No one likes seeing their little one get hurt – and we reckon it’s a pretty natural parenting instinct to go after your child if they fall over / knock themselves or get injured in some other way.
So we totally get this Facebook post from mum Jaime Primak Sullivan, who shared what happened when her 8-year-old son Max got hit in the face with a ball at a basketball game.
After going down to a teary Max to comfort him, hug him and tell him to catch his breath before he joined his team mates again, Jaime sat back in her seat to continue watching the match when a stranger sitting behind her told her:
“You need to stop babying that kid.”
Here’s Jaime’s post in full
Last Saturday my 8 year old son Max was playing in his school basketball game. Somewhere is the shuffle he was hit in the face with the ball. I saw it happen like it was slow motion.
“I saw his eyes widen and then squint from the pain – he looked around trying to focus. I knew he was looking for me. “Max got hit in the face”, I said to my husband as I instinctively jumped up from the bleachers.
“In that moment, I saw Max start to run around the court in my direction as the silent cry began. He couldn’t catch his breath. My feet couldn’t move fast enough. As soon as we connected, I got down on one knee. “Catch your breath buddy.” He tilted his head back.
“”Max, breath. It’s okay.” He finally took a breath, and I wrapped my arms around him as he cried into my shoulder. A voice came from behind me – “You need to stop babying that kid.” My mind registered the sentiment, but I kept my focus on Max.
“I cleaned his face, and wiped his tears. Once I knew he was okay, I sent him back around the court to join his team on the bench.
“I climbed back up on the bleachers. My hands shaking. i was so angry. I fussed about it all the way home. My husband blew it off. “Who cares what they think?”
“This notion that boys can never hurt, that they can never feel, is so damaging to them long term. The belief that any signs or gestures of affection will somehow decrease their manhood – this pressure to always “man up” follows them into adulthood where they struggle to fully experience the broad scope of love and affection.
“The only emotion they healthily learn to express is happiness then we wonder why they are always chasing it.
“They’re taught that sadness is weakness, that talking about their fears or short comings makes them less than. They don’t mourn properly. The struggle to grieve. They’re afraid to cry. It all spills into the way they husband and father and I hate it.
“Love is a verb. It is something you do. It is not the same as babying, coddling or spoiling. It is something my son deserves. I will always love him when he is hurting and my prayer for him is that he is alway open to receiving love so he can love in return and keep that cycle going.”
The public’s response
Jaime’s post really touched a nerve – getting more than 16,000 reactions, being shared nearly 3,200 times and generating 1,200 comments.
“I agree 1000%!! My youngest is 18 and a very sensitive kid, he recently failed his road test and was so upset he cried,” said one mum.
“I love that boy with every ounce of my being and would gladly take his pain away even at 18, 6′ tall 255 lbs!! On a happy note he passed his road test today and this momma cried happy tears for my baby boy!!”
Another agreed: “Amen!!! You are 110% right! These people make me so mad! You did the right thing…my son is 23 and I always comforted him and I will continue to!!”
Though others said they’d have handled it differently:
“Momma bear you do what you feel is best for your son! I fully believe in giving them space to help themselves and the coaches to handle it.”
And another said this: “I get where you’re coming from but next time keep your butt off the court and let Max, his coach and team mates learn how to handle it… mama can’t be running on the court every time he gets hurt!!”
And finally this comment: “He’s 8. There was absolutely nothing wrong with making sure he was okay.
“There is nothing wrong with consoling a hurt child. Would the reactions have been different if the child had been a daughter instead of a son?”
Hmmm, we wonder…..
What do you think?
Do you think it’s important to comfort your child if they fall or hurt themselves? Or is it better to let them get on with it and not make a big deal of it if it’s not too serious?
Do you think people treat boys and girls differently? Tell us in the comment below or over on Facebook