I’ve posted a few times about Lydia’s shyness and fear. It is still a constant issue with us. Recently, she has decided she’s afraid of loud noises–cars, bumps, rain and especially wind. Last week was the worst scenario so far. We saw a fireworks show. (Yes, pre-July 4th!)
We talked about it beforehand–she was ready to see it. We were with my whole family. She was having the time of her life. She knew it was going to be loud and decided she was just going to cover her ears.
But when the show began she went BEZERK.
She was kicking, screaming—no, WAILING and would not calm down even an iota. I finally had to throw her over my shoulder and walk her back to the car while everyone else watched the fireworks show. I’m sure I didn’t react the way I should have but I really don’t know what the correct response should have been. (In fact, I was hoping no one was watching me because they may have been tempted to call Social Services.) She was so upset and so out of control that I was on the verge of tears myself.
Now, flashforward a week. She’s playing one of her favorite games: mommy & baby. Only today I’m the baby and she’s the mommy. For some reason I look outside and notice the wind is blowing. I say, “Mommy! The wind is blowing. I don’t like it. It’s too loud.” And I begin to pout.
Lydia begins speaking to me in a calm sweet voice, “It’s ok, baby. It’s only a noise. I’m right here. You don’t have to be afraid.”
I kept the dialogue up for a minute or two–using excuses and words she uses when she’s afraid of something. I figured the conversation wouldn’t last long. But I was wrong. Lydia continued it for about 30-45 minutes. As we cleaned and folded clothes, she kept saying, “Let’s talk about something. Let’s talk about…” Then she’d say “loud noises” or “being afraid” or something like that.
She continued to comfort me and say all the things that I say to her including, “Jesus is always with you. He’ll never leave you.” and “Jesus is in your heart. He will help you be brave.” and “I’m right here. I’ll stay right with you. I’ll protect you.” She continued to use her soothing voice and pat my arm or leg.
I was so encouraged that she had internalized so much of what I said to her. I was also encouraged that she continued the conversation. She WANTED to talk about it. And I liked that she was saying all those things out of her OWN mouth. I’m a firm believer in speaking truth and the “fruit of your lips“. I think when you speak truth (especially God’s Word) from your own mouth it builds up your faith and your determination on the inside. So, I’m praying her little-mama words helped to cement the truth of courage in her heart and mind.
I just read somewhere (maybe in Creative Correction?) about role-playing for obedience and wanted to try it with her. But this role-playing was even better than that. I’m going to try role-playing this mommy/baby thing again in a few days to see if she jumps on this fear topic again. AND I’ll be interested to see how she reacts next time a fear jumps right in front of her.
YOUR TURN: How do you teach your kids to deal with fear?