Recently, as Australians, we celebrated Australia Day. Everyone enjoyed the freedom we live in, the beautiful warm weather, the beauty of this wonderful land and the prosperity we enjoy. We are blessed to have family and friends to share it all with. As Aussies, we have always been people who like to let our hair down. We know how to relax together and have a lot of fun. This year, I found it interesting seeing all the different ways people celebrated. Through Social Media we are offered beautiful glimpses of others experiences. From what I saw, some went into the city and enjoyed the organised events; Sydney was magnificent as usual with the Ferry races and different activities that happened on our beautiful harbour. Others opened their homes and invited friends around to enjoy a backyard BBQ and yet others went out and enjoyed one of our many stunning beaches and National Parks to take in the great outdoors.
The weather was a picture perfect – blue skies, not too hot but just perfect for a day of celebration. As I said earlier, I loved seeing all the posts of how people celebrated; the variety was fantastic. However, there was one Facebook post I enjoyed watching and I must admit I watched it a few times. The post was from a lovely couple in our church, Jessamy and Phil and it was of their gorgeous little poppet who just turned one a few weeks ago. She was having a ball and it gave me so much pleasure to see this little “pocket rocket” having the time of her life. Her parents had set up a slip and slide and she was sailing down that slide with the biggest smile on her face. Her face screamed of pleasure and excitement. This in itself made me so happy to see her enjoying herself so much, however, it also made me so happy to see her being given the opportunity by her incredible parents to step outside the box. To take a risk and learn how to enjoy the thrill of conquering the slide. There were children much older than her sliding down having the time of their life and then there was this beautiful, adventurous little one mixing it up with the big kids without a sign of fear at any time. It was quite a long slide made out of a plastic sheet on a long grassy slope with lots of detergent on it and water from the hose running down to create all this fun. I congratulate both Phil and
Her parents had set up a slip and slide in their backyard and she was sailing down that slide with the biggest smile on her face. Her face screamed of pleasure and excitement. This in itself made me so happy to see her enjoying herself so much, however, it also made me so happy to see her being given the opportunity by her incredible parents to step outside the box. To take a risk and learn how to enjoy the thrill of conquering the slide. There were children much older than her sliding down having the time of their life and then there was this beautiful, adventurous little one mixing it up with the big kids without a sign of fear at any time.
As I watched the video I was moved by Phil and Jessamy and their parenting skills, which need to be congratulated. It was through what he did that made the experience for his little one so special. Phil made sure he was right there beside her all the way down the first time she took to the slide. With her dad beside her, it gave her the assurance that she was safe. After the inaugural trip down the slide, Daddy no longer needed to run beside her as she was so eager to get back on and have more rides. This sweet child was often seen trying to get in front of the bigger children so she didn’t have to wait her turn. There was no sign of fear on her precious little face, only excitement and pleasure.
It’s important to note that neither Dad or Mum pressured their little one into sliding down the slide if she wasn’t confident; they were just giving her the opportunity to experience something new. I believe in doing this they have given her the opportunity to learn in a safe environment. They have demonstrated to her, at such a tender age, that she can step out and have a go at something outside of the norm.
Often, as parents, we can unintentionally place fear into our children by not encouraging them to step out of their comfort zones in times like these. We often inadvertently verbalise what could go wrong, how they might get hurt or perhaps we think about what will others think of our parenting if we let them do something new or different. When we put limitations like these on situations, we teach our children to live limited lives, frightened to try new experiences. Some call it “helicopter parenting.” That term, although very self-explanatory can be a little harsh, however, I do think too often children are held back because of fear of ‘what if’ when most of the ‘what if’s’ are unnecessary fears that we hang onto.
To be clear, I am not suggesting for one minute that you need to push your children into doing things they may have a genuine fear of, however, I am encouraging parents to safely and responsibly teach your children to have a go and in doing so, it’s important to gently help them. When we bully them or belittle them because they may be afraid of something and force them to try something new, we are doing a lot of damage to their confidence and this is not what I am advocating at all. Rather I’m endeavouring to encourage parents not to bubble wrap their children but look for new experiences for them to enjoy. Help them try new things and encourage them to do things that are out of the ordinary and cheer them on all the way. Be there for them, do it with them but teach them to “have a go” as we Aussies say.
Don’t hold your children back because of your fears. I am a strong believer that when we encourage them to ‘have a go’ at things in the natural, face their fears and overcome the fear of pain and failure, we are teaching them to do the same emotionally and spiritually. By that I mean, when they overcome physical fears like sliding down a slide, this can help them learn how to overcome emotional and spiritual fears.
As I watch this sweet girl and I hope you enjoy the video (Thank You Jessamy for letting me post it) I am convinced that because of this experience and many more that I’m confident she will have will make it very hard for any bully at school to cause her any concern. She will be far too resilient for that to affect her. If Jessamy and Phil had spoken out over their precious little treasure what could have gone wrong and all the reasons why she shouldn’t have been given this opportunity to have so much fun, she very well may have been fearful, or at least, hesitant to conquer the slide. Thankfully, because they responsibly set her up for this opportunity, she conquered the slide and had a ball doing it.
Remember, be responsible, make sure it is safe BUT don’t hold them back. Under your careful eye, let them step outside the box and watch them thrive. I am very excited about the future for this little stick of dynamite and can’t wait to see who she grows into to being. Look out the world. Watch this video and see the sheer pleasure on her face.
Click on the PHOTO to download the video and watch: