Facial differences can occur in kids and adults. It's important to talk to kids about sensitive topics from an early age using language they can easily understand. Educational material, such as children's books, can make it easier for adults to have these conversations with their children. Fortunately, many authors have written kids' books designed to help children understand facial differences. Here are four things that books about facial differences can do for kids:
1. Educate kids about physical disabilities.
Facial differences can be considered physical disabilities. Kids may already have some familiarity with disabilities if they've ever seen a blind person with a cane or a person in a wheelchair. Learning about disabilities can give kids the opportunity to grow their empathy. It can also open the door for important family conversations about equality.
2. Answer kids' questions about the reason for their different appearances.
Children are naturally curious, which is a trait that helps them learn and grow. Kids with facial differences may wonder why they look different from their peers and parents. Some facial differences are caused by a person's genetics, but they can also be caused by surgeries and accidents. A book about understanding facial differences can explain these different causes to children in a positive way. Focusing on the differences found in all people—not just those with facial differences—and the positive contributions of modern medicine can help kids see the positive side of their experiences.
3. Teach kids to talk about their facial differences.
Since children are so curious, your child classmates may have questions about their facial differences. Teaching your child to answer questions without growing defensive can help them to make friends. Books written for kids with facial differences can give children some scripts they can use to address their peers. Depending on your child's personality, they may find it comfortable to answer earnestly. Each of these possibilities can be covered in a book about understanding facial differences.
4. Decrease bullying.
Finally, learning about themselves and others can help kids avoid bullying. When children are able to see themselves and others as equals, they can be less likely to engage in harmful behaviors. Teaching kids about facial differences can open the door for honest conversations instead of name-calling and mockery. Facial differences understanding children's books may facilitate this by encouraging kids to put themselves in other people's shoes in order to consider their feelings.