sick of the "COTTON WOOL" comments

Rebecca - posted on 11/29/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )




Im all for kids running around and exploring and obviously the occassional bumps and scrapes - but I am not "Wrapping my child in Cotton wool" as people say if I personally dont want him to get seriously injured or hurt just for the sake of letting him do it!
I wouldnt want to stop him learning to explore but i also feel that he still needs to be protected and also cuddled if he does get hurt - does anyone else have the feeling that people see them as the Cotton Wool parent??! I think some people have taken the "leave them to it" attitude too far at a very young age.


Erin - posted on 11/30/2010




What I have always done is not react until my child does. If my son bumps his head or falls down, I don't react, but if he starts to cry, I comfort him. Sometimes a child will fall and the parent will over react and make a huge deal over the incident, and the child will cry because the parents reaction tells them they are supposed to. But if the parents don't react and the child cries they ARE hurt and I believe in comforting them for as much time that feels necessary depending on what happened. If you go on and on your child will too.

Julie - posted on 12/01/2010




I'm all for "not reacting until the child reacts" but I despise "no blood, it's ok". One can get seriously hurt without external bleeding OR one can have a tiny nick in the skin that bleeds a lot but is no big deal that the person/child FLIPS OUT over. Please, just because there is no visible blood, don't tell the child it's no big deal. ... and don't forget, blood that has been smeared around looks like it is a lot more than it really is, so no need to flip out b/c you see red. Heck, even if there is a major wound, flipping out helps no one. As the parents, we must keep a cool head while seeking help.

Geralyn - posted on 11/30/2010




I haven't heard that expression before either, but I totally agree with what you are saying. I have seen moms and dads respond by saying "Shake it off... Shake it off..." when their one or two year old falls and is crying. Shake it off? Like they need to toughen up. Give me a break. You are being diligent and concerned. I cannot agree with you more.

[deleted account]

I just wanted to say that I HAVE heard of the term "cotton wool" when it comes to describing parenting and no, I'm not one of those parents. I agree with what a few other ladies have said. When my son was very young, like just learning to crawl and would bump his head, did I rush to make sure he was ok? Definitely. As he got older, he'd bump his head (or knee or elbow, whatever) and if I didn't react to it, most of the time neither did he. I will say that now, I have a tough boy who will pick himself up off the ground and brush himself off when he falls. But when something really does hurt him (falls and bumps sometimes really do hurt) and he comes to me to have me kiss it bet your sweet butt I kiss it better because my kisses are magic to him and I'm ok with that lol I've also seen my son hurt himself (or what apeared or sounded to me like it hurt bad) and then when I ask him if he's ok he says (through tears and a shaky voice) "I'm ok Mommy". Breaks my heart every time. But I love that he doesn't whine over every little bump, which I think he would if I were to have babied him every time he hurt himself.

Amanda - posted on 12/08/2010




I totally agree with the "Shake it off". Kids are kids and Kids get hurt. But you do have to "set" boundaries. You can only tell them not to do something so many times and after that they do it they do it. They learn by making mistakes, just like adults do, only difference is they are doing it for the first time and just learning right from wrong. You know your kid better then anyone else, but just remember you wont always be there to protect them.


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Kat - posted on 12/12/2010




I agree with the shake it off method for some things, like when my son comes up to me and goes fall off hust bum, I tell him well your just silly for jumpeing off that then arn't you and he goes silly zekey. but if he cries and i can see his is upset and hurt then I comfort him and soothe him, my son has grown up to be a boof and tough, his kindy teachers say he is very independent and not sookie like some of the children there. Everyone says he is a great child and what not. So for some falls or Owies the shake it off method works a treat, but for major injuries such as big bumps cuts or grazes then a cuddle and kiss is fine, my son now kisses his own owies better if he hurts his fingers or leg. its very cute. BTW The "cotton wool" term is HUGE here in Australia

Emily - posted on 12/11/2010




I absolutely agree with you!! As parents it's our duty to watch our kids and make sure sure they don't get hurt. We have to teach them how to discern for themselves what is okay and what is not.

