Over the weekend my husband and I took on the huge challenge of cutting Branden’s hair. To most parents this might seem like no big deal, but for us it is one of those moments that we dread. You see, my little man has a huge fear of getting his hair cut because he thinks that the freshly cut hair falling to the ground is spiders. We have done everything to help him understand that this just isn’t so, but nonetheless, he freaks out uncontrollably each time it is hair cutting day. (You may notice in the picture with this post that there are some longer pieces that shouldn’t be there, but his frame of mind indicated it was time to quit!)
This experience had me thinking a lot about fears. Accepting them, overcoming them, and dealing with them. We all have fears, but as adults we don’t typically handle them the same way that children do, as it’s just not acceptable behavior.
I’m sure that we could all sit with a pen and pencil, and list our 2 or 3 things that we are fear the most. For most people, this ranges from public speaking to flying, snakes, and even death. And, yes, spiders! Then, there are the daily worries that we experience and the lingering anxiety that I have come to define as “The Fear.”
What I mean by this is that moment of hesitation that keeps you from doing something that might actually be good for you, because you are over-thinking the situation. In this moment, you begin to doubt your abilities to complete this task successfully, and then you start pondering over the outcome of your failure. Then, you immediately retract from taking a step forward in your life, and remain stationary, or even worse, you step backward.
For me, starting this blog was definitely a moment where I experienced “The Fear.” I had moments of worry that people wouldn’t respond well to my perspective on life, mothering, and fashion. It was then that I knew I had to push forward and not put too much thought into all the “whats if’s.”
After all, life is filled with these moments, and they help mold us into the people that we are today. It all comes down to that moment where we are filled with “The Fear” and whether we can push through it in order to achieve our goals. However, pushing through “The Fear” isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
Most times, we are able to put these feelings aside and look at the big picture. But sometimes, it takes some help from other people or from deep within ourselves to face our fears and put things into perspective. Some people turn to religion, some to meditation, some to stress relief like exercise or dance, and some to facing the “worst case scenario” and moving onward. In fact, the challenge of overcoming “The Fear” and the way that it is handled helps us build character and prepares us for future challenges.
I must emphasize that some people go from fearful roadblocks to full-blown phobias. This is important to realize when dealing with your child’s fears, since denying their feelings may make things even worse for them. Some parents have told me that they fight fears with imagination…for example, they create an imaginary anecdote to the imaginary spiders. (Ask my editor about the Boona Boona Bug!) Or they sing the song “Itsy Bitsy Spider” as they figuratively “wash the spider out!” Sometimes it just takes putting yourself in the mindset of a child. Other times, all it takes is a little information…like when you calmly explain to your child that their wrinkled skin from soaking too long in the bathtub is NOT permanent! Just like anything else, you are there to help your child understand and cope with all the surprises of the world that they simply haven’t figured out yet.
Therefore my lovely readers, I want to know how you all deal with “The Fear” because I think that sharing our tricks of the trade can be mutually beneficial! Comment below or send me an email, and I will include your helpful hint in a future post!