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What kind of natural consequences are you OK with?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Do you think allowing a minor injury OK to underscore a natural consequence?

Here's the backstory:
Dd got some new shoes ('church shoes' as we call them - patent leather Mary Janes). She wanted to wear them to the park. She also did not want to wear socks.

I KNOW from experience that if she wore new, stiff shoes to the park, she would get a blister. I explained this to her, but since she's 3, and has no real sense of the implications (nor memory of her last blister), she insisted that she would not.

I let it go, and said "I will bring a pair of socks in case you want to put them on." After a 5 minute walk to the park and 20 minutes of running around, guess what? She got a blister.

She was in tears, sobbing because her foot hurt. Now, she is a bit melodramatic when it comes to bodily injuries. If she can see them, she howls. Once the bandaid is on, it's like they don't exist. I had forgotten the bandaid, but I did put her socks on when she asked. We had the stroller with us (per her request) and her brother pushed her home because she didn't want to walk. And she sobbed all the way home. (And she dragged her feet and got holes in her new socks, but that's another vent.

Would you allow your children to get a minor injury like this (the probability was about 98% in my estimation - she's got very delicate skin)? I feel a bit guilty about not insisting on the socks and having her get a blister. On the other hand, I'm hoping she remembers the next time I suggest that she wears socks to avoid a blister, but I'm not sure she will. She may need to learn this lesson several times.
post #2 of 20
I'd do exactly what you did. Bring socks just in case, bring stroller, just in case. I'm ok with that, just like I'm ok with her falling off a chair if she's jumping on it and I've told her what can happen. I don't argue much with dd, just let things happen. Most times, she surprises me and nothing happens. I don't TRY to make her miserable, and I try to prepare for whatever-weather, shoes being stiff, snacks, ect. I think you did just fine. :
post #3 of 20
Yup, I'm fine with it cause its hardly life-altering or damaging in any way. I would have done the same. My dd has a pretty good memory about these things, especially when she hates getting booboos on her that actually hurt, so if its were my DD, she'll probably remember this lesson for a good while.
post #4 of 20
Hmm. You know, I would have said yes on this one till recently, when DD did get a blister of her own because we walked a long way with her in new sandals. The blister really seemed to hurt her and took a long time to heal, and I felt bad. I would allow a more minor injury, but maybe not this one.
post #5 of 20
I would've (and have, with one of my kids-can't remember which) done the same: warned them, let them choose, brought stroller, socks and first aid kit just in case (I usually bring the first aid kit everywhere). And there have also been times when we've left without remembering to make sure everyone had socks on, and this has happened by accident. Now all my kids do put socks on when I remind them that they might get a blister. Blisters stink, they do hurt, but I still think they're a minor injury. Super Salve works great at helping them heal quickly.
post #6 of 20
Yes, I would have done the same.
post #7 of 20
Sounds really fair to me. What else could you have done?
post #8 of 20
Nope pain (and while rare blister can get infected) is something I feel I'm to block as much as I can. I would have brought some comfortable shoes or socks and told her those are not safe you can get a blister and those hurt I don't want to see you hurt. You may choose to wear socks with your shoes or you can wear these. When your finished playing we can wear your new shoes like that.
I feel its my job to see shes as prepared as possible. Now what I wont stop is natural play I wont forbid her to run for fear of scraping a knee or trying to climb something new for fear of falling. I wont knowingly set her up for ingury though. Just me.
post #9 of 20
I would probably insist on either socks with new shoes, or older comfier shoes.

My dp would probably (I'm guessing) let ds go in the new shoes without socks (after doing lots of explaining, etc), and take socks and either a stroller or plan to carry him home.

Either way, that's just different personalities between us. Either way would be perfectly acceptable to me.

I think what you did was just fine. You brought socks, a stroller, left when she wanted to, etc.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Do you think allowing a minor injury OK to underscore a natural consequence?

Here's the backstory:
Dd got some new shoes ('church shoes' as we call them - patent leather Mary Janes). She wanted to wear them to the park. She also did not want to wear socks.

I KNOW from experience that if she wore new, stiff shoes to the park, she would get a blister. I explained this to her, but since she's 3, and has no real sense of the implications (nor memory of her last blister), she insisted that she would not.