Jennifer - posted on 12/10/2010




I have had the term used for me as well as I will not allow my son to run rampant as some parents I know do. each parent does what they believe is best for their child. I have relitives who's children are able to do whatever they wish and they behave in a manner that shows it - and not in a good way.

do not worry about what others say - you will do what you feel is best for your child.

Maggie - posted on 12/10/2010




I think kids should be allowed to explore on their own from a very young age but if they fall or are hurt (not just fall and bump the butt) then we should be there to help them up and dust them off. That's what parents are for - help them up so they can try again. By the time my son was 4 he would get himself up and just kept going. When kids feel safe and know that you are there to support them then they'll be more likely to explore and take chances. As long as you aren't there one step behind them the whole way; that makes them feel less confident because they think you expect them to fail.
BTW, I've never heard "cotton wool" but I have heard "bubble wrap" and "helicopter parent".

Debrah - posted on 12/07/2010




I agree with Erin Sabin. I do the same thing. If he isn't really hurt he will get up and keep going. Now he's almost 4 and if he falls or bumps his head or whatever and he's not hurt, he says "I'm ok Mommy" and keeps on going.

[deleted account]

I have a pretty good balance I think. I try to let my kids explore, learn and grow as is their age appropriate. However, I have seen some parents go over board on the leave "them to it" theory and I have had to step in to put their child straight as well as protect other children because of it. I have also gone so far as to have my children in tae-kwon-do to learn to protect themselves and others when need be. I have also ran across parents and even grandparents that have been of the wrap them in cotton theory. That doesn't fly with me and I have actually said something to one grandmother because all of the kids in the tunnels wouldn't move for her granddaughter. HA! They are tunnels, the child was fine and playing. I told her that her granddaughter was fine but if she (grandma) couldn't handle it maybe she should take her granddaughter to a park instead. (easier to watch her) She threatened to report us. I said fine go ahead. She left. It is all a matter of dealing with people. I tend to be to blunt and straight forward for parents who don't parent or who coddle to much. However, all in all I totally agree with you.

[deleted account]

i wait for my daughter to cry before i comfort her. if she falls down and gets back up with no more than an "oomph" i dont do anything. if she falls down and starts to scream and cry in pain then of course i comfort her. one thing i hate more than anything that both my mother and mother-in-law do is gasp loudly when she falls... because half the time after hearing that gasp, she'll start to pout even if shes not hurt. but i guess we all do it our own way and no one can change that :)

Rebecca - posted on 12/01/2010




OUr dog is actually a great distraction when our son hurts himself! i usually give him a cuddle and make sure hes ok then say "wheres cooper?" and he always looks for him and giggles most of the time.

Karen - posted on 12/01/2010




I check with my daughter to see if she is okay. I (usually) don't freak out and get upset and scare her. But if she falls down or runs into something, I ask her if she's okay (just like I would with anyone else ... my husband/friend etc). I respect her reaction. If she says it hurts and she cries, I give her a hug/cuddle or whatever else she needs. I would never presume tell her she's okay, or it didn't hurt or whatever, if she says it hurts. Even if it looked like it couldn't possibly hurt, who knows, maybe her body was turned funny and a muscle got pulled, or maybe it just surprised/startled her and she cried from that.
You may think that since I've always reacted to her trips/falls, that I would have a complete meltdown on my hands every time she falls down ... but I don't - most of the time she says she's fine or it didn't hurt. Even when she plowed face first into the corner of the wall getting a cut and bruise up one side of her face, she cried for about 30 seconds, got a big hug from me and then was fine. I really believe that her ability to handle physical pain has stemmed from me always respecting her reaction. Something to think about.

