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How to support your child

In this section, you can get advice from adults with alopecia about how best to support a child who has hair loss.
As well as wanting to get an understanding about alopecia itself, it's causes, behavior and the services and treatments available, you may be feeling unsure how to talk about the condition and how to advise and support your child emotionally.
You'll never get it perfect - no one ever does. But we hope that using this website and its resources for parents, children or teens will give you a great help.

In 'How to Support Your Child' there are four headings:

  • Get involved
  • Give them a say
  • Get information
  • Dealing with bullying

Getting sufficient support for yourself is very important, too. Take a look at our page on 'staying positive', which covers some of the common emotional affect’s on parents of children who develop alopecia and how to deal with them.

Get involved

When you first discover that your child has alopecia it can be difficult to know how to react. With young children they might not seem too bothered while older children might start asking you questions about why they are different from their friends. By being involved with your children, being open about their alopecia and also listening to them you will help increase their self -esteem and help them feel more confident talking about their alopecia to their peers.

You will have a lot of different emotions about your child's alopecia. You may feel upset, angry or guilty. You may be fed up with having to explain your child's alopecia to friends and family as well as strangers. All of these emotions are normal and you will find that other parents will often feel very similar.

When talking to you child about their alopecia it is important that you are honest with them. There is always a chance with alopecia that the hair will not grow back.

Help your child feel they can talk to you about how they feel about their appearance. Our research suggests that children and young people with alopecia find it helpful to know that even if they are the only person in the school with alopecia there are lots of other people the same age who also have alopecia.

Don't worry if you don't always get it right, if you feel you could have handled a situation in a more positive way, make a note of how you might have handled it differently and it is always ok to try again.

Get information
Getting clued up on alopecia and the issues surrounding it will put you in a strong position to confidently advise your son or daughter and will help you to make difficult decisions with them in an informed way.

Browsing around this website will give you quite a bit of background information about alopecia. Reading the messages on Frankie’s message board blog will give you invaluable insight into children's experiences and feelings.

The National Alopecia Areata Foundation
NAAF is the main alopecia charity in America

Children's Alopecia Project
Another website for children with alopecia

Dealing with teasing and bullying
Children with alopecia are often very concerned about bullying and often hide their hair loss from most of their school mates. If you think your child may be being bullied, there are a number of things you can do. Anti-bullying policy are enforced in schools across the US. Every school works hard to try to prevent bullying, but unfortunately it can still happen.