Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Dr. Is In

by Amy Platon

Advice on stitches removal. Hand the tweezers to your six-year old son.

I see that look of horror on your face. But I mean it.

Lots of good things come out of empowering your kids with real responsibility. The beautiful thing about stitches is that they look so medically important. They look complicated, painful, and even a little gross. But the reality is, that at the end of their term, there are virtually painless. They’re also super simple to extract… only the kids have no idea about that. Let’s face it, my kids think rice crispy treats require culinary skills, and I’m nowhere near bursting that bubble!

So, on to some good ol' fashioned Mommy Magic. I called the whole family into the bathroom. I cut the knot off and I pulled the first two stitches out to show them how it’s done. Then I handed the tweezers off. My son pulled out the next two and my daughter (not enough coordination to use the tweezers) pulled her two out with her fingers.

They were so absorbed in the experience that 1. I trusted them with not just my body but with my boo-boo. 2. It made them feel like doctors (no harm in that). 3. It Dissolved any potential fear about getting stitches, should they need them in the future. And 4. I had them “fix” something on me, that I didn’t scream and cry about.

And believe me, I made that point clear. “See Mommy doesn’t mind letting you help me with my boo-boo. Just like you let me help you with yours.” Ahh yes, I do believe the lights came on about that one!

Don't have any stitches to share? Well next time you get blood drawn, have the kids watch - if you don't scream and cry that is. Or let them put your eye drops in for you. Still not that brave? Let them administer your band-aid then. They'll totally love you for it!

I guess I need some sort of disclosure about this post, just to cover any potential issues, so here goes: I’m no doctor, despite the title. These are merely suggestions from a crazy mom who just wants to take any opportunity to open her children’s eyes a little wider to the world around them. Her stories are for entertainment use only!

But they are true.


  1. Hysterical! I could just see the looks of concentration on their faces!!! "I want a turn! I want a turn!" Glad your gunshot wound is all healed.

  2. My grands with eyedrops? No way! I let my daughter color my hair... once. It never hurt like that before. OK, they can pull off the bandaid.

  3. Oh, and here I totally thought you were a doctor ;)

    I always take out my own stitches too. Why would I need to go all the way to the doctor for that? Pshaw, I say. In fact, the last time I had stitches was after I lost a knife fight (with myself - the butcher knife slipped and sliced my wrist open. Yeah, don't ask how it happened!) and I didn't like the way the emerg doctor did them so I took them out 2 days later and used butterfly stitches to close it up again - my way. I don't recommend doing that way, by the way, although it worked for me. I have a nice, thin flat scar where his work would have left my wrist lumpy and ugly.

    I completely agree with you that kids should be empowered in this way. Never shy away from stuff like this - it's important they be able to handle themselves in an emergency. You don't do your kids any favours by being a sissy and teaching them to be the same way!

  4. i could do a bandaid, but not eye drops ;-)

    i did insist that they see me get a shot, so they saw that i understood that it hurt and yet didn't need four nurses to hold me down.

    didn't help much ;-)

  5. I would have never thought of allowing them this privilege, but it totally makes sense. Everything about it just seems smart. What a wonderful post on the benefits. Seriously.

  6. My dad is a doctor so growing up we got to do all sorts of nasty are on the right track!!

  7. I give myself injections of medicine every week and my kids used to love to "stick Mommy". they learned to do it the right way and now they know another life skill!

  8. Love it. It'll be a long time before my child is an age where this would be possible (as he/she is yet to be conceived), but I'm going to save this post in my mind for later. Thanks for the advice!

  9. What a lovely piece! I really enjoyed reading this.

    Sounds to me like you are a mom that will have such loving impact on your children.

    Taking every example to help them grow into strong adults is why we were selected to be the guardians of these precious angels.

    Well done.

    TTFN~~ Claudia ♥ ♥

  10. Hmmm... I have an 18-year-old daughter who is in college and wants to be a pediatrician; she's our resident doctor and I would probably let her do it. But I think my two year old would purposefully stab me with the tweezers, my five year old would get mad and have a fit about God only knows what and my four year old would ruin it for everyone by laughing continuously.

  11. I'm tempting fate by admiting this but I've never had stitches. I had staples once but they were taken out in the hospital (c-section) I loved this post though, so encouraging in so many ways!