Hug your children when they are in pain

YX fell down in school on Tuesday. When I arrived at the school’s admin office, she was sitting there with a piece of tissue to her mouth. Her tears rolled the moment she saw me. I knew then that it was a nasty fall. Sure enough, her front (and permenant) teeth was broken.

My heart feels her pain. And honestly, my tears almost rolled down too. But at the same time, anger swells up. How could she have been so careless? Why didn’t she see where she was walking? Why was she so stupid not to break her fall with her hands? I screamed inside myself.

Once out of school, I started to unlease my anger.  I wanted to bombard her with the many questions and give her the typical mummy-style “I told you before that you should have done this / should not have that” sentences.

Then I remembered a bad fall that I had when I was 13. I was trying to catch a bus after school and fell. I managed to catch the bus but throughout the journey, I had to endure the pain on my kneecap — it was a bad fall and I still have the scars to show, and (my perceived) humiliating stares from fellow passengers. When I reached home, I was a complete miserable shack. My mum saw my wound and her first question was “Why are you do careless?!”, followed by a long scolding. All these while she painstakingly cleaned and dressed my wounds.  You can imagine my feelings then. After enduring the painful journey, all I longed for was love and caring words. Not a lecture on how I should have been more careful blah blah blah.

Of course, I now know exactly how my mum was feeling that evening. She felt painful that her daughter was hurt. Her reprimanding of me was her way of telling me she loves me and hated to see me in pain. Just like how I had felt when I saw my darling girl sitting there in pain but not daring to cry out because she’s in school.

So I stopped. Instead, I hugged her and told her that everything’s going to be ok. The pain will subside soon, I promised. At that moment, I believe that her pain, physical and emotional, has already begun to lessen.

How about you? How do you show your love for your child TO them?  With hugs and kind words?  Or scoldings and naggings?