Responding to other people’s questions

The following section has some suggestions that might be helpful if your child has concerns about the reactions of others.

  • Explain, reassure and distract

It can be helpful for your child to learn to how to explain, reassure and distract. For example, at the park they might respond to a comment about their scars with:

Responding to other people's questions

This allows your child to make the first move in social situations. It can help them to feel empowered and boost their self-esteem. It also helps them to respond to curiosity when meeting new people and dealing with difficult situations. You can see more examples of responses here.

“From a very young age my daughter did this without me teaching her. She seemed to naturally adopt it without me particularly highlighting it, so children can get that ever so young. She’s quite confident and inquisitive anyway, and for a young child having someone stare at them is an invitation to play. It’s an invitation to interact. But it’s how to deal with that bit when they shy away. So, she would just do this. She’d say, ‘it’s ok. I’m not going to hurt you. It’s alright. Come on, let’s go.’ She would just say, ‘it’s my burnies, I’m alright, I’m not going to hurt you, let’s go.’ She did that without me ever trying to develop that tactic with her.”

  • The magic bubble

Some younger children find the magic bubble helpful with teasing or people’s stares. They use the power of their imagination to picture themselves in a very strong see-through bubble. The bubble is invisible to other people. The magic bubble can be as big as they like and any colour that they want. Whenever anybody says something to them that they do not like, it just bounces straight off the magic bubble and cannot get through to make them upset or angry.

  • Distraction

Distraction by singing a song to themselves, practicing times tables, or making up a poem can also help.

  • Help from their teacher

Your child may also find it helpful if you or someone from the burns service talks to their teacher or their school.

“We made sure, when he went into reception, we told them this is what has happened, if he gets changed for PE you’re probably going to see it, the other children will see it. If you want to talk about it, we’ll talk about it. You know, so that everyone is actually really prepared.”

If you have concerns or would like to know more about talking to school and how the burns service might be able to help, please ask your local burns service.

Remember, your child is not the only person who might be teased. Everyone has something that other people can tease them about. The charity Changing Faces have useful tips for dealing with the reactions of others on their website.

If you are concerned about bullying, click here. Alternatively, visit the charity website for Changing Faces.

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