Think about the things you might say to yourself every day about your appearance. You aren’t happy with your weight, you don’t like your hair this way. Your negative self-image issues are taking over your brain and your feelings.

Now turn those thoughts around and imagine your teen saying these things to themselves. You don’t want your perfect, amazing, vibrant child thinking negatively about themselves!

Self-image issues are at the forefront of all of our lives. And believe it or not, your self-image is negatively affecting your teenager. Your teen is still learning from you and what you do or say will mirror what they do and say.

The Two Self-Images

The Inner Self-Image is a perception of what you are, who you are and what you are worth which is programmed into the deep recess of your mind. It is literally a control mechanism of what comes into your life and how well you do.

And then there is your Outer Self-Image. This is the image that you project to the world by the way you walk, talk, dress and meet and greet others.  The outer self-image is often an outer expression of the inner self-image.

One can also project an Outer Self-Image that will disguise what their Inner Self-Image is really saying. The Inner Self-Image is the tough one to deal with because often it is masked and hidden.

Your healthy and positive self-image can give your teen the confidence they need to grow their own self-image. Your child is always learning from you. And as their brain grows, you need to be a good role model for them. Help them unravel their self-esteem issues by letting them see your self-esteem grow.

If you never eat a vegetable, how can you expect your child to eat a vegetable? The same goes for mental health; If you do not love yourself, how can you expect your child to love themself?

Self-Love and Acceptance

Self-love and acceptance, is accepting yourself unconditionally.

If your new puppy pees on the carpet you’re not overly impressed but you still love that puppy unconditionally. But when it comes to loving ourselves we tend to criticize, chastise, punish and whip ourselves for every little thing we don’t do or do wrong.

Learning to accept yourself and learn from your mistakes and learn from those mistakes is essential. Nobody is perfect, and trying to attain perfection will deteriorate your mental health.

Don’t Disqualify Feelings

It’s important that you never disqualify your own feelings. You have to give acknowledgement to how you’re feeling today, now, rather than pushing it away and burying it.

Remember that your subconscious can only accept. It cannot differentiate between what is real and fake, right or wrong. Your feelings are valid, no matter what they are. And the same goes for your teen.

If you are feeling bloated or overweight even though you are at your most fit in life, you still feel bad. If your teen feels stupid because they left their notebook at home, they still feel bad even though it isn’t a big deal. If either one of you is sad because the bakery is out of your favourite sweets, you still feel bad!

Acknowledging these feelings in front of your teen, no matter how silly they may be, can help them navigate their own feelings. Letting them know that you ate a little too much sugar and you might not feel so great, but it’s fine because you know you’re awesome and you will feel better tomorrow.

Feelings cannot be right or wrong, they are just that – feelings – how you feel. Validate your feelings, explain the solution if there is one, and move on.

You are still an amazing person. And so is your teen!

Working on Self-Image Issues

If your teen is aware of your self-image issues, take this opportunity as a bonding experience. Let them know that you are working on yourself and you could use their help.

Showing your child that you can always improve on yourself is a great thing. Self-image issues are something that everyone deals with no matter who they are. And improving these issues in yourself and your teen will not only help you as individuals, but it will help your relationship.

Let me assist you in bettering your and your teen’s self-image. Contact me to see how we can work together and improve your child-parent relationship.