Being a teenager is one of the most challenging stages of life. From hormonal changes, continually changing emotions, and self-discovery to experiencing body changes, living with peer pressure and being bombarded by social media ads, posts, and influencers; the teenage years can be trying for both the parent and the teenager alike. Parents have an important during this life stage to create an environment in which their teenager feels safe and where they can develop into happy, healthy adults. A large part of this process is forming a healthy body image and positive sense of self.

Create a safe home environment

Providing a home environment where your teenager feels safe and able to express their opinions is a crucial element in developing an internal sense of control and a positive sense of self. Research shows that turmoil at home and any form of trauma can lead to eating disorders, poor self-esteem, and mental health disorders. A house filled with love and security will help you teenager maintain a healthy transition into adulthood. Bickering, arguing and drama with your spouse or other family members should be avoided or done outside the home in privacy as negative confrontations can lead to fear and emotional distress for anyone in the household.

Raise them to live a healthy lifestyle

Teach your teenager the importance of getting adequate sleep on a nightly basis, enjoying home-cooked meals as a family, going to regular doctor visits, exercising consistently, and spending time outdoors. Avoid negative talk about weight and dieting and instead focus on teaching your teen to have a healthy relationship with food.

Decide as a family on screen time limits

Television, computers, cell phones can have adverse effects on your teenager’s mind and sense of self. Reality shows and mainstream media can have devastating effects on your teenager’s self-image and ultimately self-esteem. Set a daily or weekly time limit for screen time that everyone agrees on and encourage your teenager to spend more time outside or socializing with his or her friends. Also help them to spend time working on school projects, homework, test preparation, and extracurricular activities to instill a healthy work ethic in them for their future.

Pay attention to body image and weight risk factors

As a parent, how you talk about your own body significantly affects your teenager. Be mindful of negative weight comments, keeping a scale in the home, and participating in trendy diets As a parent, you are setting an example for your teenager, and even when you think you are keeping something a secret, your teenager may be well-aware of your diet plans.

Teach them to develop healthy relationships

Developing healthy relationships with friends, family members, and role models is an essential step into adulthood a priceless life skill. Encourage your teenager to join a school club, a sports team, and extracurricular activities and encourage them to socialize with their friends. As a responsible parent, reach out to your teenagers, teachers, and parents of their friends to get to know who your teenager is hanging out with.

Demonstrate the importance of self-confidence

Your teenager watches your every move, so if you are not exuding confidence, then this will rub off on your teenager. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a positive sense of self at home.