Talking to your kids about plastic surgery can be tricky. There is a fine line between being honest about your operation and oversharing, possibly worrying them about your well-being. Plus, some mothers of daughters feel that their plastic surgery can send mixed messages about body image.
As a trusted San Diego plastic surgeon, Dr. Carlos Chacon is often asked about the best way to address plastic surgery with kids. He strongly believes that every patient knows what is best for his or her own family. However, he has some thoughts on the matter to share; hopefully these considerations can help spark the conversation with your loved ones.
Use this as a learning opportunity. If or when you decide to explain your surgical procedures to your children, it can be a great opportunity to start a discussion about healthy body image and confidence. You can tactfully explain that although you do not necessarily need plastic surgery, you have the power to change things with which you are unhappy. By putting a positive spin on it, you can even use this as a teaching opportunity so your kids grow up with a healthy attitude toward cosmetic enhancement.
Choose your words carefully. Children tend to repeat what they are told, so before mentioning anything about surgery, choose your words wisely. What would you feel comfortable with your kids’ entire class or group of friends (and their parents) knowing?
Timing is everything. As best you can, avoid scheduling your surgery during or right after a stressful season or transition. For example, if there has been a divorce or death in the family, do not add more stress to your kids’ lives by undergoing a big transformation.
Prepare your kids in advance. If you plan to recover in your home in plain view of your kids, prepare them ahead of time. Avoid coming home from surgery in bandages with no explanation. Explain as best you can what the kids can expect to see. Assure them that although you might be a little bruised and need to rest, you are all right. Also, if your kids like to “help” Mommy, explain how they can make themselves useful during this time! Focusing on a task may prove helpful to them.
But keep in mind that surgical procedures like tummy tuck, breast augmentation and rhinoplasty require bandages, special garments and even drains that can possibly be scary for a young child. If you think your child would be better off without seeing these recovery accoutrements, it might be a good idea to spend the majority of your recovery at a friend or family member’s house (or even a hotel, if you can swing it).
Contact Dr. Carlos Chacon
If you would like to discuss your personal plastic surgery needs and goals with Dr. Chacon, please call (858) 633-7546 and request a consultation.