Fathers and Step-Fathers Can Influence a Healthy Body-Image During Daughter's First Bra - Part 2
By Nili Sachs, Ph.D
Fathers, step-fathers, brothers, uncles and grandfathers are the first line of masculine influence a young girl is encountering in her
You - the males in her life- do possess the great potential to influence girls with healthy body-image.
On the other hand you also posses
powerful influence, unintentionally, to create shame, self-doubt, body-dissatisfaction and breast-obsession.
Breast-obsession in individuals, both males and
females, develops when there is great significance and preoccupation with size and shape of female breasts. When these preoccupations become severe, they may
be viewed as obsessions.
These obsessions may be prevented.
In Part1 of an article by the same title I offered seven tips for enhancing healthy
body-image in daughters' first bra experience.
Here are some home remedies; several suggestions of becoming aware of these influences you
Now for the suggestions of what not to do:
1. Do not use the event of 'first bra' to comment on daughter's breast size and shape. For a
sensitive pre-teen girl, there is potential for shaming. No matter what your comment is, even a great compliment, any mention of her developing body, might be
experienced as comparisons to others and therefore shaming, in her mind.
2. Use clean language. In the privacy of my office, girls often tell me that
comments, jokes and even light touching and pointing at their developing breasts make them feel 'dirty'.
3. Beware of the 'sexy factor'. Emphasizing
the importance of breasts as a tool to attract boys or a means to compete with other girls is a big step towards creating shame, inadequacy and fear of not being
'good enough' in a young developing mind.
4. No jokes or humor; what is funny for you is a potential body-image killer for her.
5. Do not
make sexual or even sex-appeal or attractiveness comments. A pre-teen girl does not have the sophistication to interpret your intentions as humor or loving
6. No touching or pointing at her breasts! This private event makes a girl self-conscious enough. She does not need to deal with your lack of
7. Do not stop hugging, hand holding, affectionate touching as you used to do. I don't mean to confuse you; girls actually tell me how
much they miss the affectionate hugs with parents and family members. Girls notice that as soon as they begin to develop breasts, fathers and other males avoid
hugging them. Hugging does not constitute sexual touching. Do not stop those loving rituals. For best understanding of your role and its importance in this
passage in your daughter's life, please refer to part 1 of an article by the same title.
Body-image is an important issue for your daughter's health and mental
health. Learn more about it.
There are more
solutions and observations for body-image issues. These ideas are presented in the program: The Body Trap. This educational/entertaining program may be
delivered as a keynote speech or a seminar. For keynotes, seminars and relationship-coaching contact Dr. Nili Sachs directly: nilisachs msn nilisachs msn
Are you Bobby-Trapped?
Test yourself (for the women in your life): Take the quiz at: DrNili DrNili
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