LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: 6 tips to promote a healthy body image.

Most kids, especially tweens and teenagers will have to deal with, at one point, pressure to look a certain way. Some can brush it aside, but unfortunately, many young adults will try and mimic these unrealistic looks or appearances. Developmental experts say that can take a heavy toll on confidence, as well as physical and mental health.

The term “body image” is how people think and feel about their own body, but during adolescence, it can be tough to maintain a healthy one due to physical and emotional changes, along with many social pressures Experts say, kids who have negative thoughts about their bodies are at an increased risk of low self-esteem, depression, substance use, and eating disorders.

According to family studies expert Doctor Megan Maas with Michigan State University, parents who model a healthy body image to their kids, are much more successful than just talking about it.

“It’s less about what we say and more about what we do and model. Telling our kids they are beautiful, they have a great body, or even saying things like it doesn’t matter what you look like… those are nice things to say, but they are not nearly as important as checking your own behavior.”

Here are 6 other ways to promote a healthy body image to your children:

*Avoid negative self-talk about your own body

*Explain the effects of puberty

*Promote physical activity

*Establish healthy eating habits

*Encourage healthy friendships

*Talk about social media and other forms of advertising

These platforms often send the message that only a certain body type is acceptable — so experts say, it’s smart to provide your kids with a reality check.