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Hurts That Stick

Not so long ago, I had one of those weeks we'd all rather forget. You know the kind: Ankle sprain, second-degree burns and a hit-and-run car accident.

While recovery from the ills took much longer than the week it took to incur everything, there were some terrific side benefits. Let's take the burned wrist. I was in a rush trying to get dinner on the table and spilled boiling water on myself. (Yeah, yeah, not the brightest thing.) Anyway, my kids watched me yelp in pain and throw my wrist under cold water. During the entire recovery phase, they kept keen track of the blisters on my wrist and how bad they were. And they now take our lectures about safety near the stove quite seriously.

"Mommy, you need to wear an oven mitt."

"Mommy, I need to be careful near the stove or I could get burned."

No amount of lecturing and explaining can have such a positive effect! I was reminded of this by a post on ParentDish yesterday entitled "I believe my kids will now wear sunblock. Always." The writer goes on to describe her kids' reactions to her treatments for skin cancer.

So, let's have some fun today at our own expenses. What unforeseen ills, accidents or experiences have you encountered that have stuck in your kids' minds?

This Week's Talkers: Contest: The Pigeon Wants ... Mineral Compound Cuts Cerebral Palsy Risk in Preemies ... Folic Acid May Help Prevent Premature Births ... Va. Senate Backs Phaseout of Trans Fats in School Food ... National Geographic Travel Contest for Kids

By Stacey Garfinkle |  February 1, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Elementary Schoolers , Preschoolers , Teens , Tweens
Previous: Call the Homework Police! | Next: Car Seats Are Not the Same


The thing is, you can never really tell what kids get out of a parent's health scare. I know women who have had their mothers, aunts, grandmother, or sometimes all female relatives having breast cancer. For many of them, the reaction is to get checked every year and be vigilant. But for a few of my friends, their reaction is that they are destined to get the disease, so why worry about it all the time. They'd rather be oblivious and not get checked than have to go through the tests year after year. I don't personally understand that, but its there. I have another fair skinned friend whose mother had skin cancer when she was a teen and she still doesn't use sunscreen.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 1, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

My husband's father somehow thought it was a bright idea to get on my husband's skateboard to "show him a few tricks". (My husband was about 15 at the time.) My father-in-law promptly fell off and broke his wrist very badly, and had to get pins inserted and wear a very uncomfortable cast. Not only did my husband quit skateboarding, he vowed never to try out any of our son's future equipment.

Posted by: RiverCityRoller | February 1, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Situation..Me (mom), sharp knife and tomatoes. Very, very bad cut on index finger. To give the kids a good impression of adult behaviour, I tried holding finger in the air with lots of pressure. 1/2 hour later with blood dripping drove myself and small children to the urgent care. Again, always calm and brave and above all calm at the urgent care center. Tetnus shot...absolutely. Need stitches...of course, bring it on. Needle of novacaine under the fingernail...well the kids heard their first primal scream all the way in the waiting room. GIving birth was nothing to that little fingernail pain. I later confessed that I told the doctor I would sell my two offspring into slavery to stop that pain...they are very careful around knives now.

Posted by: samclare | February 1, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

How about lessons we learned from our parents? I used to always play catch with my dad, and he'd give me the whole dad spiel -- keep your eye on the ball, follow through, etc. etc. etc. One day, I got distracted by something across the street, and my dad beaned me right on the ear (accidentally, of course). I was really mad at him for not looking before he threw, and expected big sympathy, because it really hurt, and he'd screwed up. Instead, I got "I TOLD you to keep your eye on the ball -- that's what happens!"

I sure did learn to pay attention to the game. :-)

Posted by: Laura | February 1, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

In their short lives my kids have seen their aunt, both grandmothers, and great-grandmother pass away from the effects of smoking - full on emphysemia and lung cancers. My kids constantly ask about why people still smoke. I suspect (hope, pray) that they never will!

Posted by: prarie dog | February 1, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

About 5 years ago I drove the John Deere tractor through the fence of our suburban yard. No one was injured but it did scare me. My husband immediately summons the kids and instructs one of them to quickly get the new digital camera. Within the hour my picture has been emailed (the old fashioned way) to scores of family and friends.
Lesson learned for the now young adults and teens, don't live where you have to mow and keep Dad away from the camera.

Posted by: angie | February 1, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

My nephews will never let me live down losing my car in a mall parking lot. We left near the end of the day so the lot was pretty empty and it was dark- I wandered row after row, carrying toys and keeping track of two young boys in tow. Finally found it after about a half hour of wandering.

Posted by: Liz D | February 1, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

That reminds me of a funny story... although not so funny then...

I went to our local strip mall (which has an incredibly small parking lot) to go shopping. I finish the shopping to go out to my car and I can't find it. I actually called my husband in tears to tell him that I thought my car was stolen.

Ummm.... yeah... no... just misplaced the darn car. Boy was I embarrassed. I am still a little paranoid to this day that I won't be able to find my car in a mall parking lot.

Posted by: Billie_R | February 1, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

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