At Lake Powell a new, adventurous side of my oldest flourised. She tried so many new things and her confidence grew by leaps and bounds. In the past I have really struggled with how to parent her, I am mostly outgoing and love trying new things, my daughter is just about the total opposite. One sweet mama I connected with through instagram was so helpful and explained how to help my daughter in such a perfect way for me:
There are multiple rings for each of us, the center ring is our comfort zone, in this ring we feel safe but not much learning takes place, the next ring is our learning zone, this is where we are pushing our limits enough that we can learn and grow but fear does not control us, the most outer ring is the fear zone, in this ring fear takes over and learning can no longer take place.
This was amazingly helpful to me, as much as I hate to admit it I think I have pushed my daughter to the fear zone too many times in the hope that she will magically love what I love. With this new understanding of not only the different zones, but that we each have our own zones, I was able to help my daughter find them for herself and find the balance of challenging herself yet not letting me, or others push her too far where she ends up in the fear zone.
While we were at Lake Powell we had many experience that I truly feel have been turning points not only in her life but in our relationship. At one point we were out on the jet-skis, my husband had our 3 year old and I had Jane. Jane was not wanting to go fast or keep up with her dad. At first this annoyed me, I have always loved going fast on jet-skis and I just really wanted to let it fly. Then all the sudden I was reminded of the principle I just shared with you. I was reminded that my zones are different than her and for her to learn anything or grow from this experience I could not force her into the fear zone.
I slowed down the jet-ski, let her know that I loved her, that she was safe and calmly asked her what she was scared of. This was a game changer. I was not only able to learn how to best help her and ease her fears but she was able to speak up and know that I cared about her and that her opinion was important. Our children need to know that we care about their fears and concerns, they need to feel heard and that they matter. It is when we slow down and address these fears that they are able to grow and move past them.
The rest of the trip I could see her confidence grow and her trust in me flourish. Jane kayaked and paddle boarded by herself, swam with her head under the water, and even went cliff jumping. I am so grateful for this time we were able to spend together and all I was able to witness my daughter accomplish!