Feb 06

Tommy, a 2-year-old kid fell down on the floor and cried. Upon hearing her son crying, Mummy rushed to see Tommy. Immediately, she held up Tommy and hug him.

“Oh Tommy!” Mummy said, “It’s okay. Mummy is here. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.”

At this moment, Tommy cried even louder. “You fall down on this floor?” Mummy tried to calm down her son. “Okay, mummy hit this floor for you!”

Piak! Piak! Mummy hit the floor hard with her hand. In fact, Mummy hit it until her hand turned red. Tommy sat on Mummy’s hip, watching her hitting the floor. But later, he joined Mummy and hit the floor himself…

“I hit you! I hit you!” Mummy pretended to get angry. “You let Tommy fall down. Bad floor. I hit you!” Eventually Tommy stopped crying. Mummy was relieved.

Sounds familiar to you?

I’m not sure about other culture. But we Chinese has the tendency to do this hit-the-floor action to calm down crying kid due to a fall. This idea should have been passed down through many generations.

A simple and innocent action it may seem. But do you know this little act sets the early path for your kid’s character destruction?

Usually, most parents don’t care much about how their simple action affect their kid.  “My kid is still small”, they thought. “I will teach him later when he grows up.”

However, this is often too late. Bending and setting a new growth direction for a young sprout is easy. But bending the trunk of a grown up tree is impossible.

What will your kid learn when you do this hit-the-floor stuff?

The floor had been sitting still for many years. And one day, your kid walked on it and fell down accidentally. Suddenly, the floor became the culprit and got hit by you and your kid.

So firstly, your kid learned he can blame others for his own mistake. Worse still, he can hit it too! Mummy is doing that. So this should be the right thing to do.

When your kid get used to hitting the floor when he falls, you may realize something new. Let say you are cooking in the kitchen and your kid is playing in the living room. Suddenly, he has a light fall. He barely feel any pain. And your kid doesn’t cry at all.

But then, he may walk to you and point to the living room. He brings you to the spot he fell down and asks you to hit the floor!

“Oh!” You got it. “You fall down, isn’t? Okay, Mummy hit the floor for you!”

“I hit you! I hit you!”

There you are, performing your magic act again. Your kid joins you hitting the floor. After a while, your kid continues with his activity and you are relieved once again. You may feel proud too.

But what your kid has just learnt? Revenge!

Imagine what character your kid would develop when he grows up?

What can you do when you kid falls down?

When your kid falls down and cries, kneel down besides him but don’t touch him first. Let him cry for a while. Sometimes, little kid may get shocked when falling down. We should give them some time to calm down on that spot.

Then, tell your kid: “It is okay boy. You are alright. Now stand back up yourself. I know you can do it.”

When your kid slowly stands up again on his own, his crying should gradually reduce. He would concentrate more on standing up rather than his pain. And when he stands up again, you can slowly give him a hug and say: “Good boy. I know you can do it. I love you. Next time remember to be more careful.”

An extra step

Mr Ling, the founder for Deep Level Communication (DLC) suggests an extra step for your kid. Ask him to say sorry to the floor (or table if he hits the table).

Your kid may ask you, “Why should I say sorry to the floor? It doesn’t even feel the pain.”

You can answer, “You are not the floor. How do you know the floor is not in pain?”

With patience, encourage your child to face the floor and apologize. For example, he can look at the floor and say, “I am sorry. I am sorry. I am sorry…” Treat the floor as a living being.

After this step, some parent may realize an unbelievable change to their kid. Let say your kid’s head hits the floor and develops a bump on it. From your experience, he would need 1 or 2 days for the bump to disappear completely. But after your child’s sincere apology to the floor, his bump may disappear in as short as a few hours.  Believe it or not?

This final step is an extra suggestion where you may want to try. But remember that above suggestion is only for light fall. If your child bleeds with serious injuiry, do you still want to say to him: “Come on! Stand up on your own! I know you can do it!” I hope you know what is the appropriate action to take.

What is the lesson?

For this recommended action, what will your child learn?

  • Have the courage to stand up again after we fall down
  • Take full responsibility for our own action
  • Learn from our mistake
  • Apologize when we hurt others

Now you may ask, “Can my child learn all these? He is still a small kid!”

Believe me, your child can. He is absorbing and learning much more than we think.

Final note

Remember to always treat your children with love, respect and patience. If you only show your greatest love and care only when he falls down, one problem may arise. Your child will fall down often to get your attention and love. And you will be very busy.

If your kid only has a very light fall without knocking anything, pretend nothing happens. Soon, he will stand up again and continue playing.

But if you rush to him and cry, “My dear! What happen to you? Are you hurt? Oh! Mummy’s heart is so in pain to see you fall.” If you act as if your kid has broken a bone, he will cry as loud as he can!

Being a parent is not easy. I hope you can realize how your little action matters a lot to your children. And this includes your other daily interaction with them too.

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