Expert Tips for Raising a Body-Positive Kid
As adults with the best smartphones money can buy, we have constant access to great body-positive content — everything from fitness books to powerful blogs. And since we now know that body shaming makes you sick, we’re more in tune than ever with our own body-related feelings. But when it comes to our kids, it can be a little trickier, especially when they’re surrounded by media that distinguishes between “good” and “bad” body types. It’s a challenging subject, but one that’s super important to be talking about, so we asked parenting expert Dr. Rosina McAlpine to weigh in.
Rosina says it’s important to understand that no matter how young your little one is, they’re picking up messages about bodies constantly. “Our kids are always learning. The question is what are they learning, and from whom? Is it helpful or harmful to their physical and mental wellbeing?” she says. “As parents, if we proactively teach our kids about body positivity — what body positivity means to us personally and to our family — then we know what our children are learning. In other words, don’t leave it to strangers, peers, the Internet or to chance about what your child is learning about body positivity.”
But the specifics of teaching body positivity to our kids can seem confusing and a little daunting, to say the least. So Rosina is offering us these three important tips.
1. Make it a family affair. Rosina suggests doing positive things that make you and your kids feel healthy. “Make learning about body positivity a normal part of family life, and include the kids. When you’re shopping, talk about the healthy choices you’re making on fresh fruit, veggies and protein sources,” she tells us. “Exercise as a family with walks on the beach and down to the local park, proactively participate in your children’s team sports, do stretches together in the lounge room, join a gym together as a family. Whatever your family budget will allow.”
2. Lead by example. “Children are always watching their parents and seeing them as role models, especially when they are young, so what you say to yourself is very important. In one of the families I worked with, a mother was concerned about her teen daughter’s body image and negative self talk. But her daughter was at a healthy weight. Upon reflection, the mother realized her child had seen her stand in front of the mirror, saying how ‘fat’ she was and how ‘nothing looked good’ on her.” Avoid this kind of negative self talk at all costs — for your kids’ sake AND your own!
3. Talk it out. If you find your son or daughter saying negative things about their body, don’t avoid the subject. It’s an opportunity to talk out how they’re feeling and teach some body positivity in the process. “First, listen, listen, listen and validate feelings by nodding and saying short confirmations, like ‘I see you’re upset,’ (or) ‘I understand how you feel.’ Don’t try and fix it or contradict what they’re saying, even if it seems like what your child is saying isn’t true to you — it may be true for them. Try not to talk, except to ask more questions and get a better understanding of the issues,” Rosina says. She suggests asking questions like, “When you say ‘I’m fat’ or ‘ugly,’ how does that make you feel?” or, “What could you say to yourself that would be more positive and help you manage better?”
Bottom line: Pay attention and listen to what your kids are saying and thinking about themselves, and be a role model for the kind of body positivity you want them to have too.
How are you learning to be a body-positive parent? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
Your relationship with your finances is one of the most important relationships you'll ever have, and you can't avoid it. That said, for many of us, the pandemic only added to our financial stress. If you find yourself feeling frazzled, just remember that financial insecurity isn't a net-worth issue — it's a mindset issue. And, we happen to have plenty of advice on how to turn your money mindset around so you can take charge of your funds once and for all.
To start, feeling secure begins with a strong foundation, and there's no better time than now to get started stacking the bricks. It's easy to get swept up in the January "new year, new me" mentality, but really? Any time is the right time to get yourself in order. You don't need to wait for a new year, a new moon, the right moment, or a sign from above. You don't even have to start on the first day of the month — you just need to start.
Introducing NerdWallet: A Safe and Reliable Money App
To help with that, we've put together a list of the just-right-for-you ways that NerdWallet can help you monitor your financial outlook. Haven't heard of them yet? NerdWallet is a personal finance company that helps consumers make smarter financial decisions. Their website and app let you compare different financial products, find articles and tools to make financial decisions with confidence, and keep tabs on your finances (hey there, credit score, I see you!) all in one place. Plus, NerdWallet has over 75,000 glowing reviews in the App Store (and a 4.8 star rating) if you want to read up on any more testimonials.
Tim Chen, NerdWallet's CEO and co-founder, started this financial journey in 2009 after his sister needed help finding a credit card. Even with an economics degree and a Wall Street background, it took awhile for Tim to find the right recommendation (so don't feel too bad when it takes you a while, too). Their mission is to bring clarity to all of life's financial decisions.
So it's safe to say that NerdWallet is a pretty good sherpa for your journey, too.
Get the most from your money
Did you know that the money you park in a savings account can lose value? Harsh, but true. If your money isn't earning interest that's on pace with inflation it will actually be worth less to you in the future. And if the bank charges fees? Forget about it. Make sure you're earning the interest you deserve and come out on top. NerdWallet has researched dozens of financial institutions to help consumers find the best options. The hard work has already been done for you, so you can just select the account that works best for you and your nest egg.
Keep an eye on everything, securely
Once everything is set up, tracking and managing your finances is what will keep the money machine running smoothly. You can create an account either through the site or the app and link your bank accounts, then keep tabs on all your finances in one place. Get a clear picture of your saving and spending, get insights into how to master your money, and even build your credit score all in one place.
Get extra credit points
Do you have the best credit card for your lifestyle? Some cards give cash back on every purchase, ones with travel perks, and ones that charge way less interest than you're paying now. NerdWallet takes the guesswork out of choosing the right credit card with simple side-by-side comparisons of different credit cards so that you feel confident choosing the right one. Whatever you want to do, NerdWallet can help you find the best credit card to get it done.
Know your options for settling down
Mortgage rates are pretty low and it looks like they're going to stay that way for awhile, so buying a home might be the move sooner than you think. But there's so much more to a mortgage than just the interest rate! To help you choose a mortgage lender, NerdWallet has in-depth reviews on multiple lenders in a mixture of categories so you get the home loan with the mortgage rate, term, and fees that's right for you.
Settle an old score
NerdWallet helps you monitor your credit score for free and helps you see how little things (like raising the limit on your credit card or paying your bills on time) can increase your score. NerdWallet partners with TransUnion® to provide your VantageScore® 3.0, based on information in your TransUnion® credit report. Your score and credit report information are updated weekly. But that's not even close to all:
- They provide you with tips from experts on how you could build or optimize your credit score
- You'll get a detailed look at your credit score and all the factors that go into it—your payment history, credit utilization, the age and type of accounts, balances, and any recent inquiries
- The credit simulator tool gives you an idea of how your credit score would change if you applied for a new credit card, closed your oldest credit card, or got a new auto loan
- You also get free, unlimited access to your credit report
When it comes to managing your money, safe and reliable is where it's at. Establishing a healthy relationship with your finances begins when you take control and practice habits that build wealth. Signing up just takes a few minutes. Set your intentions to build a solid financial foundation, it will only strengthen your relationship with your finances. And don't be afraid to get a little nerdy while you're at it.