Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dust It Off

I saw a comic strip today which laid out the generalizations of how Dads and Moms approach injury. It was off base in many ways, but it made me think about the issue which has been fresh in my mind since J Bean's wails after a small injury in a public place recently.

I think more boys were probably raised with this philosophy, therefore more of us use it in our own parenting styles but I'm not sure it's a product of gender so much as our upbringing. I've met plenty of guys who dote over the smallest injury and plenty of Moms who believe in the tough love approach. In our home, we go with, "Dust if off, you're alright" approach to minor falls, knocks bruises. With that said, J Bean scraped her knee the other day at the park and went ballistic like she was being tortured as I mentioned on these here pages.

I lost my patience and the wife did too. In retrospect, I felt bad about it. I feel like it is our job to comfort her under distress like that even if it was overdramatized (in our eyes). Does it really matter that we think a scraped knee is no big deal? To her it was pain she's unfamiliar with and she was bleeding (a very rare occurrence) and I feel like I let the pressure of the moment and the banshee call/alarm/scream she put out affect my reaction. After all, an inconsolable child is the equivalent of a scarlet letter for a bad parent when your in public (or so it seems). I've since talked with her about our reactions and apologized and we discussed the need for her to temper her reactions so I know if I'm running to her for a skint knee versus a vicious attack by a sasquatch, but I hope I can handle it better next time. In other words, I am disappointed in her apparent overreaction, but I'm more disappointed in my failure to hold and comfort her when she couldn't (or wouldn't) calm down. What are your thoughts and how do you handle these situations with your wee ones?

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