"Mom. I think I'm getting fat, so don't put too much on my plate please."
Those were the words my 11 year old son said to me last night, as I was preparing to serve dinner.
I looked at him, sure he would be smiling, joking, surely he wasn't serious. But he was.
5 days ago, he had a wellness check up, his yearly visit to the doctor to make sure he's growing well and healthy. He measured in at 4'9 3/4" and weighed 75.4lbs. 50th percentile for his height and 30th percintile for his weight. His doctor even told him he was actually a little more on the skinny side of average.
And yet, here he was, worried he might be getting fat.
Of course, I sat down with him, discussed why he thought that and why it wasn't anywhere near true. We talked about how it's more important for him to make sure that he's healthy, active and eating the right foods than to worry about the numbers on the scales.
For dinner, he had his full plate, and seconds.
Between movies and magazines and television and social media, it's easy for our tweens and teens to get the impression that our bodies have to be perfect. Perfect hair, flawless skin, miniscule waistlines. These images and ideas don't just affect girls either. Many young boys compare themselves to the muscled athletes and male celebrities they see being idolized by the rest of the world. They agonize over not having large enough biceps or a defined 6-pack. The idea that they are imperfect, flawed, can lead to problems like depression and even eating disorders.
We know our children are beautiful. We know that one day too soon, they will grow into those long coltish legs that seem so awkward to them right now. We know that they will get bigger, taller, stronger, faster. But there are things we can do now to help bolster their self-esteem until that all happens.
1. Be positive. Never make critical remarks about your teen's body. Instead, compliment them. Tell her what pretty eyes she has, or how handsome you think his smile is. Help your tween by encouraging good personal hygiene and posture.
2. Be a great role model. Our children are always watching us, observing our actions, our lifestyles, our attitudes. They learn and they mimic. Pay attention to the example you set for them. When you are positive about yourself, it encourages them to be positive about themselves as well.
3. Focus on the person they are inside. Support their interests in talents and skills that have nothing to do with their looks, like music or sports or art. Tell them how you love that they can make you laugh, or how proud you are of them for their dedication to schoolwork. Let them know there is so much more to them than just their outer appearance.
Your tween may not always seem like they are listening, but be sure, they hear you. And you can make a difference.
Why Tween Sessions?
We capture all those major milestones, from a bump to birth, the first year to the first day of school to their Senior year. So why miss out on those in between years, the ones that seem to be gone almost overnight? Those magical, fascinating, beautiful moments where your tween makes the transformation from sweet little kid to independent young person. They are coming into their own style and personality, forming their own opinions and views. During a time where peer pressure to "fit in" is at its worst, as their parent, all you want to do is encourage them to just be their unique selves, and love everything about who they are becoming.
Tween portrait sessions boost confidence as your child begins to take the reigns and express themselves and their style. Let them wear the bright colors, the ripped jeans. Let their hair be wild. Let them be fierce and bold. Let them embrace the braces and glasses and crazy trends of today. Tween sessions are a chance to let them show a glimpse of the amazing young person they are becoming. It lets them see themselves in the wondrous way that we see them.
This spring I am rolling out a new extension of my business that I am so super excited about!
Teen and Tween Rep Models!
These amazing young people will be the face of Heather Colleen Photography for the next year, while getting to feel like a model. And there's some pretty nifty perks that come along with the job too!
Each model will receive the following:
• No Session Fee - 1 hour Beautiful You session
• No Session Fee - 1 hour Let's Have Fun session for you and up to three friends between June - August
• No Session Fee - 30 minute Back To School Mini Session in September
• $25 Session Fee - 30 minute Family Mini in November
• Images to use online for sharing as part of your referrals
• 50 Rep Cards to hand out
Not to mention the extras for the more people that you refer, like print credits, gift cards, movie tickets, and even the chance to earn an iPad 4!
There are a few requirements to be considered as a Model Rep:
• Be between 9 - 14 years of age
• Active in school and community
• Outgoing, lively, fun, friendly
• Love having their photos taken and love sharing their photos online
• Unique sense of style and fashion
• Must only represent Heather Colleen Photography for the next 12 months
• Minimum commitment of $300 print/product purchase
• Being social media active is a big plus, but not a requirement!
If this sounds like something you and your tween/teen are interested in, then I would LOVE to hear from you!
I ask that all potential reps write me a little single paragraph explaining in their own words why they would be a great choice to be the face of Heather Colleen Photography. Tell me about what activities you're in, how you stay active in your community, your favorite hobbies. Give me a little sense of what makes you so uniquely you!
Send applications to firstname.lastname@example.org, with Rep Model in the title.
Please include the following information:
• Parents names
• Parents phone number
• About You paragraph
Application deadline is May 1st. Rep Models will be contacted by May 5th.