When the chips are down…

I got frustrated with my daughter this morning. Very. It’s an old argument – naps. I guess I should expect these now. When she needs to nap (read: when I know she won’t get as good a chance for the rest of the day), then she doesn’t. *sigh

Now. A few days ago I was walking around town, and witnessed a mom having a set-to with her daughter. It was ugly. What shocked me most was that the child had just fallen off her bicycle (apparently not braking on a downhill), and the mom’s go-to reaction was to shout at her to ‘get up’, and yell at her that she was *not* hurt, and that she should have *braked*. According to the child, the brakes didn’t work, but mom definitely wasn’t listening. Oh no. She instead shouted at the child that the brakes did work. And no – I wasn’t standing there watching this. I’d long since walked past and away – I heard the discussion from quite a few meters distant!!

Now why do I mention this incident? Well, you know what children are like when they get tired. They get clumsy. And my daughter did no less. Within minutes of me starting to do the washing up, she shut her fingers in a cupboard door. Now, I’m no saint, but there’s no way I could yell at her about shutting her fingers in the door. It happens. Instead, I gave her a cuddle, soothing words, and an opportunity to go to sleep – walked up the stairs, closed her bedroom curtains and continued cuddling and soothing her. Needless to say, she is still awake as I type this… 🙂

I pray that my daughter will always know that she can count on Mom when she hurts. I would have it no other way.


About Laurel C Kriegler

A born and bred South African, I was educated at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, where I graduated with an Honours Degree (post-graduate) in Economics at the end of 2001. After spending several years gaining work experience in the UK, I returned to South Africa to get married. It was during the ensuing period that my pursuits of writing and editing took hold.
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2 Responses to When the chips are down…

  1. jccassels says:

    I’ve been both mothers. Sometimes, when you warn your child *not* to do something because X might happen, when X happens, it’s important to reinforce the lesson *then* comfort the child. Of course, if your child is well and truly injured, comfort comes first. Mom can tell which is which.

    That said, I agree. When my kids are hurt or scared, they know they can come to me for comfort. Their father can worry about toughening them up.


    • Thanks for the comment. In this particular case, *this mom* could tell it was no case of ‘reinforcing the lesson’. It was more a case of ‘mommy lost control’. The berating went well over and above reinforcement.


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