Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!