Changing Faces
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The importance of 'Looking'


Some of you may have already seen this post on our facebook page, but for those of you who havent yet - we have reposted here:

When we work with schools we emphasise how important it is that children are not stopped from looking at each other and that curiosity is OK and actually matters. Children are often told not to look, especially if someone has a visible difference but research shows that

looking and asking questions is a key stage in making friends. It is a social activity. Banning staring – which more or less prohibits looking at all, makes it harder for a child with scars or marks or a condition that affects their appearance to make friends. We know that it is hard to be looked at all the time particularly when looking goes beyond genuine curiosity or is followed by rude comments. Below we have shared some tips and strategies on how to help children deal with being looked at during the school day.

Top tips for children at school:

1. Remember that looking is ok especially if someone smiles at the same time. Just smile back.

2. Have a simple answer ready if someone asks you a question about your face or body e.g. "It's a birthmark" "It's just the way I was born" "It's called Goldenhar". Don't feel under pressure to say more than you feel comfortable with.

3. If the questions get too much you can distract them by asking them a question about themselves or about something completely unrelated such as "I wonder what we are doing in class today".

4. Try not to keep checking and looking all around to see who is looking at you as chances are you will find lots of people looking! But not for the reasons you think. It is much more likely they are looking at you wondering why you are looking at them.

1 Reply

Great post guys!

I have an 8 year old step son who has just had a young boy with physical disabilities start in his class. This lovely wee boy walks differently to the other children and his arm is placed differently, any child would be curious.

We actively encouraged our wee one to approach him, share toys and most importantly make sure this little boy wasn't isolated. They are now great friends and are able to openly share and chat as any children do.

The fear of not wanting to be perceived as rude can become so apparent that it has the opposite effect, it's important not to ignore.

Your tips are fantastic Changing Faces! Keep up the good work.


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