I love this post today. I love a mom that can be honest, and candid about life. And Kristina is that. She has heartfelt posts about hard stuff like, PPD. She shares yummy recipes, and she has sewing skills (something I do NOT possess). In other words, she’s amazing and you should totally be following her blog. But first, read her guest post below about how important it is to be brave for our kids, even when we are scared ourselves. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been scared and could relate to this post so much. If you want to be part of my Be Brave guest series, go here.
****************Parenting really snuck up on me. I knew there would be a bunch of things that I wouldn’t like doing. Things like waking up in the middle of the night, changing smelly diapers, and getting spit up on. What I didn’t think of was all the hard things I’d have to do as the kids got older. The one I dislike the most is being brave.
As a parent there are a million times that I have to be brave. And there are about a million times that I just don’t want to. Bravery is hard and it’s even harder to fake it.
Being brave is important and I would also say it’s necessary. It allows our kids to develop their own fears instead of adopting the fears we project on them.
For example, there was that time when Kate stuck a button up her nose. She knew exactly what color it was and which nostril it was in. The ENT wasn’t able to see it and while they took her back to put her under general anesthesia, I smiled and blew her kisses. Inside I was a wreck, but if I had shown her that I was scared, there’s no doubt in my mind that she would have started crying as a total stranger carried her away from us.
Then when Rebecca was 2, she fell on the kitchen floor and her fingernail cut into her cheek. There was an entire chunk of skin missing. We took her to the hospital where the brand new resident was afraid to give her stitches. We preferred that she not undergo general anesthesia if it wasn’t necessary and encouraged him to do it with a local anesthetic. I could see the fear in his eyes. He was nervous. It took everything in me to tell him to not worry and she would be fine. I smiled and laughed and talked to her as I held her while she got her stitches. And guess what? Rebecca didn’t make a peep. She was a complete angel and held totally still without one tear.
And then just last summer I was stung by a jellyfish on the last day of our beach vacation. If you’ve never been stung by a jellyfish, you don’t want to be. It was so painful that I was afraid to go back in the water. In fact, I avoided it like the plague. I tried to convince our girls to do anything else except go in the ocean. The kids were starting to notice and Caroline asked me why I wasn’t going in the water. I slowly made my way back in to the water. While there would be nothing wrong with telling her I was scared, I didn’t want her to have a fear of the ocean. She was only 5 and we have many years of beach vacations ahead of us.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sharing your “reasonable” fears with your kids. It’s great for kids to know that fears are common. It’s more important, however, to be brave and show them how you overcome your fears. That’s a lesson worth modeling.
Although I spend a lot of motherhood being brave, it’s not something that comes easily. In fact, I’ve learned how to do it from watching our kids. Their bravery is inspiring.
What brave things do you and your kids do?
Kristina Grum is a mother to 3 girls who were all born in just over 3 years (which means her house gets REALLY loud). She is a Certified Parent Educator with Redirecting Children’s Behavior and was an elementary school teacher before having children. She is passionate about her family and living in the moment. When she’s not teaching parenting courses or workshops, you can find her playing with her kids, reading, or thinking about going for a run. She lives on coffee, laughing, & sunshine, and loves to sew and be creative. She blogs at www.KristinaGrum.com