Sunday, August 18, 2013

How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body

I have two beautiful little girls.  They bring so much joy to my heart and I love being their dad.  I also realize that, as their dad, I have such a powerful influence in their life.  I am the one who will teach them how a man is to treat a woman by how they watch me interact with Carol.  I am the one who will be their first picture of who God is by how I love them and enjoy them and discipline them and forgive them.  I am the one who will help pour a sense of confidence and security in to their lives.  I realize that how a woman feels about her body is one area that can really cause insecurity or even captivity.  There are so many lies about how a woman "should" look ... so much pressure ... so many expectations.  I pray against those things for my wife and for my daughters and long for them to have a healthy and strong view of themselves.
I came across these thoughts on a blog post and it gave me some really good thoughts on how to help my girls begin to think about their bodies. The author gave some really great thoughts and I copied much of the post below if you'd like to check it out.
How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.
Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.
If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:
“You look so healthy!” is a great one.
Or how about, “you’re looking so strong.”
“I can see how happy you are – you’re glowing.”
Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.
Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.
Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.
Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don’t go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don’t say “I’m not eating carbs right now.” Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.
Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because being outside is a great way to connect with God. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.
Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you’ll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn’t absolutely in love with.
Teach your daughter how to cook kale.
Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.
Pass on your own mom’s recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.
Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It’s easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don’t. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.

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