Healthy Living, Parenting

Explaining Your Cosmetic Procedure to Your Children

Cosmetic surgery is a highly personal decision, and whether it’s for corrective purposes after an injury or it’s purely for self-improvement, if you have children, you may have some additional explaining to do. That’s not to say that you must justify your decisions to anyone, but you may need to address their possible confusion – or even fears – before you go under the knife. With older kids, you’ll have to be more blunt and detailed in your explanations, but here are some tips on talking to little ones when you’re considering plastic surgery.

Honesty is Best

Some parents try to evade questions, or avoid addressing the situation at all. However, kids pick up on things, and they will fill in the blanks on their own if you give superficial answers. That can lead to undue fears about your health, especially if you’ll have a long recuperation period, or if you’re going to be bandaged and bruised during part of the healing process. 

Depending in the age of the child – and on the type of surgery you’re undergoing – you should be matter of fact, and don’t go into too much detail about the procedure itself. More intimate surgeries, like labiaplasty, needn’t be mentioned at all, except possibly in terms of “I have to have a small correction, and I may have trouble sitting properly for a few days.” Equate the procedure with getting stitches or another simple medical event your child might be familiar with. 

If you’re getting e procedure that’s more drastic and apparent, like a nose job or extensive liposuction, you will have to be a little more forthcoming with information. Simply explain that you’re have a surgery performed by a very good doctor that will make your clothes fit better, or that will straighten your nose and help you breath better, that you may be away from home for a short period of time, and that you may look different, even scary, at first, but then you will look and feel better in no time.

Offer Reassurance

Other than the shock of possibly seeing you in pain, or looking like you’ve been beaten, kids may have some anxiety about their own appearance. It’s important that you let them know that, to you, they’re perfect. and your procedure is no reflection on that. You are simply making a personal change to improve yourself, like taking exercise or getting a new haircut.

There are a number of books on this subject available at your local library, book shops, and from online book sellers. If you’re working with a local care provider, you can usually follow the hospital group online to get extra information and patient advisories from a number of local sources, including your provider’s own website and social media platforms. Your surgery will affect each member of your family differently, so the more support and resources available to you, the better all of you can cope with the affects of your procedure. Just remember, regardless of the reasons for having cosmetic surgery, a happier, healthier parent is a more content and engaged parent.

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