Ways to help your child feel better and aceept their freckles.
Although freckles can be endearing to an adult, from a child’s point of view it’s a different story. Unfortunately children can be cruel to each other and a child with freckles could become the target of teasing and name calling, which can cause their self esteem to plummet.
Actually freckles are just small patches of different colored skin that are clumped together. Usually children first get freckles at around five years old. As the child spends more time in the sun, the freckles spread and get darker. In the summertime the freckles increase and when winter comes around they decrease. Freckles tend to be more common in children with fair skin and blue eyes. Children with red hair are also much more likely to have freckles.
If you can help your child to accept who she or he is at an early age, despite what society is telling them, it will be very beneficial to them when they reach adulthood. That old adage, “Beauty is only skin deep” is so true – yet to a child who is being teased about their freckles, it can be a very difficult concept to grasp. That said, I think it is well worth repeating that phrase to your child, talking about inner beauty and taking a stab at explaining what it means to you.
Even so, we live in a society that values physical beauty. So – if you child starts to believe that freckles are a sign of beauty they may start feeling good about themselves. Compliment your children. Act like they are lucky to have freckles. You can even call freckles beauty marks or angel dust or intelligent spots or anything else positive you can think of. If your child is ashamed of their freckles or feels that freckles make them unattractive make sure you spend time reinforcing just how beautiful (or handsome) your child is. Tell them early and often how attractive they are.
One thing that may help is talking to your child about when you were young. Even better if you had freckles – can you remember anything about how you felt? Were you teased? Did you hate your freckles? Love them? Try to talk to your child about things that bothered you when you were little. Tell them stories about how you overcame your weight problem or buck teeth or acne. Drag out the pictures. Find the ones where you look your goofiest. Show your children that in time their looks will change and they will look back at their imperfections with humor. Give yourself permission to laugh and they will learn to laugh with you.
Go through magazines and find pictures of children with freckles. Show your child these pictures. Emphasize to him or her that these children are models and were chosen because they are attractive. Reinforce the idea that freckles are considered an asset.
You can even make up your own games about freckles. Make one day a freckle princess (or prince) day. Have a freckles party, invite as many children with freckles as you can. Have a contest at the party, award prizes for the children who have the most freckles. And, not unlike the tooth fairy, you can weave an intricate tale about freckle fairies who sprinkle freckles across special children’s faces at night – making them important. And of course – the freckle fairy doesn’t visit those poor little children who don’t have freckles.
In time most likely those freckles will fade and become a distant memory. But for the time being, trying to make a game out of freckles can help your child feel better about having them. And when the freckles do disappear – just like baby fat and toothless grins – you may find yourself missing the days when your little one was so worried about those spots that dotted their nose and spilled over onto their cheeks – so be sure to take pictures for your album. One day, when your child is grown, he or she may need them so that they can in turn ‘remember when’.