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6 Embarrassing Kid Situations

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.

5. Debuting Braces

If your child says her classmates made fun of her braces, don't brush it off.

"It's so easy to say, 'You're beautiful. Don't listen to them.' Although you're trying to be loving and caring, you're inadvertently invalidating her feelings because she can't just ignore it," Cohen says.

"It's much more helpful to say, 'You know I think you're beautiful no matter what, but I know it's easy for kids to say you look different and feel it's bad."

Help her notice how her friends react, not just what the mean kids say. "Groups tend to be crueler and friends more supportive," Cohen says.

6. Crying in Front of Classmates

Bursting into tears at school is hard for kids because they don't want to be seen as the baby.

"This tends to get stronger for boys than for girls sometimes as early as 4 but usually by age 6 to 8," Cohen says. He recommends talking to your child about mixed feelings -- letting them know that it's OK to cry if you really need to, but sometimes you might be able to find another way to express your emotions.

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Reviewed on December 12, 2012

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