When I was about 13, my sister, 3 years younger, wanted to get her ears pierced. Mum didn’t want to say yes to her unless my ears were pierced as well. So…we were trundled off to the lady who pierces the precious innocent little ears brought to her all unwittingly.
Young Fiery- “Does it hurt?”
Lady with the ear gun- “No, of course not!”
Young Fiery- “Oh, ok then.”
(That was the extent of my excitement at getting my ears pierced.)
Young Fiery- “OW!!! That hurt!”
Lady with the ear gun- “Ok, tip your head I need to do the other one.”
Young Fiery- “You said it wouldn’t hurt.”
Young Fiery- “OW!!!!”
I don’t know about anyone else’s ear lobes, but you shove a metal spike in mine and it stings like crazy. The correct answer to “Does it hurt?” is actually, “Yes it hurts a bit, but only for a little while and you get to wear pretties in your ears for the rest of your life.”
Why do adults lie about pain? It would have been much easier to cope with and much less of a horrid shock knowing that it does indeed sting. I’d rather know than be surprised by it like that.
It’s like with labor and delivery. “Do contractions hurt?”
“Yes, absolutely. But because they are natural and your bodies way of expelling the baby, they’re not that big of a deal and in between contractions, barring complications, it doesn’t hurt at all. Plus, once you have the baby, the pain of the contractions is gone. “
“Oh, well alright then. I can handle just about anything knowing that it’s natural, the discomfort doesn’t mean anything is wrong, and that it won’t last forever.”
Which brings me to another question. Why do adults lie to children at all? If you give them the information they need, they are much more able to cope with the world as they find it. Why don’t adults provide children with the tools they need to behave properly? How many adults drag children places without telling them what behavior is expected from them? “Sweety, we are going grocery shopping. I need you to hold my hand or ride in the cart. Your job will be to help me pick out some fruit, choose between 3 types of cereal, help me find our favorite soup, and help me count the bananas.”
“When we go in the mortuary, everyone is going to be really quiet. It is rude to run around and shout so if you need to ask me a question or tell me something I need you to use your quietest whisper. I’ve brought along some toys for you to play with quietly. You can color, or read this story, and I need you to help keep Raggedy Anne really quiet too. You know how she likes to bounce and yell.”
Just tell people what is going on! Be straight forward with them about what you want from them, what you expect from them.