March 27, 2014
It's a crippling thing.
Growing up I was always painfully shy. I was also fearful of many things. It's a part of me that I've never really liked about myself.
As I got older….somewhere around high school, I started to come out of my shell a little bit but fear always (and still does) kept me from doing things I know I would (have) enjoyed.
Before I had kids, I constantly told myself that I wanted to raise my kids to be fearless….discerning but fearless. I never want my kids to miss out on opportunities and experiences because of fear. In order to do this, I know I will eventually have to overcome some of my own fears. Lead by example, right?
Tensley has always been the fearless one of the two girls. She's actually a little too fearless for me…because of this I'm praying that she learns discernment quickly.
Tillie, AKA "I too scared" Tillie is afraid of everything. Leaves blowing in the wind, caution tape on the staircase, unidentified objects on the ground, big slides, being spun around while being held are just a few things that she claims to be afraid of. She loves the idea of doing things but when it comes to actually doing them, she will back off and say, "No, I too scared!"
But today? Today was different. I took them to a park today. A reward for being somewhat patient while I met with contractors at the house. Today, Tillie got brave.
Tillie loves to slide but it takes her a while to warm up to the bigger or twisty slides. After a few trips down the little slides, she finally worked her way to the bigger slide and then when I wasn't looking she flew down one of the twisty slides!
She watched her sister climb up the ladder things (with me spotting her, of course) that go up to the open spaces on the playground equipment (which I affectionately call death drops) a few times and lo and behold she decided she wanted to try it too! I asked her if she was sure and when she insisted I started coaching her up the ladder.
Now let me tell you about this ladder because I didn't get a picture of the whole thing. This ladder is curved so it takes some skill and critical thinking (especially if you're a 2 year old) to climb it. They way Tensley figured out how to climb it was impressive. She started by climbing it like a typical ladder but once she got to the curve, she stood straight up and walked onto the platform. Honestly, I'm not sure I would have thought to do it that way (I sometimes suck at problem solving….don't even get me started on word problems.)
Anyway, I coached Tillie up this ladder and my poor sweet brave girl was scared to death. She even cried out for me to hold her. I kept telling her she was doing a great job and that I would not let her fall. With her poor little legs shaking quite a bit, she pressed on and before she knew it she was at the platform! She was so proud of herself and I could not have been more proud.
Hopefully, this little victory will give her the confidence to continue facing her fears and overcoming them.
Do you have a child(ren) that are afraid? What are some things you do to teach them to be fearless?