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"Terrible Twos"- the famous dreaded phase of parenthood! This is when children begin to look at themselves as individuals and become assertive. This is when they want to exercise their independence and start learning to express themselves, at times resulting in huge meltdowns. This is when they can be really cute one moment and can drive us up the wall the very next second. While it is surely a challenging stage of parenting, I believe it is also loads of fun as am currently experiencing with my child.
This is also the age around which children become more fearless about jumping around anywhere and everywhere without realizing the repercussions, making them prone to bruises and getting hurt very often. While we cannot and should not stop them from exploring to an extent, we all do our best to protect them from getting hurt. But in spite of all the precautions we take, we need to accept that falling down, getting hurt and bruised will all still happen at some point or the other. We often end up feeling guilty after such an incident but fact is that this is a part and parcel of growing up. As long as the injuries are not serious, just soothing the child is all that is needed to make the child feel fine. Having said that, it is not an effortless task to soothe a hurt/bruised child and here I’m sharing some ways by which I try to comfort my hyperactive toddler during such situations.
Attend to the wound – If there is a minor cut or wound, then the immediate action I take is to attend to it to lessen the pain and discomfort of my child. I always keep a first-aid kit handy which consists of items such as basic important medicines, Dettol antiseptic liquid, Hand sanitizer, bandage, cotton, scissors, ice-pack, etc. I always clean the wound using the antiseptic liquid and cotton, and then dress it if needed. This provides some relief and also helps in faster healing. However, if the blood does not stop oozing out of the cut, then I believe one needs to rush to the doctor.
Hug the child – After the first-aid is done or if it is a situation where there is no bruise but my child is crying just because of being hurt or hit by something, I always give her a tight hug and say “Aww that must have hurt” or “I know that hurts but don’t worry it will be fine soon”. This works like magic many a time and makes me realize that we should never underestimate the power of a simple, warm hug. I know it is common practice to hit the object that hurt the child to make him/her feel better. However, though this is done with a positive intention, personally, I do not prefer to do so. I feel it’s like passing the massage that even if you goofed up or were careless, you just find someone/something to blame it on to feel good.
Distract the child – Distraction is a common method of soothing a crying baby. But the trick is to identify what one can do to distract the child. Every child is different so what works for one may not work for the other. Even for the same kid, what works once may not work again. For example, my child gets distracted by showing her the beauty of nature, the stars, moon, birds or animals. She also gets distracted by music and dance. Sometimes, I make her talk to her favorite people such as her friends or her grandparents, and succeed in diverting her mind.
Show your bruises – This is something I tried instinctively once and it worked. My child had hit her head on the table leg and was crying profusely. Coincidentally, I was hurt the same morning on my knee. So, when I showed her my bruise and said that just like how am feeling fine now, she will be fine too, she actually stopped crying and forgot about it very soon.
There will be times when whatever we do, we may fail to pacify or calm down our child. Instead of getting hassled or panicking during such circumstances, we should just continue trying different ways to console the child. It is hard to retain composure during such times but the very feeling that we are there for our children will eventually placate and reassure them, making them feel happy.