Helping our children find confidence and courage.
I watched an amazing transformation the other night – from fear to freedom!!
My son’s dog is a 2+ year old Boerboel – a South African Mastiff bred to protect African farm animals from lions. So you would think fear wouldn’t really be an issue around the house here.
Our garage has been turned into a hang-out spot and the dog used to love coming out and sittiing with everyone. But there was an electrical issue and he got shocked a couple of times walking past the pellet stove. The issue was rectified, but that dog now HATED coming to the garage…..and when he did come out, he headed right for the door to go outside and when he came back in, he bee-lined it for the door going into the house.
This went on for months, and it was very sad because Gotti really wanted to be out there with us, but he just couldn’t bring himself to take the chance of getting hurt again.
So, we were out there the other night and my son called the dog out. He came hesitantly, cowering, practically dragging himself on the floor. Jeremy kept calling him and Gotti, so well-trained and obedient, came to Jeremy even though he would have rather done anything else but.
Jeremy praised him, played with him, threw his ball over and over……a. little further away each time. And, by the end of the night, Gotti was quite comfortable and happy, and now can come out and enjoy being with everyone again, instead of being stuck in the house by himself.
There are so many thoughts that came to mind…..
- the trust in his master (so many spiritual implications here for me…)
- the importance of facing the fear in order to overcome it
- how often I let fear limit me
- the importance of not waiting for there to be an absence of fear to do something, but to go ahead and do it afraid
I thought of our society, and our children. I’ve long felt that we are crippling our children by bubble wrapping them and trying to protect them from any hurtful thing in life.
I mean, we can’t even play the games or have the playground equipment anymore that we used to have as kids because someone might get hurt!!!
We reward for things that weren’t earned because we don’t want to hurt their feelings or damage their self-esteem.
We give everyone a medal even if they didn’t win.
We pass children on grade after grade, yet they never master the skills and knowledge that are required and were meant to prepare them for their future!
Where are they going to learn about real courage?
How will they experience the thrill of accomplishing something that they had to work for, try for, maybe even fight for?
Mom, Dad……I hate to break it to you, but you’re not always going to be here. One day, these kids are going to be living life without you and HAVE to fend for themselves. Do you really want them trying to figure all that out as young adults with the foundation of indulgence, entitlement, and coddling to build on?
They may have never actually worked for ANYTHING a day in their life!!!!
Their employer isn’t going to care about their self-esteem!
We HAVE to stop crippling our children!! They HAVE to learn to cope, to achieve, to earn, to work, to try, to fail and try again!!!!
WE NEED TO REQUIRE THINGS FROM OUR CHILDREN!!
We are not doing them any favours by ‘protecting’ them from the challenges of life.
Gotti was afraid of the garage…..now he owns it!!!!