It goes without saying that we want to give our young children the best start. We also know from years of research that negative body image can impact almost all life outcomes – including relationships, education, and careers.
So how do we protect our children from developing a negative body image? And when should we start? The answer could shock you.
Dr Stephanie Damiano is a psychology researcher and an expert in this space.
“We see quite consistently that around the age of three, children start to develop pretty strong weight attitudes and weight stereotypes around bodies,” she says. "They tend to attribute positive characteristics to thin bodies and negative characteristics to large bodies. Their body image starts to develop a little bit later, around the age of four.”
Biological, psychological, and socio-cultural factors contribute to the development of positive or negative body image. In the socio-cultural space, our kids’ attitudes are shaped by family, the media, and their peers – and this is where adults can influence them.
Dr Damiano also leads Butterfly’s pioneering Body Bright program that is available free to primary schools. Listen to her chat with Sam about helping young kids establish a positive relationship with their bodies for their future well-being and success.
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