Facing our fears. And what we can learn from our children
Something happened recently that made me very proud.
My 6 year old daughter went to Beavers for the first time (the age group below cub scouts). She really didn’t want to go. In fact, she had been telling me for weeks that she didn't want to go. And yet she went. And she didn't do it for me.
We’d been talking about it for a while. She knew friends of hers enjoyed it. But still REALLY didn’t want to go. I knew she would enjoy it, if she would just go once.
On 'the day', she sobbed in my arms. I asked her if she was scared. She said she was.
So, we talked about what she feared:
- she wouldn’t know anyone or how to play the games
- that no one would play with her
- the teachers wouldn't be nice
- she didn't know the teachers
Then, through big sniffs, we talked about what she would do if those things did happen. The sniffs slowed as she realised she could ask for help, that she knew what to do.
Then, I asked her what good things might happen. She thought for a moment and her face lit up. The games might be good, after all her friends I and R enjoy them. The people were probably nice (and as some of those people are already her friends, she knows those people are nice). It could well be fun.... good games, nice people, fun.
She agreed there was a good chance it would be fun. Later, when her dad asked if she wanted to go swimming, she said 'no thank you. I am going to Beavers'
As we walked to the Scout Hut, there were no tears, just talking. She acknowledged her fears out loud
‘I was 1000% scared, but now I am only about 20%. That’s good.’
She had an AMAZING time. Of course. And as we walked home, she asked if she could PLEEEEEASE go again.
I’m proud of her because she was scared. And still she did it. Not to please me. She decided she wanted to have the chance of fun. She faced her fear and won. I am in awe of that.
As adults, we've learned to pretend we don't want the things we fear. We avoid making ourselves vulnerable. We avoid going outside that we are comfortable with.
What do you wish you were brave enough to do?