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: Ways to support a healthy body image.

Child experts with kidshealth.org say, kids who have a healthy body image for themselves – have more confidence and self-esteem. Now, actually instilling this into your child’s mind is a lot easier said than done, especially with us living in a world where what’s considered beautiful on our TVs, smartphones, and social media platforms seldom reflects what we all actually look like.

Developmental experts say, learning a healthy body image starts when they are a baby and builds as kids grow up. It changes again when kids go through puberty… and does gets shaped by what others say, but at every stage, experts with kidshealth.org say parents can do things to help support a child’s healthy body image, which includes:

*Teach them about their body
*Help them take care of their body
*Say nice things about how your kids look
*Show them you’re proud of what they can do
*Be active with your kids

It gets more challenging to promote a healthy body image when puberty hits. Not only is the body changing, but it also happens at a time when influence from peers, TV, and social media weigh heavy, so parents are advised to:

*Say nice things about how they look
*Allow them to try a new look or style
*Avoid criticizing how a teen looks
*Make sure teens get plenty of sleep and eat healthier
*Make sure teens are active every day

Parents, remember to be a good body image role model yourself. That means accepting your own body as it is, while also eating healthy and staying active. Your kids will pick up on this and try to do the same for themselves.