Not all kids are fearless but this one phrase can help them learn to manage their fears.
PIN IT FOR LATER!
“Don’t be such a fraidy cat!”
It’s a phrase that’ll make more than Marty McFly jump into a situation head first.
But not everyone. And certainly not every kid.
Maybe you know the type.
“Hey Freckles, time to go to the bathroom.”
“But Mama, I’m afraid.”
Or “Hey Freckles, put your laundry in the hamper.”
“But Mama, I’m afraid.”
How can my child be afraid of everything?
It’s too much to deal with at times. On the outside, I try to understand but on the inside, I’m yelling, “There’s nothing to be afraid of. Stop being a fraidy cat.”
But I knew that wouldn’t work. After all, her mother tends to be a bit of a fraidy cat as well. Struggling with fear and being put down often for it only made me feel like I just wasn’t ok – like I wasn’t good enough. It’s not something I want for my little Freckles.
It’s something I tried to overcome when I wrote my first blog in 2009 – an attempt to become fearless. It didn’t work. I did learn a valuable lesson though.
Even though I can’t remove fear from my kids, I can teach them the same important lesson I learned all those years ago.
The lesson is: Be Brave.
Not all kids are going to be fearless. Instead of pushing a character of fearlessness on our little ones, let’s teach them how to have courage.
As Ruth Soukup says in her new book, “Courage is taking action despite your fear” and “Action is the antidote to fear.”
Why it didn’t dawn on me before, I have no idea. But I finally realized that my sweet little Freckles was not going to be fearless like her sister, my Sweet Firefly.
And I needed to be okay with that.
After all, I’m not fearless. I won’t ever be. I can see the disasters in a plan too easily. That’s my superpower.
But I can be brave. And so can my sweet little Freckles. And so can your darling little Fraidy Cat.
So what do we do when our little Fraidy Cats response is “But Mama, I’m afraid”?
One simple thing: “It’s okay that you’re afraid. Just be brave.”
It’s not going to happen all at once – baby steps like the ones described in this post can lead along the way.
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Sure, the Bible says “do not fear.” It’s a nice goal. But sometimes it’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Sometimes even for us mamas. When you just can’t get to a place of fearlessness, sometimes you just need to embrace your fear and be brave, knowing who is with you and your little Fraidy-Cat.
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4 (HCSB)
And it is during these times of bravery, your little Fraidy-Cat (and maybe even you) will learn what Paul meant when said, in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV), he would “boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” – knowing God’s power is made perfect in our weaknesses.
After all, isn’t that what we’re after anyway?