1. Do something
Whether you administer first aid or just kiss the boo-boo better, kids need to see you taking action and know that you’re in control. “It’s important that you do something, even if all you can do is hold them,” says Lib Mendonca, a national program development officer for St. John Ambulance in Ottawa.
2. Stay calm
How you deal with the situation can have a big effect on your kid’s anxiety. Freak out and your kid will, too; stay calm and your kid is likely to settle down more quickly.
3. Involve them
Include little ones in their treatment by asking them questions and explaining what’s happening. This can help them feel heard and more in control. “Don’t look over their shoulder at somebody else and ask questions,” says Mendonca. “They’re the ones with the wound, they want to be part of this.” Let him hold the ointment, choose their Band-Aid or apply the ice.
The go-to tactic for many difficult parenting situations, distraction can help kids move on. Once you’ve acknowledged her pain, singing songs, making silly faces or telling jokes—“Should we put the Band-Aid on your eye?” (when she’s scraped her knee)—can all help her get back to playing.