Raising Boys: Overcoming Fearful Mindsets

Our approach to raising our boys is maybe just our approach to life in general.

Turning the fear that would keep you from trying into respect for forces larger than you. Learning from your mishaps. Getting smarter instead of always working harder. 

When we let the boys swim in the lake, especially in less than clear & flat conditions, we get a lot of looks. They’re concerned. I’m grateful. But I hope what they see when they’ve watched long enough is that we never leave our boys to learn hard things on their own. We’re attentive, we bail them out when they need it, and then we teach them. 

Things like: 

respect the water or it can injure you

don’t let fear stop you from thinking when you are in a tough spot

and tread with strength until you see your way out. 

It’s how we teach them and how we try very hard to live our adult lives out in front of them. Learning from fear and failure and letting neither prevent us from living well, loving others, and taking risks. 

It’s how we are here, in a very unknown and transitional point in our lives when we thought we’d have more security and establishment, still joyful and (mostly) unafraid. We respect the waves. We are learning instead of getting frantic. We’re patiently waiting for our opening. 

Lessons like this play into who we are, who you are, in everything that arises. A tough workout. A challenging day. A difficult conversation. A pandemic. A loss. These lessons come slowly with time and practice, but they serve us well every day and most especially on the days when the waves get higher than we’d like. 

Respectful. Calm. Smart. Strong.