Friday, May 20, 2005

Please Don't Tell My Kids How They Feel

by Marjorie
My oldest had her 5-year check-up the other day. No shots but she had to have a finger-prick blood test. I hate those, she hates those -- it was a bit tense. I tried soothing and calming her a bit and it helped a little, but she was still scared and stalling (she was not screaming or thrashing about). The lab tech and nurse did not have the best bed-side manner and were trying to rush me along with some nonsense about others waiting to use the lab -- the office was actually pretty empty at the time and, I'm sorry, but I usually wait 1/2 hour in the waiting room and an additional 10 minutes in the examining room. I think they can be understanding that a 5 year-old is not thrilled about a needle stick.

Sorry, ranting. Anyway, what got me most was after the lab tech pierced my child, she proceeded to do her thing to collect the blood samples. Suzanne was still crying and fussing a bit (this was not a horror show fit, just typical whining about the pain) and the tech told her it didn't hurt anymore. Now I wanted to throw a horror show scene because I always found the squeezing of the stuck finger to be far more painful than the needle stick. I calmly said something to that effect but I wanted to scream at this woman not to lie to my child and how did she know anyway. Bitch. Pardon my honesty.

Maybe its time for me to check into alternative health care.

The second episode happened during a playdate when her playmate started mixing playdough colors. Not a big deal, we'd probably all agree, but it upset a small child. The playmate's parent said that he does it all the time and might even have suggested she'd get more playdough and soothingly said to my daughter, "Don't cry, Suzanne." We don't need more playdough, we can certainly work through our anal issues about not mixing colors (this comes from me), but don't tell my child not to express her emotions. Again, this was not a big fit or tantrum, more of a whining with tears streaming down her face. Not a big deal, but it definitely underscores to me what one should not say to a child.

Don't worry, I say the wrong thing plenty of times. I'm glad to notice these things because, hopefully, it will help me correct my behavior.


Blogger Anne Zelenka said...

Getting the colors mixed up drives me crazy too--that's why we now use homemade playdough in one color at a time only. I'm all in favor of a rule that says "don't mix playdough colors." It's not anal and even young kids should be able to learn it. I think most kids would do better with more discipline and more rules, including rules about how to keep things neat. That includes playdough.

As for doctor's offices... they drive me crazy. I remember going with Laura when she was just born and the nurse stuck me in a room for 45 minutes while she gave eye tests to a couple teenage boys who had come in after us. Laura needed to nurse and we were just waiting on one shot! Finally I just took off. I'm sure the nurses and aides get tired and burnt out but I wish they could still be nice for each child and parent that comes through.

10:21 AM  
Blogger liz said...

I'm sorry to say, that I often tell Muffin Man to stop crying when he's in the middle of a tantrum. "Stop crying and tell me what you want without screaming and maybe, MAYBE, we can talk about it." Immediately he gulps and stops crying and tells me what's wrong in a wavery soft voice. I never give in over the original cause of the tantrum (ie: having dessert when he hasn't eaten ANY dinner.) but I'll often give him the thing he's crying about 5 minutes later (ie: different pajamas)

Am I evil?

On the other hand, I'm very sympathetic over real and even imaginary boo-boos and owies.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Marjorie said...

Hi Liz, I'd say that what you're describing is clearly distinguishable. You're asking him to stop crying so you can hear him tell you why he is upset. Thats very different from knowing why a child is upset and telling them to stop crying. I'm not heartless, I know why they do it, because they feel bad the child is crying and want them to stop.

No, you're definitely not evil. Not that I'm an arbiter of it anyway (I may be an example of it at times, though).

4:49 PM  

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