Functional abdominal pain (FAP) is common in childhood, but is not often caused by disease. It is often the impact of the pain rather than the pain itself that results in referral to the clinician. In this review, we will summarise the currently available evidence and discuss the functional dimensions of the presentation, within the framework of commonly expressed parental questions. Using the Rome III criteria, we discuss how to classify the functional symptoms, investigate appropriately, provide reassurance regarding parental worries of chronic disease. We outline how to explain the functional symptoms to parents and an individualised strategy to help restore function.