This past weekend I was in Massachusetts. We were visiting relatives and having a good time learning about the city of Salem and it’s history. After all, it is October and the place certainly has a rich history of fear and misunderstanding.
I’m not sure what sparked my attention more, the extravagant costumes or the undeniable layer of fear hindering children”s pursuit of experience.
Case in point. We decided to stroll over to the lighthouse. It was a beautiful day for a walk and my kids needed to stretch those active legs and minds. As we walked down the path, the kids skipped stones and climbed on the barrier wall as kids do. I couldn’t help notice a dad consistently correcting his 8-year-old. “Be careful of the walkway, don’t fall, watch out for other people, stop throwing stones, you” re gonna fall in, don”t go over there.” He would say with great exasperation.
A dear friend of mine used to say, “Rescue is robbery.” I believe this wholeheartedly. It robs the child of independence and the humbling experience of having tried and failed. In the same light. It robs the parent of experiencing the present moment.
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says worry is a technique you created to fill the moments of your life. … What is worry? I define it this way: Worry is the act of becoming immobilized in the present moment as a result of things that are going, or are not going, to happen in the future. The keywords here are “present moment.”
Let go of the fear in small increments if you must. Through the course of time, you will learn that the things you worry about the most are infrequently the things that go wrong.
Enjoy your small moments with your little ones. You can’t get them back when they are gone. They are not learning the lesson you are hoping to share. Most importantly, however, they are learning to look out for all of the things that can go wrong, instead of exploring all of the possibilities an adventure can bring.
Needless to say, this type of change in your behavior does not come easy. It may take incremental shifts. Perhaps it starts with thinking about the fear instead of immediately expressing your disdain for the situation.
Perhaps it starts with an approach which is more inviting to the fact that things may not go perfectly. The next time you think like my Massachusetts friend, take a moment before you articulate the fear. Breathe
in and let your kiddo feel a wisp if freedom. You’re sure to share a moment.