How do I explain scars when a young child asks about them?

159 Answers
Last Updated: 02/08/2020 at 5:59pm
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Top Rated Answers
January 22nd, 2017 1:32pm
I can only say that my response is, "I hurt myself." This is 100% true, but the phrase can also simply mean "I did an oops and got a boo-boo," or "I had an accident" or "I made a mistake." Kids react to our reactions, so keeping it very simple, in a kind tone of voice, won't cause harm. So far, I've heard kids say very wise things, like "Be more careful." We can learn so much from their wisdom!
January 25th, 2017 8:26am
I always tell them that they're battle scars, that i was fighting a battle, but i won :) If they ask what the battle was/who i was fighting, i tell them it was a monster, but its gone now.
February 5th, 2017 11:12am
personally i would tell them that they represent your life and memories. that one scar on the back on your knee when you fell off of your bike in 7th grade. or those on your wrist that remind you that its okay to move on. some scars are bigger than others but it's important to remember that they dont define who you are as a person.
February 8th, 2017 11:41pm
Children will ask the most direct questions and not realize how they may affect the person whom they're asking. When a child asks you about the scars you have on your body tell them something that will calm them. Something along the lines of, "These scars are here to show you and me that the body can recover from any type of boo-boo. Where there once was a cut, it is now healed on its own and all better."
February 14th, 2017 1:50pm
One way to do this is just explain to them that you went through a tough time and you had your own ways of handling it.
March 1st, 2017 10:05am
Explain to him/her that they are like a memory of an event that gets written on us. It's a normal thing, it may even be beautiful in some cases (for example when scars are from tragic event that we have survived). And to never forget that we should take more attention of the soul and character of a person, not their appearance.
March 9th, 2017 6:17am
Scars are from your past when you were hurt and not feeling good. Children, depending on the age, do not question much. So have fun with your answer! "I fought off a dragon and won". You defeated your own dragons!
March 11th, 2017 6:27am
you can say that a cat bit you a dog clawed you. you can even say a lion attacked you it doesn't have to be the truth but it can distract the children long enough to forget
March 12th, 2017 2:41am
It depends. You can be honest if you want to share or you can redirect with a "oh just some scars" and change the subject or if a direct how did it happen question then "I got cut when I was younger" and once again change the subject.
March 15th, 2017 7:45am
I thing that is important to be honest, however, a good explanation would be that the person with the scars has been battling and they have now won their fight or are winning. It is easier than trying to explain the whole concept of self harm, especially if you don't want them to have the idea in their head.
March 15th, 2017 10:17am
I've had to deal with this once at a primary school when picking up a sibling. I just said "well a while ago I made some really bad decisions and I got hurt from it, these are the scars to remind me not to do it again" it's true, but not so detailed it may scare or otherwise influence a child.
March 15th, 2017 9:25pm
Tell them the truth, mindfully and compassionately in a way the child is most likely to understand. Educate them.
April 5th, 2017 8:14am
You tell them they are your memories of being strong. Tell them you were upset for a while- that's how the wounds appeared- but then you got happier and stronger and the wounds healed; leaving the scars behind.
April 8th, 2017 5:22am
I'm assuming that the child is somehow close to you here. Sometimes it's best to just stay mum about the details of what happened. If it was self-harm, then you could tell them that you were really sad sometimes and you hurt yourself because of it. Then that it wasn't the good thing to do and you regret it and tell them to tell you if they ever feel sad and you'll make them feel better. If the scars were caused by someone hurting you then you could tell them that someone really bad once hurt you and to tell you if someone ever hurts them like that. If it was caused by an accident for example then you could tell them that you got hurt one day by something which wasn't yours or anyone else's fault. Tell them properly about it when they are old enough to understand. I hope that this helps.
April 8th, 2017 4:51pm
Explain them as if you are explaining them to somone that is your own age. Most of the time, children are more understanding than older peers. They can understand and show you compassion quite easily.
