Digital Age Descendants S1:E6 — Cuddling vs Coddling

Definition of coddle: to treat in an indulgent or overprotective way.

Definition of cuddle: to hold close in one’s arms as a way of showing love or affection.

These words can often be confused and are often considered the same.  These two words are not the same. When I think of coddling, I think of a parent who would fawn over their child with a minor cut.  I look at a minor cut as a simple thing, I say put a bandaid on it and move on, I give my child a hug and tell them they will be fine.  I also tend to be a smart ass and treat whatever it is as gently as I can and try and get them to laugh.

I have been looked down upon because of that kind of thinking.  I want my children to be confident so that a simple cut doesn’t make them stop and worry, that a simple cut just needs to be cleaned and bandaged and just move on, not worry is it possibly going to get infected and worry themselves into a tizzy where they can’t function.

The best example I can use in recent history.  My daughter is in karate and currently a brown belt.  When she was I believe a purple belt she was sparing an adult instructor and fell and broke her arm.  I looked at her and realized what she had done. She looked at me and saw that I wasn’t showing concern even though I was.  I jokingly looked at her and her instructor and said, “I guess my Saturday just came to a stop!”  

I remember looking around the room and the horrified look of the other parents faces on why I wasn’t freaking out about my daughter breaking her arm.  Some of the other parents asked me why I reacted the way I did, I told them that I didn’t want her freaking out. If she sees me reacting that way they she would panic and over react and could have make getting her treated more difficult. 

You might be asking how does getting a minor cut relate to the digital age we are living in.  Well, this is my opinion based on observations from my time in karate. When I am assisting or instructing some of the students, I look around and see parents with their phones in their faces.  I often wonder what goes through a child’s mind when they see their parents looking at their phone instead of looking at their child. .  

I see a total lack of engagement from parents when and if their child gets injured, there are a few exceptions.  I see parents sitting in the audience not really paying attention to what is going on with their child.    

Do you coddle your child or cuddle them? Let me know in the comments or leave a voicemail.

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