Healthy View of Self to Help Avoid Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are associated with being unhappy
with the way your body looks and having low self-esteem. There are many ways
adults can help children and teens develop a healthy view of themselves and
decrease their risk of developing an eating disorder:
Compliment children about the things they do, not
always on how they look. When commenting on how children look, focus on their
eyes, hair, or smile, not on their height, weight, body size, or body
Avoid making comments that link being thin to being popular
Teach children to take good care of their
Avoid pushing children and teens to excel beyond their
abilities in school, sports, or other activities.
Give children and
teens some freedom to make choices that are appropriate for their age and
Hold children and teens accountable and responsible for
Talk with children and teens each day to find out
what is happening at school and with their friends. Listen to their
Give children and teens support. Help them solve their
own problems in ways that they think will work. Avoid giving too much advice or
trying to solve their problems for them. Be prepared to help them if their
solutions do not work.
Talk with children and teens about their
heroes and favorite adults in their lives. Encourage them to have many
different kinds of heroes.
Avoid criticizing other people for the
way they look in front of children and teens.
Praise children and
teens for the things that make them different from other people.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Adam Husney, MD, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
W. Stewart Agras, MD - Psychiatry
August 25, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 25, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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