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Teaching Kids to Be Brave

  1. 1.
    an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

I don't think I'm a fearful person but 
  • I'm nervous about heights and close my eyes in glass elevators
  • I panic in 4 feet of water even though I'm 5 feet 6 because I can't swim
  • I hate cats because my dad hates cats
  • I don't say the word "snake" because my dad does not like snakes at all. Even typing the word creeps me out a little
  • To be honest, I'm nervous being around any animal period
Truth is some of my fears are natural to me and some of my fears are "inherited". Try as I might, I can't get myself to like cats (sorry cat-lovers reading this!) and I know that is not based on anything more rational than the fact that my dad is leery of cats. Not so my girls. They love cats and dogs and snakes and glass elevators and climbing really high on the jungle gym. 
and when they ask to go look at the cats in the pet store, I oblige them
when they ask for a ride in the glass elevators, I unclench my stomach, relax my muscles, fix my eyes on a spot and ride with them
when they ask to go into a petting zoo, I take a deep breath, fake a smile and stand right there with them
In a den of animals pretending I'm not scared of being pecked by that wild duck!

Twin Parenting Lesson 6: Because I can't afford to let them assimilate my fears. I'm brave because they are so much braver.

What about you? What rational or irrational fears do you hide bravely?

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