Men vs. Women and Child Injuries
A child with an injury is never fun!
Anger and love are both associated with the color red. Red helps define The Coca-Cola Company and the American Red Cross. People have wrote songs about it, such as, “Lady in Red” by Chris de Burgh or ”Little Red Corvette” by Prince. It is one of my son’s favorite colors and it is the color a parent never wants to see in large quantities, it is the color of blood.
The old saying goes, “kids will be kids” but when it comes to a child’s safety a parent “feels” they always knows best (if we could just get our children to believe that). Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, a parent can’t watch a child every second.
During a “typical” week, Xander and I spend a lot of time at his cousin’s house, Olivia (my niece). They have grown up together and are best friends. Xander and I will get their early in the day so he can play. My wife, Melissa, will meet us in the evening and both families will then have dinner together.
We were having one of those typical days just last week. The only thing out of the norm was me telling Xan several times to stop “trying” to stand up in a chair. Being a three-year-old, he would listen to me, sit back down and say, “Oh, yeah….I remember now!“
Not So Typical Week
As the day was ending, I decided to drive home a little early to let our dogs go outside (it’s easier uninterrupted). My wife would stay a little longer allowing our son to play a little more. After I arrived home, I was in the middle of taking care of the dogs when I received a text message from my wife. It was the type text a parent doesn’t want to see…..
“Xander fell and busted his head.“
I read the message and knew that my wife was with him and if she needed me she would call or text again. I knew that our son was in good hands and everything was okay. My wife was still in crisis mode when they both arrived home a little while later. I saw blood on his shirt and in his hair.
Melissa told me that Xan had stood up in the chair again but this time lost his balance causing him to fall and hit his head. As most people know, head injuries are the worst and bleeding is inevitable (and he did bleed). She told me that he didn’t cry that much and tended to “shake it off” as inconsequential (the fall did frighten Melissa).
Xander sat down on the couch and told me he had hurt his head. I calmly asked him what happened and he told me he had stood in the chair again but this time fell down (and there was blood). He wasn’t acting strange or out of the norm. The fall just didn’t bother him that much. I could tell that Melissa was visibly shaken by the incident. I quietly told her to stop worrying and that Xander was fine.
A Child is Resilient (Photo credit: dad blunders)
My wife and I only have one child. He is the only child we will ever have and when he has an injury we both react differently. I have never told our son it’s not okay to cry or that an injury doesn’t hurt. I do however take a minute to assess the situation. If I see that he isn’t going to get emotional over a fall or a cut, neither do I. My wife tends to rush in and to immediately check on our son and make sure he is okay.
Amazingly, our son’s reaction can change depending on which parent is present when an injury occurs (it also depends upon his mood and type of injury). If Xander takes a small fall while I am present he often gets back up, dusts himself off and laughs. If my wife is present he “can” immediately cry and want comforting. Our son’s reaction tends to prove that he knows that my wife will rush in while I hesitate for just a second longer.
As a father, my reaction doesn’t mean that I don’t care when my son gets hurt. On the contrary, I care greatly and even can physically feel his pain when I see he has an injury. However, I believe a child needs to also learn that there are times in life that we are going to fall and the best resolution is to get back up and try again (not to give up). I think Xander’s reaction to this particular fall helped prove his resolve (even though I told Xander multiple times not to stand in the chair)
Mom and Dads are Different
Men and women react differently to crisis with our children. As a general rule, if a crisis involves a child, women use emotions while men lean towards rationality. Each crisis mode has its advantages and disadvantages.
A mom’s reaction is to protect and nurture. Mom’s are capable of evaluating the situation and taking care of it quickly but they can stay in a highly emotional state long after the crisis is over (a state that any child can sense). A dad’s reaction is to quickly assess the situation and look towards logical conclusions. If a male feels the situation doesn’t call for dramatization they tend to downplay an injury. I am not saying that men or women do not take care for their children, we just tend to act differently.
Children are capable of taking a highly emotional situation and calmly responding to it. How do you respond when your child has an injury? How does your spouse respond when your child has an injury? Does your child act differently for both of you? Do you think there is advantage or disadvantages to the way men and women handle a child that is hurt? Tell me in the comments!
You can read my last post here: A Child’s Career Opportunity If you like this post you can follow me on my facebook fan page, Dadblunders.
Tags: child injuries
, moms and dads
, parenting styles