In 2009, I did a series called "Tips for Tuesdays". Well, it's not a Tuesday and I don't want to come across that I have this mommy thing down to a science. I don't. I do have some good ideas, though, that might help another mommy out there. I was in our church's nursery tonight. Schroeder bumped his head. I did what I always do when my kids get hurt. I said, "Do you need a hug?" Schroeder was already at my legs ready for one. We gave each other a squeeze and he left to play some more.
My friend, Abby, and I began to discuss what one says when they have a child who has tripped, bumped their head, been bitten by their sibling, etc, etc, etc. I greatly dislike the "Oh, your fine." Sure, maybe in the long run they'll be fine, but at that moment maybe their head is really hurting or maybe they just feel overwhelmed with life. Being a kid can be hard.
I think parents say the "Oh, you're fine" because they don't want to encourage being a wimp or being over dramatic. I get that, but it's ok to want to be comforted sometimes.
The "Are you ok?" response isn't horrible, but I find that my kids will say that they are fine while still having tears in their eyes. I guess they have some perspective that, no, they don't need to go to the hospital so, yes, they are "fine". That doesn't mean, though, that the bump or bite didn't hurt.
My response is always, "Do you need a hug?" I think this is the response that I look for from Stephen when I'm having a hard moment. I need just a brief moment of comfort. A hug conveys that the person understands life is tough and that they love you. Being understood and loved helps you to move on with life. Nothing drys tears up on a child faster than a hug. The child no longer needs to be dramatic because whether it was big or small they can still get a hug.
Many times I follow the hug up with, "I'm sorry that happened to you." Because I am.
I make my kids practice this on each other, and I hope that one day, I will see them doing this with their friends, their spouses, and their own kids.