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Betsy Brown Braun on "Mom, what's wrong with him?"

Kids notice difference, says the renowned child development specialist. A parent’s job is to deftly deal with the situation to avoid embarrassment.

By Leslie Crawford

“The fact is: kids notice difference,” says Betsy Brown Braun, the bestselling author of Just Tell Me What to Say. And without a more advanced censoring mechanism, they will likely point it out — often at the worst moment. What’s important, says Braun, is to make sure neither party — your child nor the person your child has noticed — feels offended or embarrassed. Here’s her MO in these potentially difficult moments:

“We want to acknowledge that they’ve noticed the difference. So in a quiet voice say, ‘We’re going to talk about it more when we get outside the market.’ If your child keeps going, say, ‘I don’t know how that lady feels about that nose. She might love it or not love it but we’re going to talk about it when we get out of the store.’”

Find out how 4 other parenting experts respond…

Heidi Allen GarvinHeidi Allen Garvin: We don't want to hurt anyone else...

Richard WeissbourdRichard Weissbourd: This isn't a time to be punitive...

Jane HealyJane Healy: Help your child and put a name around it...

Johanna SteinJohanna Stein: It's OK. You can talk to me about it...

 

is a senior editor at GreatSchools.

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