“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.’”

Here’s how 4 other parenting experts say to respond…


Heidi Allen Garvin
The popular Mormon mom blogger suggests treating children’s questions with tact… and a big dose of compassion. Format: Article

YouTube video

Richard Weissbourd
It’s a question that makes parents cringe, but the author of The Parents We Mean to Be says to treat the moment with compassion to avoid making the situation worse. Format: Video (1:37)

Jane Healy
The bestselling author of Your Child’s Growing Mind says that before knowing how to answer, it’s essential first to understand what is going on in your child’s mind. Format: Article

YouTube video

Johanna Stein
“It’s OK. The legs are in the closet.” A series of unfortunate events followed when the comedienne’s daughter asked this question. Here’s how she responded. Format: Video (2:20)