I am a loving person. I am caring and loving. People tell me I am. Then why do I turn into an unfeeling block of ice when people I love are clearly in need for some care and love?
What I am talking about is my reactions to situations when my children are hurt physically for example. I don’t mean that when one of them falls or hurts himself I don’t feel anything, it’s the opposite. I am always flooded with fear and am heartbroken that they are in pain no matter how small. I am not talking about serious falls or accidents though.
My ice queen reaction happens when the child who had a fall (that is probably painful but not too bad of a fall) starts to shout and scream like they are in the worst pain that anyone in the world has ever experienced. When the reaction is an over reaction and is so over the top. At this point I become really methodical and not affectionate. I actually feel like telling them to stop being a baby and calm down. I don’t do that, but it takes a lot of will power not to.
S was running around the pool at my fathers house at last weeks bbq and fell hard onto his elbow and knee. The surface he fell on was a hard surface and I am sure it hurt a lot but the way he screamed you would have thought he broke every bone in his body. Everyone jumped up, including my father, and ran to where he was. I walked… Slowly.
His father and I took him inside the house so he can calm down. M kept looking at me and I know he was warning me not to tell him off or to be too cold with him but all I wanted to do at that time was say “you know what, you have to STOP crying now. You are fine, you have a scrape and you have to deal with it! Making everyone jump and scaring the living daylights out of them is not the right way to get attention! Get over it and بلا دلع !” (I wish there was a good translation for that phrase in english but it means stop being so melodramatic!)
I held my tongue and got some ice and told him he’s o.k. and calmed him down. But then, as he jumped up to go back outside to play with the kids I sat him down and told him all the stuff I wanted to tell him when he first fell. He looked really upset and I have no idea if I was right or wrong telling him but he’s a boy who’s about to turn 9 and if he is going to scream and shout at every fall he will be teased and picked on at school or they just won’t want to play with him.
What I said was along the lines of “I know it was a bad fall, it looks like it hurt, but what do you think about how you reacted?” And “you do not want to be the boy who over reacts about things like this. It is normal to cry and to maybe scream when you first fall or if your hurt but you have to learn how to control your reaction as soon as you can” and “you scared me and the rest of our family so much by all the yelling. We really thought you were seriously hurt”.
He stayed quiet for most of the talk and looked upset when he finally went to play with the boys again. About 15 minutes later one of the children came running out of the house to where we were all sitting beside the pool and shouted “S FELL AND HIT HIS HEAD! HE IS REALLY HURT AND NOT GETTING UP”. So, I got up and ran (all 6 months pregnant me) to find he fell off a low bed on a padded carpet and was totally fine but curled up in the fetal position. I talked to him again and said the same things again but did all this fighting the urge to really shout at him and maybe give him a punishment.
So, my question to you. Am I being unfair and too cold? Should I be warm and caring and coo over him when he falls even if I know the fall is not that bad?