There is a very popular saying that reads: “What if I fall? But, oh my darling, what if you fly?”
That saying can relate to so many situations in life. It is relevant when you are scared to leave the nest for college. It is relevant when you realize that you are going to be a parent and the responsibility overwhelms you. It is relevant when you are helping your child overcome a fear of the swings in the neighborhood park. It is relevant when you try to coach your child to take on a new challenge. It is relevant when you encourage your children through their fears about leaving the nest.
This darling little perspective shift so perfectly articulates the Fearless Mom principle of parenting toward a goal instead of parenting away from fear.
When faced with a challenge, we have two options. One is to become consumed with the fear of all of the horrible ways things might go wrong – of all of the ways to fall. And when all of your decisions and actions are rooted in fear, you can find yourself aimlessly steering away from undesirable outcomes. The other option is to imagine all of the wonderful possibilities and work toward your desired result.
Parenting is, without a doubt, one of the biggest challenges you will face in life. As Julie Richard says, “The appropriate response to the responsibility of parenting is to throw up in your mouth a little bit.” We are bombarded with decisions, pressure, and opinions at every stage of parenting. But we believe that channeling the fear that challenges can present, and parenting toward a goal, can help you raise resilient and competent adults.
One of the best ways to instill this positive approach to challenges is to model it for your kids. Process your thoughts out loud (when appropriate) and show them how you see, acknowledge, and control fear. Fears result from feelings; remember that feelings are emotions. We don’t want to give our ‘feelings’ power that will fuel them along with the fears. Instead, focus on the fact that just because you’re ‘feeling’ fearful doesn’t mean you change your parenting perspective and what you want life to look like for your children as adults.”
That’s not to say that fear doesn’t have its place in the decision-making process. Fear can ground us and help us avoid making grave mistakes. We just don’t want to parent from that fear. Fearless Moms flip our mindsets by controlling the fear. We want to see the fear, acknowledge it, and then “strap it in.” We want to control our fear, versus letting it control us. We can feel fearful and act fearless. You can do it, Mom!
There will be times when you fall and when you fail. Failure is part of life, and kids need to know that it’s okay to fail. Capitalize on teachable moments! Your children have an opportunity to watch you pick up and keep moving toward your desired destination; this can produce life skills. The best thing you can do is to rise up and see these challenges as opportunities for growth. Use the wisdom gained from failures to refine your path toward your goal. Keep trying, and never give up!