It’s interesting for me to think about this question.
Over the last 27 years, I always thought of myself as a parent who did not hold my children back. When my son asked to go to sleep away camp at the age of 9, we found a camp that suited him. Low and behold as we were reading the brochure, our 7-year-old daughter said she wanted to go too. Off to camp they went. Both children spent their summers away and loved the experiences.
Was each summer perfect? Nope (lice, falling out of top bunks, hazing, Swine Flu, etc..) but did we deal with each situation? Yep! Are they better from it? I believe so - confidence, accountability, new adventures and learning to live/work with others are all important life skills.
Yesterday I realized that because of my own fears, I never taught one of our children a basic skill most children learn as a kid (out of respect no details). My mother-in-law also held her boys back from basic skills due to a fear. I believe it’s natural to protect your children from future harm but withholding skills because of your own fears makes me now feel very uneasy.
Self-development experts talk a lot about FEAR. According to Webster the definition of FEAR is “an unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.” What if your fear of the future or “what might happen” was holding you back from greatness? What if your own fear of danger was holding others back from feeling confident and growing?
Honestly, I feel so stupid that after 17 years, I’m just realizing that my own fear was pure selfishness. Well, summer is here and a great time to put my past fears aside and allow all of us to grow and develop! Wish me luck in stepping outside of my comfort zone and embracing a new territory.