Parents request for help with child's self image

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by Charger, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Charger

    Charger Companion

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    Mar 6, 2008

    I had a parent email me a few weeks ago requesting that the school assist in a problem that she feels exists with her daughter and the others girls in the 7th grade class (there are 10 total). She is concerned about her daughter's self image and self esteem, particulary her body image. She also feels that this is definitely an issue with the other girls as well.
    She would like for us to invest in a program or do lessons on these topics that might help the situation. We've covered these topics in health class, but we've never really had to address it like this before.
    Any advice on programs, lessons, or an approach we should take? My self image isn't exactly positive and my self esteem lags most of the time, but I'm not getting much help from other involved parties.
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Mar 6, 2008

    I would have it separate from the boys. I'm assuming you don't have a guidance counselor.
     
  4. Charger

    Charger Companion

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    Mar 6, 2008

    We do, but she only comes one day of the week and that's not every week. My principal mentioned this to her, but it doesn't seem as though she is going to do anything. She works mostly with the younger students.

    I don't even know how to approach this with them.
     
  5. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Mar 10, 2008

    Have you seen this video?

    http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com/home_films_evolution_v2.swf

    It's amazing. I think every middle school girl should see it. There's a total of 4 videos, three of which are fantastic. Check out the rest of the Dove site. There might be some things to help you out or give you inspiration.
     
  6. trainingtoteach

    trainingtoteach New Member

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    Mar 12, 2008

    I am not a teacher yet, but I do have a younger sister in the 8th grade. Body image is a main concern with many of her peers. I believe if the counselor does not wish to focus on these matters, take it into your own hands. Some things should be separated by gender, but maybe you could do independent work during English class. My sister's English class have times of the week dedicated to creative writing. If you wish to cover the topic of self esteem, students could write their opinions on paper. This way it could be private and each wouldn't have to spaek out loud and risk being embarrassed. Then you could take it further and collaborrate with health class. While the boys are watching a video pertaining to their issues, the girls culd be looking up questions on the internet. I would turn this situation into an assignment because middle schoolers tend to lack motivation when it comes to doing something without credit. Yet along the way they will all learn something beneficial and you as well as the parents may be more at ease.
     
  7. trina

    trina Companion

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    Mar 12, 2008

    I don't know if you are in a public school or private. I'm not sure about a public teacher's ability to handle this on her own. In my private school, we teachers do it all: teach, counsel, mediate, judge, reconcile, and correct. I think it's a bit odd for a parent to ask that the school "invest in a program" to help the girls. How about a good old fashioned talk? We do this ALL the time in our school. I think our society has gotten so PC that a teacher can't act like a rational human being who has been taught how to guide young people. They can't directly confront child bullies, name callers, etc? Just talk to them. Start out with a personal story of something like it that may have happened to you, and then ask if that's ever happened to one of them. I bet a bunch of girls will chime in. Then the one in question will see that she's not the only one.

    My 2 cents
     
  8. Love4Science

    Love4Science New Member

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    Jul 16, 2008

    Get Advice From a Professional

    I realize this was posted a long time ago, but just in case anyone reads this post and need advice on the same topic I thought I would contribute to the discussion. I worked as a volunteer for an eating disorder awareness group and my job was to give talks to students at schools in the area about this issue. I encourage any school that wants to delve into this topic (which I personally feel is a must) to contact local eating disorder awareness groups or body image awareness groups. Many of these groups have put a great deal of research, time, and thought into developing various educational presentations for students. Some are eating disorder focused, some body image focused, some are directed toward teaching students to be critical of the media (which often negatively influences young girl's body image and self esteem).
    I would highly suggest taking the time to educate boys a well, as they experience pressure to look and act a certain way, much like girls. When talking with a group of girls and boys in 9th grade about body image the boys and girls seemed to have multiple "ah ha" moments as they came to realize that everyone is under pressure, and they can help take the pressure off of one another by changing their physical expectations of one another, and looking at media messages critically.
    It's nice to bring in informed educators as they are able to answer tough question. If a school can't afford one of these talks and a teacher wanted to hold a discussion about this topic in class, it is important for the person leading the discussion to read up on the issue, and possibly speak to a professional about it. I realize this is a scary topic to tackle, but it is an important one that I urge you to address!!! Best of luck!
     
  9. Charger

    Charger Companion

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    Jul 16, 2008

    Thanks! I know that I will need to touch on this again next year. O don't feel as though I did a very good job this year. I will look into one of those groups.
     
  10. MrL

    MrL Companion

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    Jul 16, 2008

    Also, to understand the politics of that age which body image plays into, I recommend the book "Queen Bees and Wanna-bees." I couldn't understand the social dynamics of my 7th grade girls until I read that. They based large chunks of Mean Girls off of it.
     

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