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Children are beautiful, and any good parent will say they believe their child to be perfect. However, children can have their own insecurities and their own physical flaws that bother them. Sometimes a child can grow into or grow to like unusual or outsized features. What would Barbara Streisand be without her distinctive nose, or Jay Leno without his chin? However, there are times when a specific feature is holding a child back or causing psychological harm. Though each and every case must be weighed very carefully, there are times when plastic surgery is in fact the right choice.
If It’s Causing Physical Hardship
Cleft palate is the most obvious example of a physical ailment that has to be corrected by plastic surgery, and even the most anti-surgery parent would agree that in this case it is warranted. There are less extreme cases as well though. A teenage girl who has developed so quickly and to such an extent that her back aches may truly benefit from surgery to reduce the size of her chest. Eyes where the lids are droopy enough to impair vision are worth fixing. These surgeries aren’t about changing the child’s physical appearance, they are about improving their day to day life.
If It Repairs Previous Injury
If a child has a long history of either sports or typical childhood clumsiness there may be some damage waiting to be fixed. A nose that is several degrees off center due to a soccer ball to the face in gym class can very easily be fixed and not only results in the child looking the way they were supposed to originally, but it can result in easier breathing as well. If there is a scar or birthmark that causes the child some discomfort, even if only psychological, that is also an easy enough fix. Once again these are changes that are not aimed at modifying a child’s appearance but simply repairing it.
If The Child Is Suffering Psychologically
This is the hardest of the reasons to justify but can be the strongest reason as well. Bullying is real and it is widespread. Though standing up to bullies can be an important life lesson, and can actually build self esteem, there comes a time when a simple fix may be the easiest solution. This should really only be a go-to when the child has a real, visibly out of proportion feature and that child has themselves expressed a strong desire to get that feature fixed. This should never come from the parent’s own desire to modify their child, and if the feature in question never appears to cause any angst, all the better. For example, there have been several cases in the news about children with ears that stuck outdrastically getting their ears pinned back to avoid bullying. This is such a simple surgery and such a quick fix for what would otherwise be a lifelong issue that, if the child wants it, parents should seriously consider allowing it. A discreet nose job for a teen about to graduate high school may also be acceptable if the issue with their nose has been a longstanding and distressing one and not a case of someone learning to love their own unique features.
In the end a parent must keep the lines of communication with their child open. Surgery shouldn’t be undertaken lightly, but neither should it be dismissed out of hand. No one is advocating botox or face lifts for children. Minor cosmetic fixes such as ear pinning can change a child’s life for the better, however. If accepting the issue has already been tried and has failed, surgery may save a child from a lifetime of bottled up insecurity.