As a dance teacher, I know first hand how much one's own body image can affect their self esteem. It starts at an early age, and seems to be getting earlier and earlier. One way to start to teach children positive body image is to stop using the term "stomach" when referring to correcting a student's posture or any core related exercises. Let's start really calling them what they are: abdominal muscles. Teaching children correct anatomy terms can help them appreciate their muscles and organs for what they do instead of how they look.
Here are some ways at different ages that you can incorporate this at home :
Ages 4 and under: learning the term while touching their own muscles, say it with call and repeat: ab-dom-in-al muscles!
Ages 5-7: start to feel them working within the body as they do certain exercises. Have them try to lengthen their abdominal muscles and have them try to to tighten their abdominal muscles.
Ages 8 and up: expand their knowledge and learn past general terms. Learn oblique, Latissmus Dorsi, and how all of the different abdominal and back muscles are connected and work together.
Use this technique with more than just their abdominals. Use the correct anatomy terms when ever you are referring to their body. Teach them to be grateful to have all of these muscles that do amazing things for them every day.
A huge Thank You to Dr. Christina Donaldson and YPAD for our discussion on tips and tools on how to give constructive criticism to dancers without them emotionally shutting down and at the same time enhancing their skills and self-esteem.
Below are some amazing pictures from: http://celfit.manifo.com/joga---inspiracje