BEING a parent of teenagers is a tough – and often thankless – gig.
There’s plenty of advice about how to guide and encourage and discipline them, but maybe the parents need a bit of telling off themselves.
According an expert there’s a common phrase that many of us say, but if your teenage daughter overhears you, it could be damaging.
How girls think about their body is heavily influenced by what they see modelled around them.
That’s why it’s so important to think through what we communicate to them, so that we don’t pass down any body image issues without realising.
That’s why experts say you shouldn’t say the phrase: “I’ve been so good today,” in relation to what you’ve eaten.
Speaking to PureWow, Dr. Helen Egger, child psychiatrist and co-founder of children’s mental health app Little Otter, said that she always asks parents to stop saying the potentially damaging phrase.
She explained that if you say these types of phrases often enough, you’re modelling a negative relationship with your body and linking your self worth with the amount you eat.
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Dr Egger said: “Not eating a certain food doesn’t make you a good person.
“Healthy food, physical activity and the joy of being a fully rounded person who is so much more than their appearance helps model a more neutral relationship with your body.”
Instead she suggests celebrating what you’ve eaten and highlighting that it’s the helpful fuel your body needs.
She offers the example: “I never could have made it through that line at the post office without such a great breakfast!”
As a rule of thumb, she suggests keeping any chat about your body and the food you eat to be positive or based in fact only.