Are you body-shaming your child?

You've heard the term body-shaming, for sure. It's done to actors, models and even ordinary people like you and me. But as a parent, are you body-shaming your child? Of course not, you'll say. But just stop for a moment and think. Body-shaming needn't be just criticising someone for their size and figure. It can be a lot more subtle. It can be encouraged in your child when you tell them that they should look a certain way. Or when you make them believe that being beautiful has something do with being fair.

Look closely at the day-to-day things you say or do at home:

- When you wake up your child, do you say 'Get up, my prince, my beautiful baby!' or something similar? I have been doing this all the while, and it isn’t the first thing he needs to hear.

- When your little one sees you sipping tea or coffee and asks for it, you say "If you drink tea you will become dark-complexioned." Is there anything inappropriate about being dark?

- When you get him or her ready for the school day: "See? My daughter is the prettiest." Looking pretty? Is that all you want her to concentrate on?

- When he walks under your legs, do you say, "You will not grow in height!" Why is it so bad to be short?

- When he or she watches TV from too close a distance, do you comment "Do you want to have spectacles on your face and mar your look?" And then we wonder why kids call bespectacled people names like Chashmish.

Would you like your child to make friends based on people's looks? Would it be okay if she or he chooses a life partner based on how beautiful they are? Aren’t you making him or her feel that those who are dark or short not worthy? What will happen if the apple of your eye turns obese, too thin, too short or too tall as they grow up?

We as responsible parents know very well that life is not about looking good all the time. It is about feeling good, feeling happy and making others feel the same way. How we nurture our kids today decides what society is tomorrow. It's not wrong to tell your child you pretty or handsome they look, by all means, tell them. Just remember that it's not the most important thing. For a better tomorrow a positive, a healthy and a holistic approach is the need.