Quote of the Week

One girl home from over night camp, excited to share all her stories.

Two boys heading to overnight camp.

One super, over the moon excited.

One hating the fact that his Dad and Stepmom are forcing him to go.

It has always been a struggle for Gabe to be away from home. I thought this year his anxiety would ease up a little because Zach was going to go to camp with him. And, it was, until he had a full blown anxiety attack last week.

We talked a lot about it, and I gave him some stuff to read about it.

I know there are many schools on how to treat anxiety related issues.

I think Gabe wishes that both Rob and I bought into the school of “You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to; it won’t make or break you.”

But we don’t. 

We buy into the school of learning strategies to help you cope with things that make you nervous and scared. We buy into the idea that avoiding things can actually work against you and strengthen the anxiety. You end up missing out on experiences you would likely enjoy. You become a slave to your anxiety. It’s all the little things that make up your life, so actually, constantly avoiding situations that are scary to you actually will make or break you. We buy into the idea that doing hard things makes you stronger, and it is the hard in life that in fact, makes life great. 

But, we understand that it’s tough.

And it’s tough too to balance being sensitive and supportive to Gabe, while still being super excited for Zach. I want them both to have a good experience. I want Gabe to feel good, and I don’t want Zach to feel he can’t have fun if his brother is too stressed.

I’m sure they will figure it out. Sometimes we just gotta push, and have the faith that they can fly.

So, in honour of the these two boys heading off to have some fun adventures (and hopefully stay out of trouble), I have two quotes for them:

Come to the edge,” he said.

They said, “We are afraid.”

Come to the edge,” he said.

They came.

He pushed them…and they flew.”  

Guillaume Apollinaire

And of course, from Pooh Bear:

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”  

(this was actually in my vow to our kids on our wedding day, so it is especially meaningful to me:)


Quote of the Week — 18 Comments

  1. It’s always hard to do what we know in the long run is going to be a fun, engaging, learning experience for our children. Specifically when they want no part of it…in the end, they are usually happy they “had” to go. 🙂

  2. Anxiety can be so tough!! Because usually we end up talking ourselves out of the good in a new situation.I sure they will enjoy and adjust well. Great quotes!!

  3. I understand this so well – my oldest would rather stay home than do anything else. He isn’t super social and he is sort-of quiet around people he doesn’t know well. He is fixing to start his freshman year of high school and is in band – they have been having band camp and the first couple of days were high stress for him (it’s getting a little better each day!). I think it’s good for them to push outside of their comfort zone – it’s hard as a parent to force it sometimes but overall a good thing. I hope both boys have a great week at camp!!!

  4. Oh, don’t I know it! I was an anxious kid and my parents gently pushed me and each time, I grew stronger. Your parenting school of thought is wonderful and I have no doubt he will realize it one day, if not today.

    • I don’t think he’ll realize it today – but I hope someday:) I think he also has to cope with two homes and different parenting styles and philosophies so that also fuels his anxiety even more.

  5. Oh its so hard sometimes isn’t it? We have to nudge them along…we have to do this so much more with our boys than our daughter! But it seems like they always end up having fun!

  6. SOBBING at those quotes…they are both so perfect for parenting. And children. And family. I love that y’all give him coping strategies for managing his anxiety. Sounds like you are handling it perfectly!-Ashley

  7. Hard one eh? Yes I am in your camp too..the parent pushing camp…and I often get alot of slack for it (except from you!!!)
    I have a feeling this time he is going to like it..with Zach there with him. I agree though must make it even tougher if his Mom is not aligned. Very tough.
    Hope goes well and keep us posted!

    Maybe he will be like Chase and meet a girl and then want to go back!

  8. Oh, they do need nudging beyond the edge of their comfort zone. So nice to meet another “evil parent.” 🙂
    It can be a hard line to draw, and sometimes we even have to hide our fears to encourage them to move forward.
    Down the road, your kids will thank you, and you will all be happier for it.

    We were pushing to some degree even up through the first year or two of college. Whew.
    I can’t think of a single time where our girls said later that they had a terrible experience. If anything, we still could have pushed a bit more.
    Beautiful quotes-I especially like the Pooh Bear one. I am a huge fan of Pooh!

    I ask your indulgence to share a piece I wrote that you might find encouraging: When Fear Meets the Pushmi-Pullyu. It’s about pushing and pulling our children beyond the edges of their comfort zone. Plus there is a terrific video titled Even Eagles Need a Push! http://www.toodarnhappy.com/2013/06/17/when-fear-meets-the-pushmi-pullyu/

  9. We have a couple kids who are very anxious about life too–but if we push them we get a lot of static from the exes. Their anxiousness sometimes is due to a lack of being in control of things (they also over-think things instead of just doing them) so I think the solution is getting their feet wet in life by having them feel that lack of control/anxiety and doing the things anyway. I love the way you parent your kids–you’ve really managed to blend step-parenting and parenting in a way that is loving and nurturing, but yet has structure, boundaries, and rules. And, it doesn’t seem like you have interference with the co-parents (oh, so important in parenting a blended family). Every time I come back to your blog, it’s like a breath of fresh air–it reminds me that blended families can exist in a way that is good for everyone–everyone can thrive!

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