I let it go, and said "I will bring a pair of socks in case you want to put them on." After a 5 minute walk to the park and 20 minutes of running around, guess what? She got a blister.

She was in tears, sobbing because her foot hurt. Now, she is a bit melodramatic when it comes to bodily injuries. If she can see them, she howls. Once the bandaid is on, it's like they don't exist. I had forgotten the bandaid, but I did put her socks on when she asked. We had the stroller with us (per her request) and her brother pushed her home because she didn't want to walk. And she sobbed all the way home. (And she dragged her feet and got holes in her new socks, but that's another vent.

Would you allow your children to get a minor injury like this (the probability was about 98% in my estimation - she's got very delicate skin)? I feel a bit guilty about not insisting on the socks and having her get a blister. On the other hand, I'm hoping she remembers the next time I suggest that she wears socks to avoid a blister, but I'm not sure she will. She may need to learn this lesson several times.
Yes, absolutely, without a doubt. I would do exactly as you did.

It used to piss me off as a child when my father would insist that I take his word for things. Apparently he didn't know, (as I did,) that he wasn't always right.
post #11 of 20
Yup, I let my DDs get minor injuries. I can tell them that the stove is hot until I'm blue in the face and they won't really understand until they get a really minor burn (on a burner that's been off for fifteen minutes, I'm not cruel. I won't let them get a horrible burn!). Same with jumping on the bed. I can tell them not to, but until they fall or bump their heads, they're just not going to understand. Also, it allows them to make the choice whether the possibility of injury outweighs the fun to be had with engaging in an activity. Jumping on the bed is fun, and they may want to do it even though they know there's a possibility of injury. I think it's important for children to evaluate situations on their own and make their own decisions. If we're always there doing it for them, they'll never learn. I obviously will make sure that the possibility of injury is minimized and that I'm asking them to make age-appropriate choices, but other than that I let them learn by mistake.
post #12 of 20
The book Living Joyfully With Children helped me to create a mission statement for our family and to identify my fears, and 'bottom line' concerns in order to determine when to intervene in choices that our son was making. "Intervene" doesn't mean "stop him", nor tell him he isn't "supposed to", nor "not allowed", nor "can't". The imposition of "making" him comply or expecting him to obey, does not exist in our relationship.

My "bottom line" for intervening in his choices is if the action *probably* will cause him to end up in the Emergency Room. My goal is find a mutually agreeable solution about anything, except in a life threatening situation. Life threatening means that I don't even stop to think 'Is this coercion?' and I act without hesitation or doubt, before, during, or after the intervention.

Based upon those principles for controlling *myself*, ds has freely made choices which have not lead to any emergency room visits, nor anything life threatening. Our relationship is connected and he is capable of acting safely; and he trusts me to provide him with relevant information, upon which he chooses to act, or disagree. The key is me Trusting him, I trust that he has important and valid reasons, feelings and needs for all behavior and choices. I work to honor those and to support them by facilitating him to do what he wants/needs/desires to do. Concurrently, he relies on me to provide information, and I provide information about how his actions may impact himself or others. Either way, one or both of us, learns something. His judgment for himself is usually correct. I tend toward "worrying", unnecessarily.

In your scenario, I'd give info, bring the socks, check with him if he looked at all uncomfortable, and support his learning process without mini-lecture of 'I told you so'. (although, I'd be apt to want to mention that. )



Pat
post #13 of 20
Others might be horrified by this but I call it the broken arm rule. If the risk is less than a broken arm I generally let them continue if they refuse to heed my warnings. A tree climbing will be tolerated if I view the worst fall as mayybee a broken arm- if I see a potential broken skull its time for me to interfere and be the big mean grown up ruining all the fun. My kids have been pretty safe and they are both very good climbers with great balance and good self preservation skills.
But guess what? This is probably even worse...I do not force my children to wear jackets in the cold weather.: I repeatedly let them know that I trust them to know thier own bodies well enough to let me know when they need warmness-either coats/gloves or come in by the fire. I have found this very successful but lots of moms get mad at me...I truly believe that children are very intelligent and make generally good choices given the opportunity....most of the time.
post #14 of 20
I don't make DD wear a jacket either. Much to MIL's complete horror.

