Among the many books on body image I have come across, this is one specifically, as the title states, for parents. It educates parents not just about children’s body consciousness, but also gives them a great introduction about how society and the kinds of messages that children are now facing are different.
This would sensitize parents so as to better understand the children if the issues began to play out. Needless to say (but I will anyway), grandparents and caregivers of children will also benefit from reading this book.
Published in 2012 by Efrig Publishing, this book has 14 chapters where the first four chapters cover the types of body image issues and questions that would come up for different ages. The ages are grouped into: 0 – 3, 4 – 8, 9 – 12, and 13 onwards (teenage years).
This would allow them to anticipate the different kinds of questions and the ways that answers can be phrased depending on their ages and developmental stages. It gives specific advice on how to address these challenges and how to handle the questions throughout their childhood.
What I liked the most is the quick reference guide at the end of the book. It consolidates all the different points that were already mentioned in the previous chapters into a handy quick reference right at the end of the book. They are divided into sticky questions, and solid answers. There are also resources, websites, and books listed that parents could go to get more information and do their research.
What I found truly remarkable and creative was the family fun/ self-esteem building exercises. Parents could do them with their child or children before they became too old, and then more resistant to whatever it is that their parents had to say.
The book provides warning signs of how one can tell if their child is starting to develop an eating disorder. The last two pages of the book contained sample pledges that a parent could come up with their child – one for a younger child and a parent; and another for an older child and the parent. In the pledge, the child would promise to always treat themselves with kindness and self-respect. Since there is power in words, this will be able to help your child through their teenage years.
I like to recommend this book for parents, and feel it would also be useful for sexuality educators in general, but especially those who work with parents who have children or teenagers.
Who is Martha?
Dr. Martha Tara Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching. She is a certified sexologist with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She provides sexuality and relationship coaching for individuals and couples, conducts sexual education workshops and speaks at public events. She is the author of the books Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, and Orgasmic Yoga. She is also the host of the weekly radio show Eros Evolution on OMTimes Radio. For more, visit www.ErosCoaching.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.