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Getting Young Kids to Engage Again with Disfigured Loved One

By Jodie Lynn


My two children, ages four and six, have always adored their uncle, who is my youngest brother. He was recently in a bad motorcycle accident that has left his face disfigured and a noticeable limp in his right leg. Even though he has undergone several surgeries, his face looks very scary to them to the point that they are afraid to be around him. This is quite devastating to him as well as the rest of the family. How is the best way to help them understand that he is basically the same fun-loving uncle that they have always loved and not a freaky monster?


My sister was also in a accident that left her face disfigured. Although my three children were a little older than yours, they still had a fear of getting too close to their favorite aunt. Our pastor suggested we have my sister write a small book and share her feelings about how she felt about not only her face, but also why she was so sad that she had lost touch with longtime friends and well-loved relatives. In each book she mentioned various fun experiences along with some of the most memorable holidays she had spent with each child. This helped them to realize that the aunt that they had always loved and enjoyed being around had not changed at all and was still the same lovable person they had always adored. - Anne Williams in Little Rock, AR


Your children are young but not too young to not remember how fond they were of their favorite uncle. Maybe help them recall fun memories of him by framing a few pictures and hanging them in their room or placing them on a bookshelf. Have them talk about some of the holidays, birthdays and other events that they enjoyed with him. He could always write little personal notes or send silly cards to let them know that while his face is not the same, he is still the same person. Kids seem to really love the cards that have an individually recorded voice for the message or greeting. He could send a couple of these so that they could at least hear his voice. By keeping in constant contact with the kids and showing them he is just as alert, fun and smart as he used to be and has not changed on the inside, they will eventually recognize that his appearance doesn't really matter but his heart and spirit do.

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School will be starting soon and I finally found a job. My two kids will be going to an after school program. However, there is not a health professional on hand during these hours should there be any kind of an accident. If something does happen, is the school responsible for getting medical attention for the kids and perhaps the impending bills?

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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