Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Instilling a Positive Body Image in Your Daughter

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We've been talking about looking and feeling younger this week with my friend, author Arlene Pellicane. Arlene and I first teamed up several years ago with our friend Sue McRoberts (author,The Lifter of My Head: How God Sustained Me During Postpartum Depression) team-writing a blog called, Totally New Moms.  Arlene was our fitness guru, helping new moms lose weight after pregnancy. Now she's written a great book that's perfect for anytime, but especially now at the beginning of a new year. 31 Days to a Younger You: No Surgery, No Diets, No Kiddingis available now, and readers, it is a treasure! Arlene has a great writing style and loads of practical advice, with do-able strategies for making her tips work for you. Today, I'm concluding my series of posts with Arlene as we discuss daughters and body image!

Mom Seriously (MS): You and I are both moms of daughters, Arlene. Unfortunately, body image is something we gals have to deal with all our lives. What are you doing to instill positive body images in your daughters?

Arlene Pellicane with daughters Noelle (L) and Lucy (R)
Arlene: My sweet girls! My four-year-old doesn’t struggle with body image. In my book, I mention the time when we were at Sea World and she looked at herself in the mirror and announced, “Good!” She was two years old then. I’d love for her to have this same comfort and confidence about herself when she’s 20. To help her, my husband and I give her plenty of verbal affirmation, telling her she is beautiful, unique, and wonderfully made. I talk to her about caring for others and the importance of keeping a soft heart before God.

MS: What else, Arlene?

Arlene: We exercise together, and we enjoy eating healthy snacks together, like fruit. Modeling good habits will help her be healthy and energetic in the years ahead. As for Lucy, who’s one year old, we just keep kissing her and telling her she’s so cute. Actually that will work for older girls too!

MS: A lot of my readers are mothers of middle schoolers dealing with daughters who are looking at unhealthy, unrealistic examples of girlhood. What are some things that these moms can do to help their girls with their hormones, skin and hair issues, and the onset of puberty, that will help them feel good about themselves?

Arlene: There’s one thing that has surprised me about my book. I have had several moms tell me they are reading through the book with their teenage daughters. The same issues we have about the way we look and feel are being experienced by girls decades younger. Pour love and affirmation into your girl, telling her often about the beauty (visible and invisible) you see in her. Save money together and go shopping for a new outfit. Be involved in service projects so your middle schooler can get a break from being self-conscious and switch to being conscious of others. And of course, you can get a copy of my book and read it with your daughter. It will give her a prescription to touch her heart, mind, and body, just like yours!

MS: Arlene, thanks so much for being part of Mom Seriously this week! It's been so much fun reconnecting with you. Readers, you can connect with Arlene at her website and blog.

Readers: Any of you in the New Orleans area with daughters 7 - 12 years old, please join me at the Pure In Heart Conference on March 19th! Your daughter will learn who she is in Christ as well as how to confront the lies of the culture! More info is HERE.

Posts in this series:
31 Days to a Younger Me? Where Do I Sign Up?
Stock Up on Health at the Grocery Store
Instilling a Positive Body Image in Your Daughter

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