AlignMENt: Do you know how to burp your kids?

By Patrick Donohue

May 25, 2013

AlignMENt:  Do you know how to burp your kids?


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Burping and then a nap:  life as it should be.

Remember when your kids were babies (some of us it is not a long remembrance) and she was crying and then you fed her some milk.  Ah, sweet relief until that gas bubble formed in her tummy, leading to more wailing and crying.  So you as a good parent take the baby and burp her.  After a couple of minutes, there is a nice little belch, maybe some spit up, a smile returned and now time for a nap.

So, what did the baby need?  Just a little “burping” to help her through her discomfort.  I think the concept of “burping” is underrated.  We typically stop burping our kids when they are no longer babies, or do we?  As fathers, I think some of our best work is done when we “burp” our kids as they get older.

So, how do you burp your kids as they get older?  Well, first you have to see the “gas bubble” that is causing your kid pain.  Maybe it is a job application, a big test, asking someone to a dance, leaving for college or trying out for a team.  Whatever the circumstances, there is something causing him pain or anxiety.  That is where the burping comes into play.

So, what  does “burping” look like for older kids?  You start by listening and refraining from giving advice.  After you have a good handle on the “gas bubble”, you go into major reassurance mode.  You point out all the positive things happening at the moment and recall the successes of the past.  You also stare down the fear and ask “what’s the worst thing that could happen?”  Then you tell him that even if the worst possible thing happens, you will be OK and you love him no matter what happens.

Then watch as a smile of relief comes on your child’s face.  He knows he can now ask the girl out, take the test, try out for the team or travel to college.  That little sound you heard?  That is the gas bubble disapating.

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