Make your home page

Program coordinator talks about 2 in 3 parents saying kids are insecure about looks

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — According to a new poll, 2 out of 3 parents say their child is struggling with self-image, and some are being treated unkindly because of it. 

Scientists at the University of Michigan surveyed over 1,600 moms and dads with at least one child from ages 8-18 in April. Thirty-two percent said their kids are self-conscious about acne, 31% with their weight, and 27% with their hair. Insecurities over teeth, height and facial features were also reported. 

News 8 spoke with Jill Hunsberger, clinical program coordinator at Eskenazi Health, who says she isn’t surprised by these numbers.

“We know that, by age 6, kids are very sensitive to criticism by others and then, by 7, they are very aware of comparing themselves and then their ability to be aware of those aspects and their need to fit in just grows as they get older,” she said. “And think about social media. Everybody uses a filter, right? So you’re always wanting to post the perfect picture. This gives the perception there that everyone looks a certain way when that’s not really reality.” 

For parents whose child may be struggling, Hunsberger recommends having a conversation. Ask them about what’s going on, how they’re feeling, and why they’re feeling that way. She also says to avoid criticizing what they say and to focus on listening.