Explaining Rhinoplasty to Your Kids
Rhinoplasty is a highly personal and, often, private choice. If you’re a parent, however, you may worry what to tell your children about your decision to have cosmetic surgery. While explaining a nose job to kids can be tricky, the following advice can help.
Telling Vs. Not
Before you can decide what to tell your children, you need to choose whether you’ll say anything at all. Take into consideration the fact that facial surgeries like rhinoplasty are not easy to hide, particularly from family members at home. Not only will you likely experience bruising/swelling in the first week of recovery, you’ll also have a cast on your nose for seven days post-op and be limited in your ability to do some activities.
Also consider the age of your children. Depending on how old/mature they are, you’ll likely want – and need – to explain different aspects of the procedure to them. Also, you may have to field different questions from older vs. younger kids.
> Infants & Toddlers: While babies and small children won’t likely understand what rhinoplasty is, they may be alarmed at your appearance following surgery. What will you tell them about the bruising/swelling – not to mention the cast? Consider preparing young kids before your surgery by explaining that bruises on your face are normal, and won’t last long. Toddlers should also be told that you won’t be able to pick them up or roughhouse with them for a week after surgery, to prevent injury to your nose.
> Children & Preteens: Kids under 12 may partially understand the concept of surgery, but they might not know what “cosmetic surgery” implies. It’s up to you how much or how little to disclose about the process, but be sure to let them know it’s OK to feel confused and encourage them to ask questions. Reassure them that the cast and bruises are temporary and, though you’ll about a week’s rest after surgery, you won’t be in pain.
> Tweens & Teens: Older children will likely have some (if not a relatively broad) understanding of cosmetic surgery, due to information that’s widely available through the media and Internet. While it remains your choice how much/little to disclose, be aware that your kids may be forming opinions on their own, without your input. This may be a good opportunity to explain your decision to your teen and talk to him/her about the fact that beauty has many definitions – it’s not just physical.
Dos & Don’ts
No one knows your children better than you do. If you decide to speak with your child about rhinoplasty, it’s usually best to do so before surgery. Take your child’s age and level of understanding into consideration, as too many details could scare a toddler (while being too vague could cause further confusion among older kids). Make sure your child understands the facts you feel are necessary, which may include what will be done, what will be different and what your restrictions will be after surgery. Remember, no matter your age, knowing what to expect can often provide a great deal of comfort.