The malingerers: Dealing with toddler tears

Parenting and life

This post is a helpful one (naturally) about all the ways I soothe away my children’s tears like the mum-ninja that I am.

My children (like most small people) are constantly covered in bumps, scrapes and bruises, and it’s almost entirely their own doing. I do try very hard not to cause them injury myself, but the big one is clumsy, and the small one has no fear. After an afternoon diving off of different apparatus at the park, his forehead often resembles a relief map of the Andes.

Although I have considered wrapping him in bubble wrap and/or never allowing him to leave the house unless it’s to a padded area, we all know my soft play experiences aren’t always the best, and the two of them are a bit like puppies in that a certain amount of running about outside is necessary to keep them from chewing the furniture.

The fresh air is good for them, and it keeps the house tidy, even if it does mean a few grazes here and there. That’s all part of being a child (and an adult, if you’re me… you don’t want to see the state of my knees).

Turns out I really only have three tactics for dealing with toddler tears.

Well, four if you include the first which is to ignore it and hope it’s not serious. My two are like premiership footballers the amount they put it on, I swear. I can usually tell when they’re just making a fuss; if they’re still upset after a few minutes, or if there’s blood or I actually heard a skull crack, then the next tactic I deploy is to kiss it better, and provide lots of cuddles​.

My second tactic is to dispense a colourful plaster.

Apparently a plaster with Elsa on it actually wonders; happy smiles almost in an instant. The downside to this is that they will lie for plasters; pretend to be hurt so they can get a little sticker on their face, or elbow, or tummy.

The big one has even started throwing herself down in a dramatic way in order to convince me she needs a plaster. Quite a performance. The small one, not as verbose, holds his face and points towards it and repeats ‘passer, passer’.

If I don’t happen to have any on-hand, or I’ve already blown through several that day (they’re not cheap) I go with my third and final tactic; bribery.

Usually this is a promise of ice cream, but I go with whatever I have on hand. A word of warning; don’t promise things you can’t actually provide. On a recent trip to the seaside, the big one gave herself an almighty wallop by falling over a wonky pavement and onto a concrete step. I swear you could hear the resultant thud for miles around, it was sickening; the kind of fall where you consider making a claim against the council (although I concede it was probably her not looking where she was going).

How there was no blood, I’ll never know. I tried cuddles but they weren’t cutting it, so I promised fish and chips. The fish and chip shop was however closed, so we had to spend half an hour driving to a different one.

So there you have it. 

That was my comprehensive guide to dealing with toddler tears.

Carry chocolate but don’t give in too soon, and always have plasters.

Kids are so weird.

This is a collaborative post.


  1. A Modern Mother 5 May 2017
  2. kateonthinice 19 May 2017

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