Sunshine - posted on 12/01/2010




I have things put up to where he can't get a hold of it.. If he falls I don't react until he does. He actually fell the other day in the bathroom & hit the front of his head on the stand that was in there got up & didn't cry. But he had a nice bruise there.. He is always falling & I see that as a way to learn & balance :) Since I don't react he doesn't react he actually laughs when he hurts himself. Which I like cause I don't want him to get older and cry every scrap he gets :(

But Ive never heard of that before, LOL :(

I am a very calm person when it comes to him falling.. I always tell him to get up & wipe it off :) :)

Erin - posted on 12/01/2010




I agree with Julie. Just because there's no blood doesn't mean something isn't serious. You don't usually see blood when one has a concussion which could be very serious.

Heather - posted on 12/01/2010




I absolutely do not want a child who whines and moans at any bump or bruise he gets, so I am all for the shake it off theory, in a sense. If I know he is really hurt I will comfort him, I kiss booboos, I give hugs, I wipe his tears, but if its just a short fall, I tell him, "get up, youll be okay!"
My most horrible experience with this though, is when we were at the park and he was almost 2. He was climbing up the stairs and fell face first into the steps, at first I thought he just bumped his head, so as I was walking to him, I told him to get up and keep going, and when he started crying as I got to him, I picked him up and realized there was blood all over my hands. Freaking out, I realized he busted his forehead open. Not even checking to see how bad of a wound it was, I just knew it was a lot of blood, so my husband and I rushed him to the hospital. 7 stitches, 4 inner and 3 outer. From that point on, I am always absolutely 100% positive that it was just a bump before I tell him, it will be ok. I felt so horrible for saying that when he fell at the park. I never ever want to go through that again, I felt I should have earned the worst mother of the year award!

[deleted account]

I use the "shake it off" method for minor bumps/trips/falls. when my son was young and did something, most of the time it just scared him more than hurt him. I didn't want him to cry over every bump and bumble. So first, I didn't react unless he did. And then, if it was really minor, i would say something like, "Oh what a fun trip you had!" and "does that sting, well lets shake it off"and then I would shake my whole body in such a rediculus way that my son would collapse into giggles.
Now as an almost three year old, my son has plenty of bumps andbruises and such. and when he truly hurts himself, he cries, and gets plenty of hugs and snuggles. but for most things, he just gets right back up. he also has learned the magic of "mommy kisses make it better!" and truly there isnothing funnier than a two year old giggling, shaking his whole body, going "shake it off!" for a minor trip.

Nikkole - posted on 11/30/2010




We do not make a big deal if my son gets hurt unless there blood usually he will hurt himself while playing and look at me and say IM ok mom but my nephew OVER reacts with EVERYTHING!

Amy - posted on 11/30/2010




I think the younger they are, the more you look after them. My daughter knows how to tie her shoes. If she refuses to because she "doesn't want to", I figure, let her go. She'll fall on her face and realize that, gee, tied shoes keep her safe just like mom kept telling her but she wouldn't listen. I have seen moms just say..oh he'll touch the stove once and get burned and learn .HELL NO! You do not let a child go into danger when they are unaware of what it'll do. There is a certain age where they comprehend what their actions will do. A two year old thinks he is invincible and would certainly do dangerous things if not stopped. Now, I know my kids' cries. I know if it's fake or real. I always keep in mind, I may not know that other kids' cry. I will always comfort my kids. But at a certain age, you can only protect them so much.

Rebecca - posted on 11/30/2010




Yeah i agree Erin - i dont make any fuss unless he does - but i have seen lots of other people do the "Shake it off" thing - he has lots of bleeding scrapes and bruises and there is no way i am going to tell him to shake it off when hes obviously hurting. I am of the belief that if you respond to them when its needed they are more reassured and confident in the long run because they know that they are not on their own when things are scary. thanks for everyones feed back, just needed to vent a little!

Katherine - posted on 11/30/2010




I've never heard of that either. Helicopter moms, yes. But not cotton wool. My take on it is who cares what others think, it's YOUR child period...

[deleted account]

Interesting term, cotton Wool. I hadn't heard that before.
I think children should have boundaries, but at the same time need to learn things by mistakes. It all about doing what you feel is right for you and your child. Each parent has their own comfort zone.
I think in general when you have had more than one child you are much more relaxed, and as a first time parent you are more hyper vigilant.

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