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Health & Parenting

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6 Embarrassing Kid Situations

1. Passing Gas in Public

Farting, sneezing and spraying boogers, throwing up, or even peeing in class are common scenarios for grade-school kids. "The most painful embarrassing moments are ones over which you have no control," Braun says. "These fall under the category of 'couldn't help it.'"

She suggests reminding your kids that everyone farts. "Another thing I tell kids is, 'You know, the reason people laugh or react when something embarrassing happens is because they are relieved that it happened to you, not them.'"

Help your child acknowledge the situation, laugh it off, and move on, says Braun. Tell her to say something along the lines of, "Beans for dinner last night. Sorry." If kids are still teasing, say, "Oh get over it," and try to distract them. Don't pretend it didn't happen.

2. Being Noticed While Nose-Picking

When classmates call your child out on this one, what they're really saying is, you're not following the rules.

The best thing to tell your child in this situation is to try a quick comeback, suggests Braun, like "Takes a gross person to notice something gross." Or just laugh it off with something like, "Couldn't wait for a tissue."

Avoiding embarrassment is how children learn social rules. "Children really vary by how intensely they feel embarrassment. It's best to be somewhat in the middle," Cohen says. "You wouldn't want your child to be unable to be embarrassed, but you don't want him to be crippled by it."

3. Bad Hair Day

Elementary school kids really, really want to fit in. "The desire to be different doesn't come out until later on," Braun says. If your child wakes up with funny hair, help her out by suggesting she shower before heading to school.

If her new haircut wasn't a big success, encourage her to be confident, admit that she's not crazy about it either, and that it's no big deal because hair grows back, Braun says.

4. Scoring for the Other Team

Your child throws the ball in the basket and is proud of making the shot, until he realizes that he scored for the wrong team.

He's feeling embarrassment mixed with guilt for letting down his teammates. Tell him that you understand why he's mad at himself, that it could happen to anybody, and that it's not useful to dwell on it, Brown suggests.

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