Tips for mastering this art as a parent
Part of being a parent is giving comfort to your child when he or she is sad, mad, or upset. Most of the time, doing it is instinctive, especially with babies or young toddlers. But for situations when comforting your little one doesn’t seem so obvious, we’ve got tips on how to do it more efficiently.
Don’t be overdramatic
Sure, acknowledge that something has happened, but don’t give your child the impression that what happened was too serious, either. If your little one falls over, instead of rushing to her side, why not try to laugh about it and encourage her to get up, instead? The less dramatic you make the situation; the likelier your toddler will be able to just brush it off, too.
Don’t ignore the need for comfort, either
Without being overdramatic about the situation, you still need to acknowledge it. There is a big difference between saying “Oops, you scraped your knee—no biggie!” and completely ignoring that anything happened at all. If you completely ignore that your child hurt herself and is upset, it could send the indirect message that her feelings don’t count.
Comfort your child even when she disobeys
Did your little one catch her finger in the door right after you specifically told her not to open it? Right now, it’s time to stop her tears and comfort her because she is upset. You can deal with disciplining her afterwards.
Don’t just comfort physical pain: listen when your child is upset, too
Try to get your child to talk about what is on her mind when she is sad about something; this will validate her feelings and help her get over her stress or problem. It’s also important to not lecture your child—just listen to what she has to say.
Don’t try to make it all better right away
Your child needs to learn that sometimes, tough things happen, and she has to learn to deal with it. For example, if she broke her favourite toy because she threw it out the window, she needs to live with the consequences. Don’t hurry to get her a new one right away.