Baby Boy has recently started coming to me whenever he gets hurt, wanting me to give him a quick hug or to kiss it better. I love seeing him walking towards me, fake crying and sticking his hand or a finger out to be kissed. Once the hurt has been kissed or a hug has been given the crying stops and he is off playing again. All he needed was a little recognition.
It happens with the big boys too. Most of the time when they get hurt they’ll come to me and stand there with their head hanging down or crying until I ask them what’s wrong. Once they’ve told me their story and I recognize their pain, whether physical or emotional, they’re better and they can move on.
You read about it in parenting books all the time too; acknowledge your child’s feelings no matter how unimportant they may seem to you.
I don’t think we grow out of it. All of us want our feelings to be recognized. To have someone hear about our pains and tell us they’re sorry.
Recently one of my sister’s friends lost a child. I was talking to my sister about it and the funeral which she was planning on attending the next day. She was nervous, not knowing what to say. I told her that it didn’t matter what she said as long as she didn’t say something stupid that made things worse. There wasn’t anything she could say or do that would make anything better or the situation any different. What matters is that she was there. She was acknowledging their loss, recognizing their pain.
Unfortunately a kiss and a hug doesn’t dissolve grown up pains the way it does childhood ones but I think a little recognition can help make the pain easier to bare.
Recognition isn’t only for bad times either. Aren’t we much happier when we have someone to share our happiness with? Someone else who can be proud of our accomplishments and cheer us on in our successes. I know I am.