Differentiating between your child's real or fake pain

When my daughter tells me at night, “Mommy, my ears hurt, I can barely hear anything”, I tell her softly “It's one more reason not to watch cartoons tonight. We’ll go to bed earlier and it will pass. Suddenly, she hears and understands very well and there’s no more earache!” Isabelle-Kinouk, mother of Tamara, 7-years-old.

Here are other tips that work well:
  • Redirect the child's attention to a game or an activity they love.
  • Give your child a glass of water, hot milk with cinnamon or lightly warmed infusion.
  • If you don’t have bandages with characters on them, draw a smiley face on a regular bandage. Guaranteed relief!
  • Play doctor with them with dolls or teddy bears, and try to make them talk about their patients’ boo-boos. It could help you discover many things about their own little temporary ailments.

In the end, what you need to understand is that no matter what the boo-boo is, your child is trying to tell you something. According to their age and level of understanding, you must try to meet this need by putting into words your child’s emotions, and let them know that there are other ways to draw your attention to what they are going through: "I think you miss me and you'd like me to spend more time taking care of you, am I right?" You'll see a shy smile appear on their face, which will certainly reassure you on their health status!

Solène Bourque

Solène Bourque is a mother of two; Ariane and Thomas. She is a psychoeducator and a certified instructor in infant massages. She worked for many years in community programs with children aged 0 to 5 years old and she now teaches Special Education in the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal. She co-wrote ‘100 trucs pour les parents des tout-petits’, published in 2010 with the Éditions de Montagne. Become a fan of her facebook page.

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