This is something I will admit that I have not conquered. Honestly haven’t. But still isn’t something I’m not fighting to overcome, it’s a life struggle. Our children literally face this on a daily basis. We as parents experience fear deep down and sometimes we are faced with it and then reminded: “oh yeah, that’s something I can’t deal with”. We know that on a daily basis we have to guide our children through all of their emotions and guide them well. In hopes that we will instill pieces of our life taught lessons into their little minds and that they will learn to cope for when we are not able to be there throughout their lives.
I’ve been a mom for a good 6 years, and I’ve also learned to take my husbands mothers place, because that boy is hopeless in the independence department. My daughters are afraid of countless things. For example: spiders. I keep asking her why she continues to check out spider info books from her school library. Got me. My youngest daughter is terrified of hair, as most of us are. Right? In the beginning you would have thought she was being eaten. Time has passed and she still hates stray hairs landing on her little arms, but the screeching screams have disappeared. So as I was saying, there are ways to deal with these fears and these challenges. Most parents should know the routine by now, our little one cries to us and we comfort them. We talk about the situation and we try to help them cheer up. There are times when our children are afraid but they don’t speak out about it as well. So Honesty in our relationships is definitely key.
Take this for an example: Over a period of weeks, I noticed that my 6 year old required someone to go to the bathroom with her. She would always call her sister to go with her. At first, this was really cute. They are sisters and they have to go everywhere together, I thought. I decided after a little while that maybe there is a different reason. I was right. A little spider was hiding in a corner, and this is something she had brought to my attention before, and I removed it right then and there. All this time, she was afraid and I had no idea. She didn’t mention it, and it took me a while to catch on. So, I decided to help her through this fear and I decided to give her a reason not to be afraid.
The first thing I tried was a role playing type game. I grabbed whatever was near us and had her play out a fearful baby and I was a spider. and I’ll go ahead and tell you, she just looked at me like I was a weirdo. So I went the next route, I asked her to tell me everything she was feeling. I asked her to tell me everything that made her feel this way. I reassured her with words alone that the spider was long gone. I didn’t show her, I just wanted her to imagine going into the bathroom without someone holding her hand. If anything, I want my children to know how to be independent when it’s necessary. After I listened and let her know that mommy and daddy are here to protect her always, I got up and walked away. At this moment she was still feeling the fear, but in half a second she was up and gone. After weeks of being afraid she went alone and survived.
In the future there will be wins and losses of softball games, the creepy night time noises on camping trips, hard tests at school, relationships, and mean people. I look forward to being right there and listening to my little girls share their fears and challenges. Life is a challenge , there is no way around that, but being a parent is a privilege and that is where the focus must be. Helping them express these emotions, in order for them to strive the next time they are faced with something hard, because we know it’s going to happen. Helping them build there confidence and their strength by simply being right there. Is so very important to me.