We have this new phase going on in our home. For the first time, I have a child who's afraid of the dark. Like, she doesn't even want to walk down the hallway to turn a light on in a bedroom.
After multiple times of her asking me to come with her, I took her hands, got down on my knees and looked her in the eye. Gently I said....
"Paisley repeat after me. You can do this. Repeat these words, sister. Say, I am Paisley! I am brave!"
She took a deep breath and reluctantly repeated "I am Paisley. I am brave." And then we said it again and again, a bit louder each time. "I am Paisley. I am brave! I am Paisley! I am brave! I am Paisley!!!! I am BRAVE!!!!" A moment later, she marched herself on down that hallway and turned on the light.
A few days later, I saw her stop at the end of the hallway. She didn't know I was watching, but what I saw next just made my day. As she paused, she breathed in and then spoke it out, "I am Paisley! I am brave!" Then she ran down and turned on the light, with a huge smile on her face. She said it, she believed it and then she did it.
I feel like as Moms, we need to not only go with our kids into those places that scare them, but we also need to equip them to face these things on their own. Having someone tell you that you're brave is one thing, but repeating it over and over again, about YOURSELF is powerful. I want her to not only be told that she's brave, but I want her to also start telling herself that she's brave. The more she says it, the more she'll believe it.
I've spent so much of my life telling myself all about what I'm NOT, that it makes me want to teach my kids right now to tell themselves all about what they ARE. I think I'm realizing that raising a strong willed girl is hard, but I'm ready to take it on. I guess I'm ready to be brave with her.