So last night, when Sweetie 4 came home from school, I let her know that her paperwork arrived from the doctor. He approved her to try out for track and field!  She has been looking forward to this for weeks, and has been asking and asking,”When is he going to send the letter?”
It came.
Her reaction was just as I expected.  FEAR.
Now, she has to actually perform!   She has to put her speed where her talk has been.  F E A R!!!!!
She went from happy to sullen.  And then began to complain that now she has to change to sports class and doesn’t have the right uniform etc.
I told her, after dinner, we will go and get your uniform.
She made it through dinner, barely.  And then the  snotties took over.
She knows that we go nowhere when Miss Nasty is visiting.  We did our best to keep things calm so she could be calmer.  When she calmed abit,   I reminded her that tomorrow she has sports and I’m sure she wants to go with her uniform.
A few minutes later, she apologized and was ready to go.  I reminded her before we got there, “We are here for black shorts and a grey tshirt, that is all.”
“Ok mom”.
We got there and nothing was going to be good enough. Walmart didn’t have the “right” black shorts, or the “right” t shirt.
We finally settled on one of each , and then she headed for socks.
“Sweetie, remember what mama said?”
After a little “but mom”, we left… or I should say, I headed for the cashier and she followed. 🙂
(She probably wasn’t quite ready to go so soon, but sometimes we have no choice.  We had to get her ready for her Sports class the next day.)
When we got home the tears started to flow.
“I don’t think I’m going to make it!”
“I don’t think I’m going to be fast enough!”
Trust me…. She is FAST.  And she can run on gravel in bare feet faster than you can blink an eye.
I decided to use some humor….
“Are you telling me all those years from running from the Cops when you were little has made you slow?”
She switched from crying to a big grin.  And then a laugh…..
I reassured her she would be just fine.
This a.m. she woke up with a “foot ache”….. 🙂
I’m sure once she races one race, she’ll be ready, and then we’ll go and get her those prized running shoes she has been hoping for.

Fear can look like many other behaviors.  It can look sullen or snotty, or disrespectful.  Fear hides quite well in order to distract us parents into thinking it is something else!
If we hang onto our training and ask the right questions, fear will have to come out of hiding and reveal itself. THEN we can deal with the root issue.
The issue here was not snotties, not wanting to change classes, not wanting to wear a uniform, or wanting socks. It wasn’t about dinner, or anything else.  It was simple.  She is terrified of failing or looking bad.  She really wants to do this, but she is scared inside.
Trauma does a number on our kids.  It really does.
Using humor,  and knowing HOW to use it at the right time, can expose that fear and then help our children see that we are confident in them.

I have no doubts that Sweetie 4 will be a champion!
She already is in so many ways!
She just doesn’t know it yet. 🙂

2 Responses to FACING FEAR

  1. One of my favorite “Dan Hughes” strategies that has saved the day more often than I can tell….and I wouldn’t even say that MY sweetie has much of a sense of humor….

  2. MT says:

    Thanks for the great reminder about fear! We’ve been thinking about letting our son join track as well but hesitate because of the impact fear has had on him in the past.

Comments warmly welcomed!


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