Archive for the ‘fears’ category

From Helpless to Helpful Parenting

April 8, 2010

“I hate school,” said the puffy green comforter.  “And, I have a sore throat.”

“Really?” I asked.  “What do you mean you hate school?”

“I just do.  It’s boring.”  A head appeared for a moment, then ducked back under the blankets.

I sat down on the edge of the bed, paused and asked, “Is something going on at school that’s bothering you?”

Already, I envisioned the worst case of scenarios.  Was she getting bullied?  It’s all over the news lately.  Is someone being mean to her?  What if she’s falling behind in math?  I wished she’d tell me why she hated school.  She can’t hate school. What should I do?

I got nothing more from her.

Feeling helpless I said, “Sorry, you need to get out of bed and go to school.  Let’s go, up, up.”

Later I realized my mistake – starting with the premise that A.’s life should be easy and fun.  Really?  Is that really my job as a parent, to make her life happy and easy?

Obviously not.

My job is not to make her life easy and fun.  My job is to teach her to be resilient and strong no matter what life brings her way.  My job is not a helpless one, it’s a helpful one.

Oh, yeah.  I bring up a good point don’t I?!

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We’re trying worry dolls and Silly Billy book

June 21, 2009

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I found the Silly Billy picture book on accident at the library.  Or maybe there are no accidents.

Silly Billy’s grandma helps him with his fears by giving him some Worry Dolls.  They help.  He does worry that he’s given too many worries to his dolls so he makes them worry dolls o their own.

Here are both links if you’re like me and need the book and the dolls for your worried child.  I hope they help us all!

Worry Dolls Link

Silly Billy picture book

something about swimming?

June 10, 2009

42-16694812My innie is a tall, long legged athlete who excels in coordination and balance.  She learns new skills quickly and easily.

Take for example riding a bike — she easily learned to ride without training wheels at the young age of 4.

Throwing a ball.  Frisbee.  Gymnastics.  All came easily.

And then there was swimming.

Is it the water?  Is it a different kind of body motion? I’ve accepted that she’s not a strong swimmer, nor does she have the desire.  I’ll let her learn at her own pace.

But when I see the other 7 year olds playing sharks and minnow without her, I feel sad.  It’s not that she wasn’t invited.  She was.  She just doesn’t feel confident in the deep end.

What is it about water?

I’m hypothesizing that it’s another fear.  Another something.  It’s just different for her and I don’t get it.

Fear of . . . continued

June 2, 2009

Remember last week when my introvert was afraid of the rain?  That night, the worst night it could have happened, my other daughter had a seizure.

I called 911, administered a rectal injection, and tried not to wonder where my introvert had hidden.  No longer in her bed, I couldn’t worry about her worrying.  Not when something much worse was demanding my attention.

Four paramedics, two firefighters and two policemen clumped up our stairs and into the girls bedroom.  I asked my husband, “Where did she go?”

“I saw a girl hiding behind the bed in the other room,” said one uniformed man – maybe a firefighter?

As they started to check my baby’s vitals, I squeezed passed three of the men through the hall and across to my bedroom.  My introvert was hiding behind my bed on the floor.

All I could do was hug her.

“Don’t go, mommy,” she cried.

“I have to go to the hospital, I’m the one your sister needs right now.  Daddy will stay with you.”

We loaded up her sister, I climbed into the ambulance.  I knew the fears would be worse, and there was nothing I could do.

I guess sometimes that’s life.  I still felt totally awful. But, I had to let it go so I could be present with my baby who had no fears, no function, no presence of her own.  She was somewhere else and it wasn’t dreamland.

Scary doesn’t begin to describe it.  Fear doesn’t even capture my emotional state of being.

Terror.

Disappointment.

Numbness.

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Fear of . . . a flood

May 26, 2009

The rains are torrential today.   Looking out our window on the second floor, we notice the stream behind our house has doubled in size and velocity.

“Mom, what if it floods?” was the first question my daughter asked.

“It won’t flood because it’s down between two hills.”j0395964

“Mom, what if it doesn’t stay down?  What will happen?”

I put her to bed.  “Mommy, I want mommy,” she said in baby talk.

So, I stayed.  But every time I untangled myself from under her head, she woke up.  “Don’t go, mommy.”

What was going on?

Finally, I asked.  “Are you afraid?”

“Yes.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“No.”

“Are you worried about the rain?”

She nodded and buried her head in the covers.

I stayed and stayed and stayed.  And prayed for her to find peace in sleep.  She has fears.  I just don’t want them to become too big.  I want her to win the fight with those fears.

I worry.  And she fears.

What a pair.