You may have a child who has something “different” about the way they look. This can leave them feeling vulnerable. Things like having a birthmark, red hair or being overweight/skinny can lead children to feel different from others. Some children have more significant physical differences to manage. If your child is struggling with self image/body image issues due to a physical condition or atypicality, we encourage you to consult the advice of a psychologist who is experienced in this area.
If someone says something rude to your child, you can encourage them to respond and say something like:
- “Why do you care/why does it matter to you what I look like?”
- “It’s not polite to comment on something someone can’t change.”
- “This is a birthmark. I have had it since I was born. It makes me special.”
We also need to teach our children not to be rude, so they are not directing unkind appearance-based comments towards others. Help them understand why they should never comment on something that someone cannot change, like a birthmark. It might be okay to tell someone you are close with that they have spinach in their teeth because they can change that. However, you would not mention freckles because that cannot be changed.
If they’re ever in doubt they can refer to the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.