Survival Kit

Tips on how to talk to your daughter about her body:

  • Don’t talk to your daughter about her body except to teach her how it works.
  • Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.
  • If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:“You look so healthy!” is a great one, or how about, “you’re looking so strong.” “I can see how happy you are – you’re glowing.”
  • Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.
  • Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.
  • Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards herself.
  • Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don’t go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don’t say “I’m not eating carbs right now.” Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.
  • Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and sometimes that’s a good thing.
  • Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey or netball or basketball because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you’ll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn’t absolutely in love with.
  • Prove to your daughter that women don’t need men to move their furniture.
  • Teach your daughter how to cook kale and how to bake chocolate cake made with half a block of butter.
  • Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilise her fantastic mind and beautiful soul.
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