By MomWise Sarah Okorafor
Hi, my name is Sarah, and I am a mom of 2 boys. They are active, ACTIVE!! MORE ACTIVE (Shall I continue?). If I had my way, I would build a strong (soft) injury free environment for them. My second son, who is almost 2 years old, worries me more. Due to his minor medical conditions, he is prone to falling and using his head to break his fall (OUCH!) and he ends up having bumps on his forehead most of the time. As a worrier, I requested that he gets a helmet to help prevent the bumps on his head. I have researched on “What happens when a toddler falls on his head” (Thanks, Google), I even went as far as reading about concussions (I know too far). When he falls, I experience pain, and sometimes I tend to cry and be upset with him for falling. I pick him up, kiss the bump, place some ice ( struggles), hug him tight, and off he goes to repeat the cycle.
As moms, we tend to worry about our children, especially when they are babies, toddlers and even as teenagers. I remember when my oldest child fell off the bed, I thought it was the end of the world and I was a bad mom. If only we can watch them 24/7 and avoid them from experiencing pain, then we will be of great service to them?
But is pain all that bad?
I am not suggesting that we let them intentionally hurt themselves. NO.
One of the mistakes I make as a parent is trying to remove all form pain from them. It is my desire to distance my children from all pain at all cost. But I can’t be Superwoman all the time. I have to let them experience pain, and let them learn from that pain.
Remember the first time you touched a hot iron? Did you go back to it after the burn? Did you learn?
I remember mines like it was today; I never touched a hot iron again.
When talking about pain, it’s not only physical, it is also emotional. Our children will experience pain in the future. It is how you prepare them for it now that matters. Removing pain from all the situations our children face is like sending them into their future in a padded shuttle without gravity. According to Tim Elmore’s 12 Huge Mistakes Parents can Avoid, he says “When we take away pain, our children’s ability to endure hardship atrophies”, and I agree with him. As a child, I experienced my share of pain, both physically and emotionally. The bible also talks about pain and suffering. It never says there would be none (2nd Corinthians 4:8-9).
What can we do as parents to build and prepare our children for the future? In a world packed with pain and disappointment? Rather than removing all form of pain from our children, we need to guide their response to pain. We can help them see pain as a temporary difficulty that often carries a long-term benefit (like bringing them to the world). We can also share our pain stories and how we overcame them. Most importantly, we can remind them that Jesus Christ who also suffered pain on the Cross will be by their side through their pain.
How can you help your children find comfort in their pain?