Blushing is like a rush – a big wave coming in.
For a “blusher,” the reaction can seem like nature’s cruel trick on a child who is already self-conscious. Some “blushers” turn red at the thought of someone looking at her. Then a vicious circle may start and the child turns red thinking about the possibility of turning red. For a child, having to deal with blushing can be difficult and facing social stigma can be very difficult.
There are several things that you can do as a parent to support your child. Trusting your child when she tells you about the problem is the first step to helping your child. Blushing can be a tricky problem to understand. But if your child tells you that it is serious, you need to find ways to support her. Talking to other people who have overcome problems is one way. Knowing that the issue is taken seriously and that other children have experience the problems may be a comfort to a child. As parents, we may not be the cause of the problems but we can help our child by supporting them successfully to fight her problems with blushing.
Blushing is often linked to self-awareness. An 18 months old toddler has mental representation of themselves and they use words such as “me” and “mine”, which is often taken as an indication that they are aware of themselves. A child may start to blush from the time she is able to feel embarrassed. Children may blush fromembarrassment, guilt, or even at a compliment. Some children may blush when they become the object of attention. People may pay attention to a child in a positive way – asking them to perform. But the attention can also be of a negative character. Older children may also blush during social situations such as when someone asks questions. But blushing can also serve a beneficial social purpose. We tend to accommodate a child who is blushing.
Watch this video to get an idea of what happens when we blush – a complex issue that has and still does perplex scientists.
Photo: “Apple” by Clare Bloomfield