When A Bandaid Makes It Better

We go through a lot of bandaids in our house (a lot!) – to the point where we’ll buy the Costco size of utilitarian bandaids and keep only one small box of fun, character printed ones. Once the fun box is out, Bea is stuck with the tan-colored ones.

When the fun box is full, any perceived scrape or cut or hurt feeling needs a bandaid. When they are gone, wounds seem to heal faster and often without the help of that protective strip.

My first year of teaching, our school health advisor (do not use the title nurse!!) dropped off a large box of bandaids so that I could take care of any non-life-threatening paper cuts. I hoarded those bandaids! A kid had to be actively spurting blood to get one.

After the winter break, our health advisor came around again with a new box and was surprised to see my almost-full one still in the top drawer of my desk.

You know, we have a ton of these. Don’t worry about using them up. There’s always more, she told me.

That first year of teaching, I had a weird sense of pride about not giving out bandaids. I wasn’t going to teach kids to be overly sensitive! This is the real world!! (Did I tell you I taught first grade that year?)

Over my years of teaching, I learned the value of a bandaid. Paper cuts, boredom, playground arguments all necessitated a bandaid. I moved the box to a spot in my desk that kids still needed permission to get to but where I didn’t mind them going without my help.

I learned that a small acknowledgment of a wound – however real or imaginary – healed so much more than the cut itself.

Now, when Bea asks for a bandaid, I give her a hug and say, Wow! That looks like it hurt! What can we do to make it better?

Sometimes, a hug or a glass of cold water is all it takes. Other times, the only thing that will suffice is a pink bandaid. But ultimately, that acknowledgment is what heals the wounds the quickest.

Parents, are you generous or stingy with the bandaids? What are some ways you see beyond the immediate wound and acknowledge the hurt in others?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “heal.”


Published by

Annie Rim

Welcome! I live in Colorado with my family and have taught in the classroom, at an art museum, and now in the playroom. I reflect about life, faith, and books here on my blog.

20 thoughts on “When A Bandaid Makes It Better”

  1. I really enjoyed your post. I am a stingy bandaid grandma and was as a mother. You make such a good point. Recognizing the pain others feel is certainly worth a few cents.

  2. We’ve not got to the needing a plaster age yet, but Beth often asks for a mummy cuddle or a bear cuddle (just wants to hold her teddy).

    It made me think though, sometimes hurt dissipates when it is acknowledged as adults too. Little things I mean.

    1. I love that kids can recognize that a hug will make them feel better. We adults could certainly learn from that, too… I agree – so many times in life, the acknowledgment of hurt or injustice is the first important step toward healing.

  3. I love this. I can totally relate. We got through band-aids like crazy here too. Barbie, Dora, Frozen, neon-colored, just to name a few. We also have stocked up on the “boring” Costco ones. It’s amazing how those sticky little things bring such comfort and help us to move forward.

    I love what you said about acknowledging someone else’s pain. It was a good reminder to be merciful and quick to hand out comfort- even if I’m not relating to the pain. Thanks for sharing.

    I’m a FMF visitor today. Glad I found your blog.


    1. Thanks for visiting! Cheers to aaaalll the girliest bandaids! 😉 Thanks for the reminder that we need to be “quick to comfort” especially when we don’t relate. Often the hardest but more important time, isn’t it?

  4. I love this post. My two-year-old currently asks for an ice pack when his older siblings hurt his feelings…and I give it to him (with a snuggle, of course). I used to be a band-aid hoarder, too, but there is such value in that moment of being taken seriously enough to get one-on-one attention from Mama on the bathroom floor in front of the cabinet! I think we’ll just buy lots of band-aids for the next few years. Eventually, they won’t ask for them any more.

    1. That is too sweet that he asks for an ice pack for hurt feelings!! What an intuitive kid! And, yes to any one-on-one attention. It’s so needed, and I need that reminder.

  5. So true! “Sometimes, a hug or a glass of cold water is all it takes. Other times, the only thing that will suffice is a pink bandaid. But ultimately, that acknowledgment is what heals the wounds the quickest.”

  6. I love this, Annie. I have such lovely memories of those bandaid moments when my kids were little.
    THIS: “But ultimately, that acknowledgment is what heals the wounds the quickest.” It’s so true!
    Well done, Mom!
    Shauna (your neighbour down the street at FMF#55 today)

    1. Thanks for the view from the “other side!” I know I’ll miss these bandaid-filled days. (Especially when wounds can’t be healed by a hug and a bandaid!) Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Visiting from FMF (#71): It’s a little difficult to be generous with plasters when half the family are allergic to them like we are! Cuddles were the cure-all in our house but I had to learn a different method of communication with my second son. You’re so right about acknowledging pain in order to heal it. Time and listening are some of the best gifts we can give.

    1. Oooh. That’s a rough allergy! Isn’t it interesting how each kid is so different? I’m learning that already with Elle, that she responds to different methods than Bea. Always learning!

  8. I’m REALLY good at this. “Rub some dirt on it, and get the **** back to work.”

    This is a serious FAIL area for me. My wife came from a family in which a case of the flu was a call to visit the ER. My original family was unspeakable, so I developed a paradigm that said “Don’t ever know you’re hurting. They don’t care, and they’ll use it against you.” All of which was true.

    So I have to be a bit careful. When I was still able to do metalwork (please pardon this) I was cutting a piece of steel with a hacksaw when it slipped and embedded the blade in a bone in my hand. Pulling the thing free took some effort, and I had to bandage it as free-flowing blood corrodes steel very quickly.

    Did it hurt? Who cares? There was still work to do.

    And when Barbara came home that evening, I had to figure out exactly how to explain the rather large and bloody bandage around my left hand.

    I picked the wrong way. When I got to “…and the saw blade stuck in the bone and I had to get a hammer to get it out…” she departed for the facilities, to emerge half an hour later, white-faced, and with no appetite for dinner.

    Yeah. Major fail.

    1 at FMF this week.


  9. This is so wise: “I learned that a small acknowledgment of a wound – however real or imaginary – healed so much more than the cut itself.” My husband always says, perception is reality. Sometimes we need to do a reality check, but I’ve found acknowledging perceptions often starts the process. I’m grateful for band-aids. Thanks for sharing. (FMF #79)

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