View Full Version : Help - Self Conscious Little Girl

02-27-2010, 09:48 AM
On Thursday, a dear friend's little 5 year old girl fell off the couch and into a step, breaking her nose. Her face is unbelievably swollen and the entire thing is black and blue. She has to go in for surgery on Monday to drain a hematoma, as well.

The kicker is, they leave for their first trip to WDW on Thursday. This little 5 year old is already extremely self conscious and doesn't want to go out in public because in her own words "I look like a monster." While hopefully the swelling should be mostly gone by they go, her face is going to be all shades of colors for quite a while.

I want to try and convince her that it's ok to go outside looking like this. Her mother has already tried to no avail. I was thinking about sending a letter to her from Mickey Mouse welcoming her to his house and telling her something along the lines that it's ok to be outside in public like this, and she shouldn't care what people think when they stare because she's at his house to have fun. Does anyone have any ideas on what to write, or even think it's a good idea at this point?

The other problem is she was super excited to do the BBB, but now is naturally upset about the color of her face and the fact that it is super sore. I changed the appointment into the next week, to give it a bit more time to see how she feels and we'll just cancel it if she's still not up to it and in too much pain.

Any ideas on how to let her know that it's ok to go out and have fun and not worry about her looks would be greatly appreciated!

forever a child
02-27-2010, 10:04 AM
If her face isnt too tender, perhaps they could visit AK first and get her face painted. The face paints are really beautiful and if they picked the right face paint mask it could blend in with the colors of her bruises. It will last all day and perhaps by the time it comes off she will forget that she has issues with her face because she will be having too much fun!

My dd had issues with her face like this too but from an extreme allergic reaction to contact with poison ivy. And to add to it she feel on the cement road and scraped her face up so it look like I beat her. I was more concerned with how people might look at me as a parent then she was self conscious. :(

02-27-2010, 11:20 AM
Tough one! I don't even begin to know what advice is right here. But I will send a caution that the more everyone else focuses on her face, the more she will, too. I'm afraid that saying things like "it's okay to be out in public" and "you shouldn't care what people think" and along those lines might make her think "OMG, I look worse than I even imagined" and withdraw further. I could be wrong.

But, the face is a current source of focus and attention. That's tricky to deal with because how much more attention is she getting the more she grouses and carries on? How is she interpreting that attention? It's really hard to say. She could be outwardly hating it, but inwardly milking the attention. Or outwardly hating it and inwardly cringing even worse. She's obviously too focused on the importance of her appearance already. She's five and she's hurt, this is all natural. But you walk a delicate balance between reassuring her, and pushing her further into dark territory with the self-consciousness.

I would say to play it by ear with the BBB appointment. The pressure of wanting to look like a princess might be a little intense for now, though it might also make her feel better in the end. If Mickey sends a letter, though, I think Mickey should focus on how happy he is to see her, how much he wants her to see WDW, and all the fun things there are to do there-- and not on her appearance at all. If necessary, he could mention that she's always beautiful to him. Or talk about the many kinds of people who visit WDW on any given day, different looks, nationalities, etc. But to specify on her appearance now and being seen in public, that just might backfire and make it all too scary for her to want to be seen. That's just my take, and I could be totally wrong. Best wishes with it, and I hope she feels better in time.

02-27-2010, 11:29 AM
Oh, also-- maybe if someone suggests how bright the sun is in Orlando and gets her a pretty sun hat and sunglasses for the trip, she might feel some safety in having that distraction/camouflage. Maybe some hats and glasses for the whole family, so she doesn't feel singled out.

And a suggestion for the mom. Five might be normally a little big for a stroller, but the Disney strollers are fairly large and I have seen kids as old as eight or in them on occasion. If she hasn't considered a stroller, she might in this case. With her nose situation, the girl might be slowed down or might not feel like doing a lot of walking, so renting a stroller might be a good bet in this case. Just something to think about.

02-27-2010, 12:22 PM
I think at five years old a large portion of how she reacts is based on how her parents handle the situation. If the parents don't make a big deal out of the bruising, I'm sure she'll forget about it once she arrives for her first Disney vacation. Personally, in our family we would seek out the Monsters Inc. characters for a one of a kind photo op. Have some fun with it - the sooner she learns not to sweat the things she can't control, the better off she'll be.