How can we help children with body image issues to see themselves more positively?

Chris Calland and Nicky Hutchinson, authors of Minnie and Max are OK!, discuss the rising issue of body confidence in children and ways we can help them to see themselves more positively and celebrate their identities.

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Helping children to have a more positive body image

Body ImageChris Calland and Nicky Hutchinson, authors of Minnie and Max are OK!, talk about body confidence, how it can influence children’s self-esteem and what adults can do to help children have a more positive body image.

What does a positive body image mean to you?

If a person has a positive body image they are happy with the way they look and they accept and feel good about their body. Helping children to be positive about their bodies encourages them to be happy, healthy and confident. Having a positive body image makes children less likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. It is a crucial part of mental health.

Do you feel that the number of children with body image issues has risen of late? What reasons do you feel are behind this?

Yes, unfortunately the number of children experiencing body image anxieties is growing rapidly and body dissatisfaction is being seen more in many really young children, even at pre-school stage. It is an issue which affects both boys and girls. Continue reading

Anti Bullying Week: Sticks and Stones

Anti bullyingIt’s Anti Bullying Week, and to mark the occasion we thought we’d share this extract from Naomi Richards and Julia Hague’s new book Being Me (and Loving It) which contains 29 easy-to-read stories to help build self-esteem, confidence, positive body image and resilience in children aged 5-11.

In this story, Ginny becomes upset when the older girls in the playground start calling her names. Turning to her mother for advice, she learns that it is best only to listen to the people who you care about and to ignore those who you don’t. The story is accompanied by notes for the educator to support discussions and reinforce the messages being taught.

Click here to download the extract

Eating Disorder Recovery – The Benefits of a Holistic Approach

Eating DisorderDr. Nicola Davies, co-author of Eating Disorder Recovery Handbook, discusses the benefits of a holistic approach to recovery and what questions you need to answer before beginning your journey.

Many people suffer from eating disorders and often they do so in secret. Living with an eating disorder like anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder can be an extremely isolating experience, which can deplete your self-esteem and confidence, distort your concept of health and body image, and make you forget what is truly important in life.

Recognising that you have a problem with an eating disorder is an important first step, followed closely by the acknowledgement that you need help and you need to open up about the problem to someone you trust. In recovering from an eating disorder, you will need to go through several stages, which can take a lot of time and energy. Rates of recovery will be different for everyone and there may be times you will return to unhealthy eating and dieting behaviours. It’s easy to perceive this as a sign of failure and lose confidence in moving forward, but it’s important to keep focused on positive change.

So, what does it take to achieve recovery from an eating disorder? Although eating disorders are linked with unhealthy eating, dieting and exercise practices, overcoming them takes a whole lot more than changing what you eat and normalising your weight. Eating disorders often spring from a very deep emotional pain and are associated with other conditions such as depression, personality disorders, and obsessive behaviours. This means that long lasting recovery from an eating disorder involves the strict re-alignment of your entire life – dealing with the past, living in the present, and navigating the future.

Continue reading

We Need to Talk about Pornography – Vanessa Rogers

pornographyIn this extract from We Need to Talk about Pornography, Vanessa Rogers discusses the impact of pornography on young people. At a time when it has never been more accessible and the likes of revenge porn and sexting are on the rise, there is a growing need for more dynamic education around what pornography is, how sex is portrayed in the media versus reality and how pornography can affect sexual relationships, self-esteem and body image.

Click here to download the extract

Vanessa Rogers addresses this gap in sexual education by providing a comprehensive resource to support anyone who might be involved in sex education for young people. Through open conversations around sex and pornography, parents and educators can encourage healthy and respectful relationships in future generations. Packed with ready-to-use lesson plans and activities, and outlines for staff CPD sessions and parent workshops, this book is an essential resource for PSHE teachers, senior leadership teams, pastoral care teams, school counsellors, youth workers, school nurses and others. Click here to find out more about We Need to Talk about Pornography.

A classroom story to help young people recognise their talents and build self-confidence

self-esteem confidence

Age range:

Ages 8 – 11

Description:

A story about a boy named Noah who thinks he is useless at everything but learns that actually he has many talents and that it is impossible to be completely perfect. The story is accompanied by a lesson plan for the teacher which contains questions to ask the class, a list of learning objectives and an exercise to complete after the story.

Click here to download the resource

This extract is taken from Naomi Richards and Julia Hague’s Being Me (and Loving It), which contains 29 ready to use lesson plans designed to build confidence, self-esteem, positive body image and resilience in children at primary school.

Being Me (and Loving It): Stories and Activities to Help Build Self-esteem in Children – author interview

Richards-Hague_Being-Me-and-Lo_978-1-84905-713-4_colourjpg-print

We talked to Julia Hague about why her new book Being Me (and Loving It) is such a valuable resource for building self-esteem in kids.  She discusses the common self-esteem and body image issues affecting children today, and provides advice on how to support them.  Co-written by Naomi Richards (the UK’s number 1 kids coach), Being Me (and Loving It) includes 29 activity-based lesson plans designed for teachers, youth workers, educators and parents supporting children aged 5-11. Continue reading

Does Your Child or Teen on the spectrum Suffer from Poor Posture?—Look No Further!

The Autism Fitness Handbook is a new edition of a popular program by well-known autism fitness specialist, David S. Geslak.  His book contains a wealth of innovative exercises to boost body image, motor coordination, posture, muscular and cardiovascular fitness and overall health and wellbeing in children and teens on the autism spectrum, and is ideal for use at home or at school.

Designed to address specific areas of difficulty for children, teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) the the following extracted activity is designed to help children and teens improve posture:

The Autism Fitness Handbook Activity—Posture

David S. Geslak is the Founder and Director of Exercise Connection Corporation. He has been developing fitness programs for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) since 2004. He has a bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion and is a Certified Health Fitness Specialist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. It is David’s mission to educate parents, teachers and other professionals about the benefits of exercise for individuals with ASDs, and lead them towards a healthier and more active lifestyle. David lives in Chicago, Illinois. His company’s website can be found at: www.ecautism.com.