BRYAN, Texas — Being a teenager is an exciting time in life, but it can also be a challenge such struggling with body image.
With students almost halfway through the school semester, therapists share how parents are noticing their teen become more self-conscious about their body appearance.
“I’m over here feeling so helpless,” said Julia Rios, Local parent of teen. “I want to do everything in my power to protect my kids.”
Helping teens and adults address self-identity challenges is counselor, Sheena Hann.
“You’re entering puberty and all those changes are happening to your body,” said Sheena Hann, LPC, LCDC, Thriveworks. “You start to get that presence on social media and you’re seeing this what the perfect body looks like and this is what I did to get it and sometimes, it’s really unhealthy stuff that’s being used.”
Hann says teens come in and express their thoughts.
“I’ve had the teens come in and go, I don’t think is healthy, but this is what I think about myself,” said Hann.
Bryan mom Julia Rios says her 14-year-old daughter Alina gets bullied at school.
“This girl keeps picking on me,” said Rios. “She can hear them talking about her behind her saying things about her body.”
According to a national poll on children’s health, two out of three parents say their child is self-conscious about some aspect of their appearance.
“When an influencer is taking a picture, they’re making sure they get the perfect picture and not having a bad hair day and taking the picture, or having an outbreak with acne,” said Hann.
Rios says her daughter does not prefer to take pictures, but she assures her, she is beautiful.
“She was like no mom, I don’t look good,” said Rios. “My face looks weird, look at my legs. I said no babe, you are beautiful. You have nothing wrong with you.” Hann says positive affirmations can make all the difference.
“The things we tell ourselves internally and has nothing to do with what other people are telling us. Something as simple as, ‘I am enough,’ said Hann.
More information on coping skills and body positivity with your teen can be found below.
Parents' perception of their child's body image article: Parents' perception of their child's body image | National Poll on Children's Health (mottpoll.org)
Sheen Hann’s information: Sheena Hann in Texas | Thriveworks Counseling