I carry a lot of fear. Can I raise a confident child?
Do you remember the line from the movie Sholay, “Jo dar gaya so mar gaya”?
Dar or fear is a feeling that can be tough to get through. Nobody in the world likes to feel scared. Everyone wants to feel confident so that others can look at them and appreciate them. There are millions of parents out there who carry a lot of fear in their heart. Sometimes, unknowingly this fear gets transferred to their children.
Unwillingly, they allow fear to stop them. But, even with all this fear, parents wish to raise their children unlike them. Those are confident.
What is required to nurture a confident child?
Let’s take an example here. If you are afraid of swimming, resisting to water isn’t the solution. You need to flow smoothly in it. You need to think of water as your friend. You need to play with it. You need to be able to move in any direction in the water. This is how you go through your fear and learn swimming. This is how you move ahead towards freedom from your fear.
Can you treat fear as your friend and not as an enemy? Think about it. Why did nature create a feeling like fear? How does fear come to us? Well, it has two parts. The first is, why fear is there? And the second is how do you respond?
1. Why does fear happen?
The job of fear is to make us alert. If you are doing something you are uncomfortable with. If you are about to do something that might hurt you. Something which is outside your comfort zone. That is when fear comes in to alert you. This means, in such scenarios, you need to be focused. You need to be careful. Above all, you need to be 100% involved and efficient for you to do things well.
So the role of fear is not to stop you. Its role is to make you alert. You need to be alert in order to make a wise choice. If we are about to do something wrong, fear alerts you just like your best friend would.
For example’ you thought of investing some amount in the stock market. Your friend P says to do it in an LMN stock as it has great returns. Now your friend, fear comes to you. It reminds you of the last 2 suggestions given by P that didn’t work out. Fear will ask you to check the fundamentals first. Fear also suggests you talk to two more people whom you trust. People who know about the stock market.
Here, your friend, fear is making you alert. He isn’t stopping you. Fear isn’t meant to paralyze us or stop us. It is meant to make you alert. Becoming alert if you make a wise choice and go ahead then fear is your best friend. Whatever you are afraid of letting it make you alert. Then analyze the subject and then do what is right in your life. It might feel uncomfortable at times but make a wise choice.
2. How do you respond to fear?
There is an old saying, ‘Courage is not the absence of fear. But, courage is going ahead in spite of fear’.
So next time when you sit with your children discuss this with them.
1. Fear doesn’t mean you should stop, it means you should be alert.
2. Treat fear like a friend. There is no need to feel bad if you have fear.
3. The role of fear is not to stop us. But for us to use our intelligence.
If your children walk home from school talk to them. If they thought that a teacher is teaching well, ask them to appreciate her. Ask your children to write a small, not f appreciation. The response might not be what you expected. They might fear their friends teasing them. They might fear the teacher getting upset about it. Such fear is accepted and understood. It is a good thing to feel this fear for alertness.
But, if anybody does a good job should we appreciate them? If you do a good job would you like it if you are appreciated? Yes! Right? So appreciation is the right thing to do. Now, you teach your children how to teach handle this feel and go ahead appreciate the teacher.
There would be a hurricane of fear in your child while appreciating the teacher. But, make him/her do it anyway. Sure, the friend will tease for a while but the teacher won’t be upset. Above all, your child would be breaking the comfort zone that has been stopping him/her.
Fear can be conquered a little bit at a time. There is no way by which fear can be conquered in one shot. Every progress enhances courage and weakens fear. So even if it takes a little longer, that is fine. Just be consistent and do a little at a time and your child will be filled with courage.
Even if you have a base of fear, you can raise a confident child. Work on all the points above consistently and efficiently. May you get transformed as a confident person overcoming your fears. Even if it means a bit at a time do it. Watching you, your child will also speed their process of overcoming fear. They will have the courage to move forward on the right path of their life.