April 28th, 2017 9:50pm
I think it's important not to be graphic with young children about scars, especially before talking to their parents about the matter. I know a nice, and honest, response can be "these are battle scars". I've seen people say just that, and it was a response that children are satisfied with. And it's not a lie, because our scars, whether self inflicted, or caused by an accident or other incident, show that we made it out of a situation, maybe a little harmed, and a little different, but alive.
April 30th, 2017 12:34pm
Don't be ashamed of them, they are part of your story and show what a strong person you are; tell them that they are proof that you made it through battles but in the end, you won the war
May 3rd, 2017 5:16pm
A young child could not understand the real meaning of them, but they see scars in cartoons or movies on people gotten from battles. So, with that, you can explain to them that your scars are from battles you fought with your own, or some "demon" or "a creature" that was haunting you. And you won but you earned couple of scars to remaind you. If a young child contiunes questioning you and you can not find a right answer, just switch the subject to something else.
May 7th, 2017 7:29pm
Personally, I have many younger cousins. and when they ask about my scares, I explain to them that they are my battle wounds. They show how strong I am, Of course I wouldn't tell them exactly how I got them because they are still young and don't need to know about that yet.
May 13th, 2017 10:35pm
I think it depends on the situation, and the child in question. When my significant others younger siblings (aged between 5 and 8 at the time) started asking about my scars, I got creative. They're my battle scars, my tiger stripes, thats just how I look, and some people look different. Depending oin the situation I think it's also good to explain to them that some people may loom different, but might not like being asked about it, and they should talk to a parent in private.
May 14th, 2017 8:48am
How about telling them you were in this awesome adventure where you saved the world from an evil villain that planned to rule everything. So you got your battle scars but it's alright because you defeated the villain. Or you can just tell them a cat scratched you accidentally. The thing is, people have scars and that's part of their story. If a young child asks you about your scars you just tell them gently what you feel comfortable about. Don't be too dark. Be yourself and if you wanna shrug it off and not talk about then it's your choice.
June 11th, 2017 10:02pm
Young children are curious little things so don't be straight telling them you intentionally hurt yourself. You can instead you had a pet that hurt you or just accidents...
June 16th, 2017 2:20pm
Personally, I always described mine to small children as marks from winning a battle or hard fight in my life against someone or something that was trying to hurt me. Might be something that could work for you if you want to keep it a little whimsical for them. Could also use the route a friend of mine does, and tell them that you fight dragons in your free time.
June 28th, 2017 5:39pm
Scars are memories sculpted in our flesh. A reminder of what we┬┤ve been through and how we have learned from what occured.
August 9th, 2017 12:32am
It depends on the kid, and what you're comfortable with. For a kid that sees they're obviously scars and asks how you got them, you can say that you fought a scary monster. If the kid doesn't see that they're scars, you don't have to tell them. You could use it as a teachable moment about how everyone's bodies are unique -- some people are short and others tall, some have birth marks, people have differently colored hair, sometimes people get new marks like scars or tattoos or hair colors later in life, and so forth. If the kid is very small, you might be able to just tell them that you have stripes, and ask them about their favorite stripy animals like zebras and tigers.
August 19th, 2017 9:25pm
they are war marks, i went to a war a while ago and i got them in there but soon theyll fade away
September 8th, 2017 2:10pm
Sometimes it's best to be vague with young children, as they don't always require an in-depth answer. Something like, "I got hurt and it left a mark." If they ask how you got hurt you could say that it was a cut or a scratch. You don't need to give more information than is appropriate for their age.
September 28th, 2017 6:55pm
Tell them they're proof that things get better or if they're younger children just tell them they're booboos because they probably won't understand the first reason.
October 18th, 2017 4:20pm
I always say they are my tiger stripes or each one shows an act of surrender which turned into strength.
November 9th, 2017 4:41pm
Depends on the age if they are really young I would tell them that I got hurt really bad falling or talk to the parent if the child is a little older so that the parent can explain if that is what they choose