We talked on the podcast this week about how my oldest daughter is learning to ride her bike and how that is bringing out all kinds of feelings and thought processes that we are working through. This has been a big opportunity for us to keep working through one major issue: Fear.
My daughter has been struggling with bad dreams…or at least she says they are bad dreams. We have since found out that what she is actually struggling with is fear, primarily the fear of being alone. I was given the opportunity to talk with her last night about her fear, which was a huge blessing because the girls don’t call for dad very often. I thought the advice I gave her was good…really good actually. Good enough that I sat at the end of the night and asked myself if I was doing these things.
This is what I offered: Let go of your fear and focus on faith, hope, and love.
Faith: My daughter wanted a magical solution to not have bad dreams, like a dream catcher. I actually encourage the belief in magic because I think imagination is good for kids. What I don’t want though is establish a system that makes her believe she is a victim of outside forces (like monsters sending her bad dreams). I told her to remember that our house is Gods house. He lives here and fills it to the top, and nothing comes into this house without His say so. We can trust God because he takes care of us. After that, we have to make the decision not to focus on fear. I wanted to build the trust in God so she could make the decision to not be afraid to the ideas that pop up in her head.
Hope: This is key to overcoming fear as it looks to a better future. Focusing on a positive future will help us pull through a negative situation. Hope can seem a bit shallow when working with a 5 year old. I’m not going to be explaining the joys of Heaven (because then I need to address death). I focus on the near future that she can grasp. Things like, “I can’t wait for the fun I’m going to have tomorrow at the swimming pool.” It is a small hope, but we cover big distances with small steps. If she can practice focusing on a positive future, she will be able to overcome anything when she gets older.
Love: Remembering the love we have felt and the love we feel for others is the strongest WHY we will ever have. It is the ultimate positive reinforcement. It is the ultimate motivation. It is deep and never runs dry. I’m not bragging about our parenting, but if there is one thing my daughters don’t lack in, it’s love. We show them a lot of love, plus their daycare are their grandmas which also show them love. When they go out into the world, the lack of love will be a harsh reality for them. I told her to focus on the love that she felt the day before, the love of her sister (her favorite person in the world), because that will overcome her fear of loneliness. Once cannot be alone when filled with the love of another.
After I was done dropping my wisdom bomb, I realized that I am only working on one of the three. I am going to start building around this so I can develop and add to my Faith, Hope, and Love.