AUSTIN (KXAN) — With proposed legislation at the Texas Capitol targeting teen use on social media, a family therapist advises parents to have a vulnerable conversation with their children about body image.

“I really encourage parents and families, instead of trying to shut down the conversation and being afraid of it, instead, let’s talk about it and bring that conversation into our homes,” said Dr. Erika Bocknek.

It is uncertain if any of the Texas proposed legislation will pass, but earlier this year, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said he believes 13 is too young for children to be on social media platforms, because kids are still “developing their identity.”

“I have parents telling me that their kids are raising these issues younger and younger that preschoolers are noticing that some dolls appear more beautiful to them than others, or they’re pinching their own bodies,” said Dr. Bocknek about filtered and edited photos on social media. “What they’re really doing is normalizing and asking to have the conversation with you. I say start as early as you can. And the goal is to be honest.”

Dr. Bocknek suggests parents talk about their own insecurities.

“What you don’t want to do is pretend that you are on the inside feel 100% about how you look every day, because it just can’t be true. What you do want to do is be a thoughtful partner to your child, or real human who is facing the same pressures that your child is facing.”

The Mayo Clinic points to a survey from 2018 Pew Research Center of nearly 750 13-to-17-year-olds. It found 45% are online almost constantly and 97% use a social media platform, such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.

Dr. Bocknek said it’s vital parents look for signs of an unhealthy body image among their kids.

“The most important thing for me in my home — in a body positive home — is that I name the very real feelings we all can have about our bodies. If you see a young child pinching their fat, for example, your instinct may be to say, ‘You’re beautiful, you’re not fat.’ However, haven’t you ever done that looked in the mirror wondered about your roles, it’s very normal. So I say start the conversation: ‘It looks like you’re wondering about your body and you’re noticing that bodies come in all shapes, what do you see is beautiful about you? What are some things that you don’t always feel really connected to?'”