Parenting Lessons: Be Courageous Despite Fear
Being courageous as a parent of a child with mental illness is a huge challenge for me. I've always been an anxious person; even more so that I've become parent to a pre-teen. While I continue to be afraid of how the world can affect my child especially because of his issues, I push myself to allow Bob room to grow.
Where My Fear Began
My fears stem from being somewhat of a sheltered child with strict parents who didn't let me be too independent. At Bob's age, I wasn't allowed to travel on my own except from home to school, which was a 5 minute walk away. And every time I had an issue with a peer, I was too scared to stand up for myself. I felt my parents' fears hindered my growth into an independent teen. I wanted something different for Bob.
My Goal for Bob
I wanted him to be an independent, street-smart kid who can make good decisions for himself. Even though I'm petrified of sending him into the world, I already know that he is a braver kid than I was. He is able to stand up for himself and say "no" when he needs. Bob has also been able to give his opinion on things even if it is to disagree with me. It is Bob's strength and bravery that help me be more courageous to allow him to try new things.
Living in a large, urban city (New York City), I'm aware of the challenges he could face. But, I also know that teaching him to navigate the world can help him. Today, Bob walks to school, goes to the store and travels to his after-school program all on his own. Granted, the school and the store are within blocks of our apartment and Bob uses a Metrocard to take public buses to go to after-school. Bob has shown me that he is capable and smart enough to do these things safely.
Fears Remain; But Have Courage
One thing I will say is that my fears will probably never go away. After all, I'm a parent. But, if there is one thing I've learned both as a child and parent - it has been to be courageous despite fear. Fear can hold you back from so many things; it can also hold our kids back because we are too afraid to let go. Be courageous and give your child the chance to grow.
Zalamar, H. (2013, December 17). Parenting Lessons: Be Courageous Despite Fear, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 8 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/parentingchildwithmentalillness/2013/12/parenting-lessons-be-courageous-despite-fear