Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stepping Into Stepmom-Dom: Ripping Off the Bandaid

T is obsessed with wearing bandaids now. And not just while there is a scab. He continues to wear a bandaid on the area until the scar has faded! Want my advice?! Go buy stock in Bandaid brand. I'll single-handedly drive up the stock value just from the amount of Bandaids I buy for this kid. I understand the fear associated with taking a bandaid off while a scab is still in place. What if it hurts? What if it bleeds? As a 4 year old, I can see where that could be scary. What I don't get is the fact that he insists a bandaid stays on once the scab is gone. Anyways, we've been working with him on taking off bandaids for bath time. Can you say "lead balloon?" He's not too thrilled with us, and he generally whimpers and whines through bath time. Then he insists on a new bandaid after he is out of the bath. Frus. Trating.

It did make me stop and think the other night about something, though. As adults, we don't generally apply bandaids to our physical wounds (unless they are really bad). We generally have more emotional scars or wounds - that we don't often deal with. We sweep them under the rug and ignore them, saving the problems and monsters in our closet for another day when we have time to deal with them. We do this without realizing what effect this has on our family, our kids, or even our co-workers. We think we can shove emotion down into the corners of our lives and everyone in our life will be none the wiser. Think again. Kids are incredibly intuitive. I have seen many situations personally where children act like their parents are acting - without the parent even realizing it! When T's mom was uncomfortable around me, T picked up on it. And when I was with J during pick-up or drop-off, T was shy and almost anxious or afraid around me. His mom was never outwardly rude to me, but he sensed her discomfort and mimicked it.

Remember: just because you think you have it under control doesn't mean someone else isn't noticing what you are doing. So please, as a parent, friend, coworker, rip the emotional bandaid off. Take some time. Maybe it's after your kids go to bed one night. Forego the laundry or the dishes or whatever else is on your to-do list, and rip the bandaid off. Then let it go (sing with me now, Frozen fans!). You'll be amazed at how much less stressed you will feel. Isn't it amazing what our kids can teach us?

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