Hi guys. I have an 8 year old daughter who has been making comments about my hair loss and its really bothering me. I have explained how I feel about it to her and when we discuss it she says she understands how hwe comments hurt me yet she continues to do it. Last night at dinner with another family she began making comments to the other children at the table saying I have no eyebrows and she thinks I shave my face (mind you I have explained to her what alopecia is). Any suggestions how to go about this? Thanks

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Maybe show her pictures or tell her stories of kids her age who have it. Explain the shots associated, feeling like wigs might fall out when running or scared to have sleepovers for fear of waking up with clumps of hair on the pillow. Perhaps explaining how the disease could affect someone her age will strike a chord of empathy. Stay strong. God bless
That's a good idea. I never thought of that. Thanks for your input.

I never had this kind of problem with my three kids, two girls one boy.  It was made very clear to them at a very early age that we did not talk about mommy's hair issue with anyone outside the house.  They were told they could ask me questions anytime they wanted as they got old enough to ask, but never talk about it in front of anyone but mom or dad, period.  

I simply sat down with them and told them as soon as they were able to understand that it was something mommy did not discuss with other people, it was my health issue and that sometimes other people would not understand, therefore we do not talk about it.  As they got older and could comprehend more they understood more.  It sounds to me like she is looking to either hurt you on purpose or get shock attention.

First I would let her know this is NOT acceptable behavior and that the next time it happens there will be consequences, tell her your alopecia is your business and YOU decide who knows, not her. Then you have to follow thru with the consequences.

If that does not curb her desire to tell all, I would talk to her doctor, see if she needs a third party to talk to, see if she is fearful that this is going to happen to her.  Where is she coming from, she is certainly old enough to know right from wrong during a family gathering of friends what is proper dinner conversation.

Obviously you do not want to panic and go overboard, but she does have to respect your privacy and it would be no different than if she decided to open up the topic of mommy is having her period today in the middle of dinner with close friends.

Well that is my two cents.

Thank you so much. I was thinking the same thing. Shes very aware that it's a medical condition and that talking about it hurts me. I recently had another baby and I wonder if she's doing it for attention. Shes not a bad or mean kid, in fact shes very compassionate but for some reason shes pretty mean about it. I wonder if other kids are teasing her about me AU. She says no but who knows

First off, you have to set an example.  She must learn from you that beauty is more than just skin deep.  I've had AU for over 14 years and I'm fine with it.  My husband is fine with it.  My friends and family are fine with it.  They take their cues from you.   Be proud of yourself, except what you have and then deal with it.  No big deal.  If someone makes a comment about your looks ( your daughter about your eyebrows) just tell her that you can draw them in anytime you like. Any size, any color.  You can use different colored wigs with different styles to change your looks at a moments notice.  How neat is that.   It sounds to me that you're more uncomfortable with your plot than she.   If you except it.  She'll except it.

I think that you are right that she must learn that beauty is more than skin deep. My husband is also fine with it, in fact he loves it. I don't wear a variety of wigs outside of my home for a few different reasons, one being the price of the wigs that I wear and my inability to buy different ones at a high price. I usually wear different ones in my home and shs never had a problem with it or said anything about it. I've explained to her that it's a disease that we don't know what cause it or what medication can "fix" it.
I agree with Dorothy that she may be looking for the shock value or she's expressing her fear. I'm also wondering if she's getting to an age where she very much wants to fit in with her friends and to have a mommy who's slightly different may be difficult and she's looking for ways to cope. Calmly and without getting upset, ask her why she makes comments. She may not know herself right away but with some discussion you could figure it out together and go from there. Understanding the reasons behind behaviour is essential to finding a solution.

I have a feeling she doesn't really understand what alopecia is, but hesitates to ask questions for fear of upsetting you. Sit down together and invite her to ask every and any question she has while putting your own emotions aside. Improving her understanding may stop the inappropriate commentary.

It also sounds like you have not fully come to terms with your alopecia. You may want to consider finding a therapist familiar with CBT, cognitive behavioural therapy, to ease your own struggle. You having nothing to hide or be ashamed of.

Having alopecia is tough - but being a parent is far more difficult!! Hugs.
Thank you for your response. I definitely think it may be a situation where kids are asking her about it and she doesn't know how to react or shes embarrassed.

Can I just ask you why you think I haven't accepted or coped with it? I started losing my hair very young (2 years old) and was completely bald by 15. I am not about to be 31. Have always qoen a wig in public because that's how I feel comfortable but nnever in my home in fact it's the first thing to come off when I get home lol.

As someone who grew up with AU but also as someone who's been that curious kid... It can drive a kid crazy when a parent doesn't give them the reason and then years later she will feel like a piece of crap for it. Just... Talk to her. Don't start screaming, but make it clear it bothers you. Now to an eight year old... Things will fly out the window. There are cartoons that feature characters who shave their heads completely. Aang from Avatar is an example, he's completely bald and is shown to shave his head in an episode. She might have picked up the shaving bit from something like that. But most importantly you have to lead by example. If you haven't SAID that it's something only close family needs to know she's going to tell other kids if they ask. But... I'm gonna say this... Some kids wait to see if adults will make a huge reaction. She could be doing that or she could be testing the waters regarding how she ranks with you now that she has a baby sibling taking the attention off of her. I wouldn't make a gigantic deal of it. If it's just her not really getting it, don't scream at her and make it a bigger deal then it is. Cause later down the line the kid's gonna remember it and not go to you for help if something is happening. Alopecia is invisible. A kid will not see Alopecia, they will see Mommy.

Kids don't understand medical conditions and people often act like they understand it without even seeing if they really do on their terms.

When I was four and first diagnosed at first I thought someone had come into my room and shaved my head clean because I woke up to all of my hair on my pillow one day.

Smooth as a honey dew melon. To a child their minds sometimes cannot comprehend it's concept. To my four year old self I thought someone had done this to me. That it wasn't MY body doing it. I didn't understand until I had a chance to go full throttle through the mourning process. And using blanket terms and not really explaining it might make her think she might get it.

Hmmm there's a thought! Maybe she doesn't understand it. That makes sense. I may have not explained it fully. I sat her down and let her know she hurt my feelings and that I wasn't mad at her but I was hurt more than anything. She cried (shes very sensitive) and asked me for a hug. This was the third time something like this happened and I let her know that I need to be able to trust her and right now she's not showing me that I can. She said she understands. Let's see.

I think that having someone other than you explaining it to her might help.  If her Mom is around, or some other adult who she respects or even an older sibling should sit her down and ask her how she would feel if someone made fun of HER in front of others.  She needs to feel some shame about what she is doing to you and it needs to be a teaching moment as well because chances are if she feels she can do this sort of thing to YOU, she will do it to others and this is the kind of behavior you need to nip in the bud. It's NOT ok for her to do this to you or to anyone else.  What if she made comments about someone in a wheelchair or someone who was obese to their faces?  Not acceptable behavior.

Maybe she needs to have her father talk to her if she listens to him more then her mom.



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