One of the biggest fears of parents with grade school children? Bullies. The thought of our little ones being mercilessly taunted and teased is too much to bear. But sadly, bullies are still very much a part of growing up no matter how many initiatives or public service campaigns we see on TV. So, it's up to us to stop it from happening. But some parents are going to extremes to protect their children from schoolyard brutes. A growing number are allowing their little kids to have plastic surgery to do away with any physical characteristics that could make them targets.
Among the most requested procedures plastic surgeons are getting: pinning back protruding ears and removing facial moles, birthmarks, or scars. One mother opted to have the birthmark on her 6-year-old daughter's face removed. Though the little girl hadn't actually been bullied yet, the mother didn't want to wait for the trouble to start. She didn't want her daughter to ever face that kind of torment.
On the outset, it seems that a decision like this sends the wrong message. I thought it was telling this child that something is wrong with her, that she needed to be "fixed." But the more I thought about it, I can't blame this mother for taking drastic action. Kids are cruel and it is heartbreaking to see your kid come home every day crying because of teasing. There are too many stories of bullied kids who take their lives or act out in violent ways. Why subject your kids to that if you can possibly help them avoid it?
I would do it for my child in a heartbeat. But I think we still have to be cautious. Too many children have body image issues or even body dysmorphic disorder. There is a thin line between a vanity issue and correcting something that will save a child from bullying. So I would never advocate getting something more extreme, like a brow lift or face lift at a young age. But if there is a scar that may eventually hurt your child's self-esteem, why not remove it?
Would you go this far to protect your child from bullies?