How to Explain Plastic Surgery to Children

009145-1__Once someone has decided to move forward with an elective procedure, it can be difficult to discuss these plans with family members. A patient might be especially concerned about how children will react to this news. Learn tips for discussing plastic surgery with kids.

As tempting as it can be to hide surgical plans, communication between parents and children about this subject is vital and important. Patients should provide an explanation that fits the age and maturity level of each child. Younger kids need fewer details, but older children can understand a more candid discussion about plastic surgery.

It’s a good idea for adults to focus the discussion on a desire to feel comfortable and happy with one’s physical appearance. It’s not always possible to achieve effective results just by diet and exercise alone. Sometimes, a little surgical help is warranted. Patients should avoid saying anything that could potentially lead children to feel responsible for undesired physical characteristics, such as abdominal contours resulting from pregnancy or breast changes due to breastfeeding. Make sure that children know that parenthood and the creation of a family are far more important than any bodily issues connected with childbearing.

When discussing plastic surgery with young girls and boys, patients should pay special attention to sensitive self-image and self-esteem topics. Focus on the fact that the procedure is not a requirement for self-esteem. Rather, surgery is an elective procedure that helps the patient to feel as positive as possible about particular physical characteristics, and to be comfortable in one’s own skin.

Depending on the sensibilities of the family, it may be helpful to contrast the procedure with other aesthetic choices including makeup, hairstyling, fashion, piercings, nail painting, teeth whitening, and tattoos. Adults have a wide range of cosmetic options that are not options for children. These choices can help adults express themselves and shape how they are perceived by others.

By exploring the procedure and details candidly with children, responsible adults can prepare them for the process and the outcome.