I work in a nursery and also a summer camp, so I spend a lot of time with children under the age of 8 and many under the age of 4. Naturally, the question of tics comes up.
Aside from one little girl who hated the sound of my humming tic and cried whenever I did it (that sucked!), my experiences in this area have been overwhelmingly positive. Most have just ignored it and never asked me.
I spent a really hilarious few minutes teaching a 3-year-old girl how to make the tongue clicking sound that she heard me making. Some others have asked why I am (insert tic of your choice) and I’ve sometimes said that I can’t control it and that I’d stop if I could.
If they still have questions after that I use the following explanation: Do you remember what it feels like to sneeze? You can’t help it, right? Well there’s something unique in my brain where for me (insert tic) is as involuntary as sneezing.
This has usually worked pretty well for me!