Friends of ours were telling us how their 4-year old son got a splinter in his foot and wouldn't let them anywhere near it to take it out. In the end, they called A&E and asked whether they could bring him down to have his splinter removed if they weren't too busy. So he had his splinter removed at A&E! The story made my husband and I think about a funny thing we do with our son that seems to have good consequences in situations like this one....
For whatever reason, we started encouraging our son to say, 'I'm a fighter!', complete with hand gesture of punching the air with his fist. He finds it funny, both saying it and doing the gesture. Some examples of it in use are if he's a bit sniffly and miserable, I'll say to him that he surely isn't going to come down with a cold because he's a fighter! We'll say it and do the action together and it makes him laugh. Or if he falls over and starts crying, we tell him it's ok and to remember he's a fighter! With tears streaming down his face, a little fist will emerge and he'll mumble through his tears, "fighter!" and then we laugh and he gets cheered up.
It's just our funny way of encouraging him to be brave and distracting him in moments of mild distress. Hopefully it'll still work when he's four and if he gets a splinter in his foot :-).
Do you have any funny little parenting tricks you do in your family?