I try to follow something like the broken-arm rule, but I often give in to my fears, I think. DH is worse.
post #15 of 20
Yes. I would have done the same!
As long as the possibility isnt death, then an injury is just fine as a natural concequence and certainly a valuable learning tool....if they remember it! lol
Lol...I suppose im a bit more dramatic than the 'broken arm' rule. I do realise that there can be complications to breaking bones, but when I was younger almost every child I knew broke something at least once, be it an arm or a leg...also a valuable lesson they learned! I swear more children climbed trees when I was younger! lol
post #16 of 20
AnnofLoxley- I live in a bitty town in the southwest and the children here all endanger themselves on a regular basis- we call them free range children...having recently relocated to a smaller place from a much bigger place..it is one of the things I am grateful for, our freedom and lack of fear based living.
Last year a young teenage boy was lost overnight and practically the whole town went looking for him. He was confused with the panic and commented the next afternoon when he wandered into town-that he always knew right where he was. I could only wish so much for myself, that I always knew where I was...IYKWIM.
post #17 of 20
No. I simply don't think a three year old has the capacity to think this through. At that age, it's my job to protect them from even minor injuries. I believe that if human children were capable of making these kinds of decision at age three, they could survive better on their own. But they can't. In my view, we are there as their protectors and decision makers and I believe I fail in my job by not intervening here.
post #18 of 20
I probably would have done the same thing, but would have stopped to check on the feet after a short time to see if they were sore at all, before the blister occurred.
post #19 of 20
I did this with my 3yo on a trip to the library a month or so ago. She now asks if she should wear socks with certain shoes, and knows that her "princess" shoes need socks. (Her princess shoes are the red sparkle one like Dorothy wore on the Wizard of Oz.)
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Interesting range of opinion. I feel a tiny bit guilty because I do try to shield my kids from harm, but then struggle with the fact that she probably will have learned much more from this than she would have had I forced the issue of shoes. (That would have been ugly, truly ugly. It would have been a knock-down, drag-'em out fight (dd has no other mode) about socks. She's a highly opinionated child (don't know where she get that ) and this might have resulted in no trip to the park.)

I also struggle a bit with her as to how much to reasonably expect from her. She's just so darned articulate for a 3 1/2 year old that I forget at times that she's NOT able to see so far ahead. I need to keep reminding myself that this is a child who still sometimes mixes up the words week and month ("my birthday's in 6 weeks", "no dear, 6 months") because she can tell me exactly when her birthday is, who she is going to invite to her party and what kind of cake we're going to have!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
My "bottom line" for intervening in his choices is if the action *probably* will cause him to end up in the Emergency Room. My goal is find a mutually agreeable solution about anything, except in a life threatening situation. Life threatening means that I don't even stop to think 'Is this coercion?' and I act without hesitation or doubt, before, during, or after the intervention.
I think this is a more articulate version of how I'm beginnign to thing. I differ from you, Pat, on the consentual living, and I'm OK with *making* a child obey at times. But I try very hard to keep it to a minimum. I prefer, when at all possible, to present information and help them come to conclusions.

So, I do let our kids have more freedom for doing things than many parents I know. I don't insist on coats. Or shoes. I do bring them, so they have the option. (Unless we're in a place that requires it -- dd has been barefoot/in socks in church for the last month. This was actually one of the impetuses for the new shoes - I felt like putting a sign on her saying "Yes, she owns shoes. She chooses not to wear them here.")

Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
In your scenario, I'd give info, bring the socks, check with him if he looked at all uncomfortable, and support his learning process without mini-lecture of 'I told you so'. (although, I'd be apt to want to mention that. )
OK, I'll confess that I couldn't resist the lecture. : It was a mini lecture, of "Do you remember what Mommy said about blisters? Well, that's a blister and that's why I was worried."

The ironic thing is that I HAD checked her feet not two minutes before and not noticed. But she was running hard and it went from OK to raw in that time. Sigh.

She's over it. The blister is healing. She only complains when the band aid falls off because it offends her sense of order.
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