Alphabet Parenting: I is for Injuries

Dr. Tamar Andrews

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Injuries
in·​ju·​ry | \ ˈinj-rē

What do you do when your child is injured?

How do you react? What type of injuries elicits your sympathy and do some elicit your wrath? Physical injuries usually require some attention and a kiss and the child is better in a few days. What about emotional injuries? These often go unnoticed and untreated. And like any other injury, when left untreated, they either heal on their own or fester and become worse. Untreated emotional injuries can last for days, weeks, even a lifetime as they leave an unseen scar that continues to hurt, infect, and in many ways constrict movement in some form or another. 

Consider a child who is emotionally injured by what a well-meaning adult thinks is just a joke. To the injured child, the wound is deep, painful, and scarring. Even our rabbis tell us that we cannot use cute names instead of real ones when talking to our friends and family. For example, calling someone Shortie or calling someone Freckle Face.  While you may think it is endearing or cute, the person on the receiving end may not think so. Yelling at a child for accidentally spilling milk, or worse, punishing a child for not doing something or for doing something, either which may have been outside of their ability to do or remember, is tantamount to injurious punishment. 

As we’ve seen in prior blogs, children do not necessarily possess the language or experience to communicate well what they’re feeling. Their feelings and emotions may come out through anger, sadness, or other behaviors that an adult may not correlate with what they don’t perceive as a negative interaction.  

Be careful with your words and deeds so that they don't physically or emotionally injure and/or scar your children. Oh, what a world it can be!

Injuries
in·​ju·​ry | \ ˈinj-rē

What do you do when your child is injured?

How do you react? What type of injuries elicits your sympathy and do some elicit your wrath? Physical injuries usually require some attention and a kiss and the child is better in a few days. What about emotional injuries? These often go unnoticed and untreated. And like any other injury, when left untreated, they either heal on their own or fester and become worse. Untreated emotional injuries can last for days, weeks, even a lifetime as they leave an unseen scar that continues to hurt, infect, and in many ways constrict movement in some form or another. 

Consider a child who is emotionally injured by what a well-meaning adult thinks is just a joke. To the injured child, the wound is deep, painful, and scarring. Even our rabbis tell us that we cannot use cute names instead of real ones when talking to our friends and family. For example, calling someone Shortie or calling someone Freckle Face.  While you may think it is endearing or cute, the person on the receiving end may not think so. Yelling at a child for accidentally spilling milk, or worse, punishing a child for not doing something or for doing something, either which may have been outside of their ability to do or remember, is tantamount to injurious punishment. 

As we’ve seen in prior blogs, children do not necessarily possess the language or experience to communicate well what they’re feeling. Their feelings and emotions may come out through anger, sadness, or other behaviors that an adult may not correlate with what they don’t perceive as a negative interaction.  

Be careful with your words and deeds so that they don't physically or emotionally injure and/or scar your children. Oh, what a world it can be!

Injuries
in·​ju·​ry | \ ˈinj-rē

What do you do when your child is injured?

How do you react? What type of injuries elicits your sympathy and do some elicit your wrath? Physical injuries usually require some attention and a kiss and the child is better in a few days. What about emotional injuries? These often go unnoticed and untreated. And like any other injury, when left untreated, they either heal on their own or fester and become worse. Untreated emotional injuries can last for days, weeks, even a lifetime as they leave an unseen scar that continues to hurt, infect, and in many ways constrict movement in some form or another. 

Consider a child who is emotionally injured by what a well-meaning adult thinks is just a joke. To the injured child, the wound is deep, painful, and scarring. Even our rabbis tell us that we cannot use cute names instead of real ones when talking to our friends and family. For example, calling someone Shortie or calling someone Freckle Face.  While you may think it is endearing or cute, the person on the receiving end may not think so. Yelling at a child for accidentally spilling milk, or worse, punishing a child for not doing something or for doing something, either which may have been outside of their ability to do or remember, is tantamount to injurious punishment. 

As we’ve seen in prior blogs, children do not necessarily possess the language or experience to communicate well what they’re feeling. Their feelings and emotions may come out through anger, sadness, or other behaviors that an adult may not correlate with what they don’t perceive as a negative interaction.  

Be careful with your words and deeds so that they don't physically or emotionally injure and/or scar your children. Oh, what a world it can be!

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Alphabet Parenting: I is for Injuries

Published Sep 14, 2021

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Dr. Tamar Andrews
Child Development