Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm scared

Kids say this to us all the time. In fact, we worry when a child seems fearless, seems to take risks without thinking of the possible consequences. We want them to be brave, to try new things. But we also want them to be careful and stay safe.

Life can be pretty scary. New things. Or unexpected surprises. Or big loud dogs. Or the dark. It is so important to acknowledge a child's feelings, no matter what. A child's fear may seem silly to us, but the fear is real to them. Children need caring adults who will really listen to them, and not always be so stuck on needing children to listen to the adult. Yes, children hear us, but so often our talking is lecturing and after a minutes it sounds like, "Wah, Wah, Wah Wah, blah blah blah." One of the best gifts we can give is taking time to listen. When they trust we will listen and accept their feelings, they are more likely to be willing to tell us about them when it really matters.

I'm scared right now, too. I'm scared for the future. What will it be like? Will we be able to manage? Will our children and our grandchildren be able to take care of themselves? Will there be resources to go around? Will we finally learn to live in peace and share this planet? Will we have clean water and blue skies and fresh vegetables?

My questions and concerns could go on and on. But in this moment, I am also very grateful for my friends and family who listen to me. They help me come back to right here and right now. This is the only time we really have, so I'm going to take a deep breath and express my gratitude. This moment of being present to my own fears is what I needed. And that breath. Kids need this, too. They need us to listen and acknowledge and bring them back to right here and right now and the things we can do to make today a little less scary.

1 comment:

Working Mom said...

I can totally relate. As a parent, I also have a lot of concerns regarding the future. And as my daughter is opening herself up to the world, I also worry so much for her. Sometimes when my thoughts linger on these issues, I condition myself that worry will always be part of our lives, and that it may be better if I try to avoid worrying on some things that I cannot control. We certainly have so many things ahead of us, but with faith, I believe that we will be able to surpass the challenges.