Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici\Free Digital Photo.net
Let the child say if it hurts, where it hurts, and how much it hurts. Don’t add more drama to the situation than the child does. A “you-poor-thing” approach won’t help the child believe he will be just fine nor will it help him learn to take charge and do something about his problem.Instead, “You poor thing” will lead to “Poor me.”
Another caution: A very common response to children who are hurting is to offer comfort food. Be careful with that. We now know that over eating can be learned at a very early age when children are offered food every time they feel bad. If you think something comforting to eat is a good way to attend to a child who is hurting, think of something other than cookies and ice cream – maybe a cool drink or some fruit – yummy, comforting foods that are still good for them.