We’ve had a week of illness here, with my three year old running a fever for several days in a row! Now she’s broken out in a lovely rash as the virus makes it way out of her body. Whenever my kids are really really sick, I think of Edith Schaeffer’s words on caring for sick children (from What is a Family?):
Children love the attention of a little bandage, even when the cut or burn is minor, and should not be pushed aside and told, “It doesn’t hurt.” This is the way compassion is learned. If you want little people to care about your headache, bring you a cold facecloth with compassion, and keep quiet “because Mummy’s head hurts,” then you need to treat their hurts, little and big, with a measure of compassion. A tiny bandage is a very small price to pay for the investment in teaching compassion. A little milk-of-magnesia tablet to chew or a bit of peppermint tea is a small attention to provide, even if you think that “My tummy hurts; I feel sick” is only a cry for some notice. The psychological help being given far outweighs the bit of time and trouble taken to treat with seriousness the request for help…It’s all part of carrying out God’s wise command: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” which brings far-reaching results. Aren’t there times when you need someone’s attention for more than the immediate physical need? Haven’t you seen a child feel “important” with a bandage around his or her head, a big patch on a wounded knee, a piece of ice in a clean cloth to hold against a bleeding mouth where a tooth has just come out or a fall has cut the lips? Haven’t you sensed that the good things taking place inside that child, because of suddenly becoming the center of attention, are far outweighing the physical hurt? Don’t waste the opportunities to teach compassion and at the same time give they psychological help needed in building up secure and cared-for feelings. “Somebody cares” has to be demonstrated. So nobody has cared for you? Well you can begin to start a long line of people caring for people. Isn’t this a worthy piece of your career?
I needed to reread this and get an attitude check this week!
When I’m finding myself getting grumpy and impatient, I also find Allison’s post on winning the hearts of our children to be really helpful. I’m trying to use “the Chick-fil-a answer” (“my pleasure!”) with my kids, no matter how frustrated I’m feeling!
Our reading club schedule is officially done, but we’re leaving up the forum so that anyone can add to the conversation when they get a chance. If you have any questions for the author, leave your questions for him in the “Questions for Dr. Esolen” thread!
Hope that your weekend is happy and healthy!