Is it normal to teach a kid not to play with sharp things by letting them get hurt?

I was trying to teach my friend's 5-year-old daughter to sew (in a very basic way). I didn't have any kid-friendly needles and this girl tends to do the opposite of what she's told and wants to try everything with her own hands.

So, I held the needle, said that it's very sharp and that it would prick her, and invited her to prick her finger on it (as she was bound to do).
She touched it, said 'Ow, that hurts', and I replied 'Yes, it does, and that's why we need to be careful with needles' and then I proceeded to let her pull and push the needle and thread through the fabric as I held it and helped her place the stitches. We completed a line and a half.

At the moment when I let her prick her finger her mum and dad looked shocked. I knew it wouldn't break the skin, but that it would create a controlled sting that would hopefully deter her from playing with needles later on, which could have resulted in serious harm.

Was what I did wrong? I am asking this because I have doubts swirling around my head right now.

Voting Results
56% Normal
Based on 9 votes (5 yes)
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Comments ( 10 )
  • ThatOneGuyYouNeverWantToMeet

    My grandfather on my mother's side did the same thing with 4 year old me but with a cigarette.
    Me: How do you do those smoke tricks?
    Him: I can't explain it, you have to learn it yourself.
    Me: Can I try?
    Him: If you want. (hands me cigarette)
    Me: (takes puff & immediately starts dying, gives it back)
    Him: Now what did we learn?
    Me: Cigarette's are bad.
    Him: Yes they are.

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  • Bassmachine

    Parents bubble wrap their kids now instead of teaching them a lesson.

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  • 1WeirdGuy

    Yeah it wasnt your kid to do that to. I would question your judgement around my child and might not want to leave her alone with you unsupervised. But I dont know yalls relationship maybe its fine.

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  • MonteMetcalfe

    That's how we learn. I don't see anything wrong with what you did. You didn't stick her with it you asked her to feel it for herself.

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  • LloydAsher

    I'm still deathly afraid of splinters. My parents had a crappy deck that was splinter central. Dozens of splinters being yanked out as a 4 year old turns out traumatized me. Now I wear gloves when I have to touch wood.

    It's stupid it doesnt have a cool latin name for that phobia. Like it's not weird to have a phobia of needles but it is weird to have a phobia of wooden needles being lodged into your skin. Metal splinters are far worse of course but I never had an aversion for metal splinters, just a normal caution for it.

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  • Veroocasalt

    Show, don't tell. Sounds fine to me.

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  • LloydAsher

    Grandma told me that the pan was hot when she was making pancakes. I proceeded to touch the pan. Never touched a hot pan until I learned the neat water trick.

    Would teach my kid the same way when it came to a hot pan. Not boiling water, nor sharp objects. Sharp object accident will just eventually happen.

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    • What's the neat water trick?

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      • LloydAsher

        Dip your hands in water, flick fingers on the pan. Sizzles? Hot pan. If it doesnt you can touch it with moist hands and the water will cushion the heat exchange long enough to pull back.

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        • Thanks! I guess that for children with sensitive little hands and not much discernment, that's very important.

          As for me, I go for 'if in doubt, use oven gloves' when it comes to casserole pots. In my family most of us don't heat up plates before putting food on them.

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