What to do?
The number one question I get that is negative has to do about hats and wigs. Many people think I am against them, I am not. What I am against is using them as a security blanket or a crutch without trying to build self-esteem. CAP is about building self-esteem and if a child lacks in the basics of self-esteem without a cover, they still have a low self-esteem with cover. At times I have debated this and I give these two simple examples. If another child would steal the hat or wig off your child’s head what would their reaction be? Would your child chase after the bully to get it back and cover up or would they put there hands over their head and slink away in embarrassment? How about the wind blowing it off their head? Would they scramble to recover it or would they just walk over, not in a tizzy and simply pick it up, dust it off and put it back on their head? When the bully is running away with the wig or hat wouldn’t you want them to stand, stare and say in amazement, “I need my wig back when you are done having your fun or I am telling the teacher.”
Hats, wigs, bandannas and anything else used as an accessory is great for a kid or adult with alopecia. I just would like to help build their self-esteem so they never feel as if they need to cover up. By covering it up you are enabling your child to ignore what is going on and setting them up to feel bad when the wind blows or the bully in the class gets sticky fingers.
If you feel your child would not handle these situations well or you feel like you have been pushing the hats or wigs you are not alone. When my daughter first started to lose her hair we got her wigs, hats and bandannas on a normal basis. We turned her into a hat junkie and me and Betsy were the pushers! This lasted until one day where wearing a hat would not work because of a costume she had to wear in a play, she said, “I never wanted to wear these stupid hats!” Right there we knew we were wrong, we never asked her if she wanted the hats or cared about her self-esteem, only that she had the items to cover up so not to be stared at or even made fun of.
We all want to protect our children so please know that I understand where you are coming from, I was there once. I just want you to know that CAP is here to help.
If you need help or direction let me know, we will do whatever we can to help!
Jeff Woytovich, Founder
Children’s Alopecia Project