5 great ways to parent without fear
Children are fearless. Do you remember when they were toddlers, how many times they tried to jump off a wall, climb a tree or perform their very own stage show while standing on a table? Is it possible to parent without fear? I do believe you can.
I was thinking about my kids recently, and I remembered the day they both decided to climb a tree in our garden. We lived on a small holding and my daughter, who is two years younger than her brother, followed him up a tree to their treehouse. Matt was about seven at the time, and Emily would’ve been five, but she followed her brother wherever he went. Matt was playing around, and the next minute I heard a huge thud! He had fallen out of the tree. He just lay there for a while. We comforted his tears, and then, he got up and carried on playing. Emily wasn’t perturbed, but to this day they still joke about his fall out of the tree. Children can be fearless – and a little silly too.
Much of the news today is full of ‘fear mongering.’ This means that it is an act of deliberately arousing public fear or alarm about a particular issue. Just one look at the headlines on the news can breed a feeling of fear in any parent’s heart. Giving into fear mongering results in us locking ourselves and our children behind tall gates and in closed homes. It means that we become suspicious of people and we start to live a little more isolated. But, it should be that way. So, here’s the crux. How do we parent with kindness and courage instead of fear?
5 ways to parent without fear:
1. Recognize the difference between danger and fear. They are different. Danger is the possibility that something unpleasant or bad will happen. Whereas fear is a negative, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of the threat. Parent courageously by choosing not to give into fear. Often, what you worry about drains your joy and your energy.
2. We have to guard the doorways to our hearts and minds. Consider what you watch on TV or on social media, what you listen to and think or talk about. Choose not to be part of spreading stories of fear around you. Learning to live without fear is like dropping a pebble in the pond. The ripple effects can be felt far and wide.
3. Cultivate a sense of humor. Laugh at your kids’ antics and let them be kids. Encourage them to play outside and be physically active – it’s good for them, and it’s good for you.
4. Reinforce a culture of thankfulness in your home. To parent fearlessly means that we live a thankful/grateful life. Thankfulness lightens the heart and the atmosphere in your home.
5. Develop wisdom as you raise your kids. Be vigilant and diligent as your steward their lives. But, don’t give in to fear. Don’t let your own fears dictate how you raise your kids. For example, if you are afraid of swimming then deal with your fear. Encourage your kids to learn how to swim and navigate the ocean’s currents. If you are fearful of public speaking, then when your young ones have to learn to do an oral at school, encourage them. I’d go so far as to say that you mustn’t ask them if they are nervous (that will put a thought in their minds that there is something to be worried about). Ask them if they are excited to speak and guide them practically. Speak life over your children.
This world needs more children who live fearlessly with kindness and courage. Impart that gift to your kids by you living that way. They will mimic their moms and dads. Be the kind of adult you want your children to be one day.
I’d love to hear from you how you do that. Please leave a comment below.