#1 Dieting at an early age is a sign
If a child is suffering from poor body image it comes from how she is taught to feel about herself. Yes, it is learned children are copy cats of the parent or guardian in charge of their daily care. Just like some animals and birds model themselves after the first animal they see and follow them all around, mimicking there every move, so do human being children. If you as an adult are overly self conscious about your weight and suffer from a poor body image, you will pass this on to your own offspring.
"It is not static but ever changing" children who suffer from poor self esteem (self-worth, self confidence, self respect) because of their domestic situation, namely abandonment issues need extra care and attention is this area and constant motivational reminder that they are loved and wanted in this world. Besides a doting parent or guardian a good coach in their favorite sport is very uplifting and constant reassurance to the young mind. Letting the child know that he or she is needed by the team is important because everyone wants to feel that they are important or of use to somebody else. This elevates the self esteem tremendously and something we also see in people as they become retirement age, they lack luster and vitality, give up and have feeling of not caring any more.
When children and or adults feel bad about their bodies they feel bad about themselves and when they feel bad about themselves they feel bad about their bodies, it becomes a vicious cycle.
Then along comes adolescents and if your child was already suffering from a poor body image this phase of life only compounds the issues. It is a difficult and self conscious time of changing body and changing mindset all over again.
So it needs to start at toddler age, helping any child with thoughts of high self esteem and body image and getting them active in sports. Not all children thrive in a highly competitive atmosphere so begin with the local "Y". They offer many kinds of sports and involvement in a learning environment so your child can try lots of different sports to see what they like, what appeals to them, not just to you. Which may be a sport they do not favor and will want to quit over time or you do not participate in any kind of sport be it walking or even exercising in front of the TV and your offspring will grow into being a couch potato just like you are.
Teach your child how to ride a bike, how to roller skate, play kickball, smack a tennis ball, how to hold a golf club and do it with them, and find an adult league of your own to participate in, it is never to late to get involved.
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