THE SECRET LIFE OF YOUR CHILD’S EATING HABITS
October 27th, 2017 by Alison Dwight
True Story. My beautiful daughter innocently chose Audrey Hepburn to become her role model….her Avatar….her Icon for everything amazing in a woman…and understandably so!!!
Think about it! Breakfast at Tiffanys…Roman Holiday!!! Audrey was so feminine and had that gorgeous voice and gorgeous delicate movements, a gorgeous wardrobe, gorgeous eyes! She was intelligent, kind, and had an unusual beauty. Not ony that she was an example of a strong, feminine, independent woman who in real life was a human rights advocate and environmentalist.
The thing that was Not obvious to me was that Audrey appeared very slender, if not gaunt. She was unusually petite with small breasts, and certainly not a sign of body fat.
When you surround yourself with posters of Audrey, then you are shopping in department stores with mannequins that if they were human they would be 6 feet tall and weigh 100 pounds and have Very Hard Bodies. When you look at social media and you see perfectly filtered and air brushed 15 year olds that are dressed as 30 year old women. All these things, without a shadow of doubt, lead to a distorted neurological imprint of what “Beauty” is and worse an Unattainable to recreate in a physically or mentally healthy way!!!
You get my drift???
What to Do??
Here is a Break Down of where Teens Derive their Body Image.
Followed by a Break down of What to Do.
And more importantly how to prevent, educate and guide with Loving Care and teaching Individual Self Love/Worth.
Part 1. Where do teens derive there body image….what body image is
- From the Family of Origin (FOO). Input through verbal or non verbal communication.
- Images from Pop Culture through Social Media, Television, and Magazines.
- Images through retail environments; sizing, 00 through size 12. Beyond that is “Plus Size”. Unrealistic Mannequin images. Video Images.
- Peer Commentary and Judgment which is a reflection of cultural programming.
Part 2. Where do teens derive there eating disorders…. .eating and nutrition.
- Through Generations of Nutritional Ignorance. People eat for taste, not for the chemistry of functional physiology. Food is the most powerful medicine, the least expensive, and the most accessible.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
With education we can learn to fuel or bodies and brains to the most optimal functionality. We as parents need to prioritize educating ourselves so that we can educate our children through not only verbal communication, but through our own personal eating habits and food preparation and consumption. Kid’s need to learn how to Fuel their bodies and thereby their brain chemistry.
- In order for kids to have a “Congruency” between the Cultural Description of what “Beauty” / what is acceptable and affirmable, they most likely must eat a “Restricted” diet and/or perform an unattainable workout schedule. Again, kids are getting brainwashed and neurologically programmed to believe that in order for them to be respected and loved by their peers they must achieve these body images and appearances.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Have conversations with your kids and their peers to Educate and Demonstrate resiliency to the external input of media and the comments of their peers. Educate and Demonstrate to your kids how to have “Internal Self Worth” (ISW). Educate and Demonstrate to your kids how to have a “Daily Personal Wellness Practice“ (DPWP). Educate and Demonstrate to your kids multi cultural and historical images of what was deemed “beauty and acceptability” and how that is ever changing.
Your teens are undeniably having internal struggles about their personal body images with physical developmental changes occurring which not only affect the body, but their chemical currency. As well, the above mentioned cultural programming and influences that are unnaturally attainable coupled with their desperate need to be affirmed by the peer group is a catalyst not only for deep internal mental and emotional struggle, but also quite often leads to eating disorders, eating disfunctionality and often resulting in anxiety and depression.
However; having said all this, there is profound hope through Conscious Parenting and Educating and Demonstrating through your own personal education, self awareness, and daily practice, to directly influence your teen to build his/her self worth, self love, self awareness and individuating from the cultural programming.
Have awareness that your kids are receiving cues that are verbal, and non verbal. They listen in to your conversations with others. They take in cues from your body language, voice tone, and facial gestures. They observe your relationship to your Self. The way you take care of your self and the way you relate to your self.
The growth and cure here is to be working on your own self mastery and self awareness. It is a daily practice of self care, self love, self compassion. It is a daily practice of higher level nutrition, daily vigorous exercise, daily joy activities. Being aware of one’s thoughts, letting the less preferable thoughts go through the practice I teach.* And finally taking actions and speaking words only in a state of non reactivity and that are in the realm of higher truth and love.
*(Please look at my introductory video on Self Awareness, Personal Power, Self Mastery.)
Reference my future blog post on Teen Anxiety and Depression Prevention, Education and Cures!