Dr. Robyn Silverman on The Today Show Talking about Body Image & Her New Book!

Dr. Robyn sat down with Meredith Vieira on The Today Show to talk about body image, her book

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When flight MH17 was downed between Amsterdam and Malaysia, Good Morning America asked me to come in and discuss it.  In particular, how do you talk to children and teens when bad things, like this plane crash, happen?

1. We live in social media world. There are going to be all kinds of graphic and upsetting images on Twitter and Facebook. What should you do about teens who may be exposed to disturbing visuals?

While it’s easy to turn off with younger kids, with teens, you can’t just turn off the TV and hope they don’t see anything.  There are images and access to news stories everywhere. So tell your teen, “you may be curious and you may seek out or receive images or information that make you feel concern or bring up questions in your mind.  I would like you to come to me about any questions you have and then we can go to the credible news stations and get the most accurate story.”  You may not be able to control the media but you may be able to control how your teens absorb the information. Helping teens to become more media literate will help them to better deal with our world today.

2. What about younger kids? What should you say to a child who may have heard something upsetting?

With younger children, think through 3 things.

  • First, your words. They should underscore safety and let them know the adults in charge are doing everything they can to find out what happened and take care of everyone. Make sure your words are concise, easy-to-understand, age-appropriate and of course, answer the question.
  • Second, pay attention to your voice.  Ensure that it’s calm (as your children will reflect your reaction).  While you can talk about your feelings and say that you feel sad about what happened, be careful not to match the intensity of the emotion you might feel.  You are talking to a child– not a friend.
  • Third, be there.  Children don’t often talk about important topics in one conversation.  So make sure that when one discussion closes, you leave the door open to future conversations.

(3) How do you know if your child may be having a problem dealing with what happened?

You know your child.  When behavior seems abnormal, you may have a problem.  Are they eating more or less, sleeping more or less, acting out, withdrawing or seem highly anxious.  All of these abnormalities may show you that your child is having trouble dealing with something.

It’s normal to feel anxious when something tragic like this happens.  However, if you feel that your child’s behavior needs additional attention, seek out help from your child’s pediatrician.

4. What do you say to reassure kids who are afraid to fly after this?

  • Make sure your child knows that a plane crash or a plane downed is extremely rare.  Air travel is one of the safest ways to travel!
  • Validate your child’s feelings.  Let him know it’s normal to feel anxious about flying after something like this occurs.  Then reiterate that you are there for him and you will get through this together.
  • If possible, speak to a pilot, look at planes and do research on how planes work.  Sometimes knowledge can be the best answer.



Verizon Viral Ad for Girls: What are We Telling Our Daughters about Math and Science?

July 8, 2014 Body Image Press

It was a great Good Morning America segment this morning!  We focused on a new viral Verizon campaign and ad that questions whether it’s time to move from telling our girls that she’s simply “pretty” to telling them that they are “pretty brilliant” too. What are we telling our girls about their abilities in math […]

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Mom Leaves Child in Car for Five Minutes and is Charged with Misdemeanor

June 26, 2014 Parenting

ABC US News | ABC International News Kim Brooks left her child in the car for 5 minutes to run into a store and get her child a pair of ear phones.  Her four year old son stayed in the locked car, the windows cracked on a mild day because he didn’t want to go […]

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Louis C.K.’s “Fat Girl” Scene Strikes a Cord with Women Everywhere

June 3, 2014 Body Image

Last week, I was on Good Morning America to talk about Louis C.K.’s now famous “Fat Girl” scene in which actress Sarah Baker, gives a unique and honest perspective about being “a fat-girl in her 30s living in New York City.” And while some still complained that the scene was far from perfect, others found […]

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Lorde of the Tweets: Lorde tells fans it’s ok to have flaws

April 2, 2014 Body Image

On Good Morning America this morning, we talked about Grammy-winner, Lorde and her most recent viral tweet that showed two photos.  One photo showed Lorde with flawless skin, photoshopped to perfection.  The other photo showed Lorde completely natural, skin imperfections and all. Why is this significant? Lorde is a superstar with millions of fans.  And […]

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How Can Parents Instill Their Top Values in Their Children?

March 18, 2014 Parenting

Resilience, empathy and leadership. Respect, compassion and perseverance. Authenticity, gratitude and integrity. In preparation for my presentation Creating a Community of Character: Inspiring our children to become role models for The American Camp Association tomorrow, I asked my Facebook audience yesterday for their top 3 values that they would like to see in their children.  […]

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GMA Interview: Women Get The Covergirl Photoshop Treatment And Are Surprised By the Result

February 21, 2014 Body Image

I was interviewed for GMA’s story on Buzzfeed’s photoshop “experiment” with four women who got the model treatment.  The women had their hair and make-up done, wardrobes chosen and bodies directed in a photo shoot.  But it didn’t end there.  Photoshop then went to work!  Lines were erased, bodies were narrowed and birth marks were […]

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Should Barbie Be on the Cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue?

February 20, 2014 Body Image

You’ve got to admit, it’s a perfect pairing. SI swimsuit issue is all about idealized beauty and fantasy.  So is Barbie. Where we cross some lines is by putting a child’s toy on a magazine for men—Barbie is a plastic object—standing among swimsuit models.  Are we saying that the real women are also to be […]

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Losing More Than Half of Herself: Is The Biggest Loser Really The Biggest Winner?

February 5, 2014 Body Image

Former athlete, Rachel Frederickson, won The Biggest Loser last night after shrinking from 260 pounds to 105 pounds.  That means, in a matter of months, Rachel Frederickson took 60% of her body weight off of her 5’4” frame and took home the 250,000 dollar prize for her achievement. It’s certainly extreme. Record-breaking, in fact. Frederickson is […]

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