One of the issues we work on all the time with Peyton is his extreme fear of failing, it overflows into so many parts of his life. He won’t step outside of his comfort zone unless we push him. I saw this when he was younger and tried to nurture it in a way that looking back at it may not have been the best route. I felt as though he had enough ahead of him so making him face fears and failures at that point wouldn’t help. As a parent, who at the time was a single mom of 4, I wanted to protect him as much as I could. I see now I may have protected him a little too much. He needed those scraped knees, tears from hurts and pushing himself outside of his “comfort zone”. Many times my older 3 would push me to “toughen” him and teach him the world can and will hurt you. I just couldn’t bring myself to push the “tough love”. That changes when his step-dad entered his life, he helped me see that this wasn’t tough love but unconditional love. That it would prepare him for a future where he was stronger and could and would face hurts head-on and use them as life experiences, rather than failures. I have slowly been working towards stepping back and allowing him to learn from his own mistakes. It isn’t easy and I still tend to jump in and try to fix it.
I remember one time when we had a snow storm in Virginia and Peyton wouldn’t go outside because he didn’t like the cold and had a bit of a “fear” of the snow and ice. All the kids in the neighborhood were out and playing, we lived on a corner so we had a large side yard and many times it was the gathering place, my older kids were outside with neighbors. Peyton was sitting in the living room watching them, I knew I should make him go out but didn’t. My daughter saw him in the window and came inside and made him get dressed into snow clothing and took him outside. He started whining she said “too bad” and made him play with everyone else. She even told him he needed to make a snow angel and get snowy and wet. I stood inside cringing but watched, she loves her brother deeply and I knew she wasn’t hurting him. He played outside for sometime and was genuinely enjoying it. When he came inside he told me he had so much fun!
I am writing this blog not only to share my experiences but hoping others who read this can offer their advice. I want to do what is best for Peyton and not stress him, but I also realize he needs to work through this fear… or life will even be tougher for him.