My son has always been a cautious one. Independent yet rather nervous in nature when it comes to trying new things – especially anything that requires physical challenge or a threat to his gravity and/or perceived safety.
Things that fall out of his comfort zone have been slides, the street, large bodies of water or big swimming pools, thunderstorms (or even the sound of heavy rain), fireworks, getting dirty and walking barefoot outside.
His dad’s absence when he’s on tour has been something we’ve all been working through, (lately he gets upset if his dad even goes to take out the garbage. Every time he goes outside Wyndham wonders aloud if he’s going away to do ‘Rock and Roll’ and I see the panic building as his little body stiffens up.)
His sister’s unwavering independence freaks him out (he and I both!) He’s very protective of her outside and has gotten quite upset on occasion when she runs around, especially if it’s close to the street.
His caution and at times outright fear never seems unreasonable to me. Most of it is pretty common stuff for a toddler to be cautious or fearful of. It has simply become very apparent that my guy is a sensitive thinker. A little boy who loves his family passionately. A toddler with a sensitivity to people, the environment, sounds, tastes and textures regarding the world around him.
We work with him patiently through all that we can with him. Water isn’t the devil anymore, although he is still very, very cautious. He hates dunking his head and wavers between wanting to learn to swim and bucking against it. Either his dad or I accompanied him countless times on the ‘big kid’ slide. Now, nearly a year later – he’ll climb the jungle gym and go down by himself. But it was a delicate process. Sometimes he still wants one of us to go up with him – not so much for assistance, just to have one of us by his side.
It’s been key for us to encourage him to do these things rather than validate his fears and not giving him a gentle push in the face of those fears. We build up his confidence as much as we can without pushing him to far. A delicate dance indeed.
When I was introduced to this short film last night, all that my partner and I could think of was our son and how much we wanted to show it to him. This little movie charmed us to our core. Created by Bianca Giaever, the gist of it seems simple enough. She asked a little boy, six-year-old Asa Baker-Rouse, what she should make a movie about. She asked him to tell her a story.
His response? Some pretty masterful improv, I must say.
Cute and profound, The Scared Is Scared is a film that touches on more than just the charming and at times non-sensical way that young children communicate. (Making ‘sense’ is over-rated anyhow.) It’s more than a story of a bear and mouse. It’s a philosophical viewpoint of what fear and caution mean, how it defines who we are, what we do and what we love; from the perspective of a little kid.
I mean, anytime a person turns to a young child for inspiration, the result is likely to be amazing. If we open ourselves up to such a notion.
It is after all, just under 8 minutes long. YOU HAVE 8 MINUTES. This is a movie you must watch! It lies at the heart of what many of our little ones struggle with in the early years of childhood development. Watch it. Watch it. Watch it. Be charmed. Laugh.
Then watch it with your children and let them be charmed. Let them laugh.
And may you both/all have a couple of a-ha! moments. As Bianca would say, quoting Asa at the end…
“We all get a little scared sometimes. Scared of graduating school without a plan; scared of monsters. One six year old has a remedy: think of something else until the [“nervous has gone out of you.“] Think of juice, pizza, and a piano shaped chocolate chip cookie. In other words, he says, [“when the scared feeling comes into you, the scared is scared of things you like.“]”
More Babbles From Selena…
- 14 Way My Girl Is Just Like Me
- Those Who Rock At Parenting (No Smug Moms & Dads Here!)
- The Dreaded Pink Eye: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments
- The Coolest Bunk Beds For Toddlers
- The Age-Evolution of My Traveling Toddlers
Elsewhere on the internets…
Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve