What scares kids?

skyhikeI am a female dentist. When I was pregnant, I practiced until the week before my labor day that I would see her face to face. I thought she was going to be a boy. I really just wanted a healthy baby. The baby’s name was going to be the same whether it was a boy or a girl. She came with me to the Van Halen concert. During the drum solo, the baby inside me was going crazy. It was going to be a drummer, just like her dad.

When she came out safe and sound, she was in her nursery, near the laundry room. My husband said, the washing machine sounds like wolves howling, and I don’t want the baby to be scared. I said, she has been hearing dental drills, barking dogs and loud music for the past 9 months, she won’t even know what this is.

I have learned children are basically fearless except for 2 things: loud noises and afraid of falling. I thought this was odd. Of course, they should be scared of snakes, spiders and anything creepy crawly. They really have no fear of the dentist if their parents or other children don’t tell them anything. Usually the threat is this, “if you don’t brush your teeth, the dentist is going to give you a big painful shot and drill on your tooth.” It’s an uphill battle from there

We teach kids of what to be afraid. They are naturally curious and explore it every way possible. When they are infants, they put everything in their mouths. When they discover their feet – all of their socks are long and wet. We put our fears into them. Why do we do that? Are we protecting them? Of course we are

I recently took her to something called “sky Hike”. This is where you are placed into a harness tethered above you so you will not be able to fall. This is a few stories above the ground. At first, there are beams of wood with rails to keep you balanced. Eventually some of the paths have just a rope to walk across. I am side by side with her and I was scared. I was scared for her and I didn’t want to fall. We needed to cross the beams and ropes to get to these platforms and there were people behind us.

The middle aged man in front of us bailed out to the emergency ladder. He couldn’t handle the pressure of being up that high. Apparently, he thought he would fall or have a heart attack.

When my attention was on her, I could do anything I needed to do just to get to the next platform. Watching her at first, I was wondering about what would cause her to break and quit. She was pretty much unstoppable. After the second level, her hands were hurting and didn’t want to continue to the third level. I was relieved because I was sort of done, too. She trusted the process. She trusted the harnesses and she trusted me that I would not let anything happen to her. My baby bird was soaring.

What I learned is to let go of what you think you know about someone. You believe they are going to behave in a certain way. Give it up, you may be surprised.


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