April 06, 2011

Throwing Away Her Fears

Alternate Title: Our Daycare Provider is a Genius!

Abby has had issues with playground equipment since she was run down by too-big kids on some equipment when she was 18 months old. Yes, she still holds onto this two years later. She was on the playground equipment at Greenbelt Lake, one of the kinds with the metal structure that has holes all through it - you know the kind:

We have tried repeatedly since then to assure her that she is safe. We have walked up with her, held her hand from the ground, given encouragement and gotten other kids to take her to reassure. Each of these things has worked, for an immediate fix.

This year Abby is in an in-home daycare with preschool curriculum. It gives her a continued educating experience, but more freedom to do things like daily trips to the park, library or museums. We have talked about putting Abby back into a classroom next fall, but we decided that she can do that the rest of her life, we want her to keep on having the freedom she has now.

One day last week Abby was able to vocalize for Karen that she was scared, so together they decided they would throw away her fear. Karen picked up some bark from the ground, handed it to Abby and told her to throw it. When Abby threw it she was also throwing away her fears.

And. It. Worked.

She spent another hour on the equipment. And on Sunday when we went to the park she did not even hesitate running all over the place.

When we went for a hike on Sunday evening Abby went out of her way to walk over a big bridge. We had only planned to do the short loop, but she could see it through the trees. We went over that way and she picked up a small stick. She was going out of her way to conquer a fear - she wants to be braver. She threw the stick over the edge about halfway across the bridge. On the way back she didn't need us near her and did not need to throw anything to not be afraid.

Ms Karen is freaking brilliant with our Abby. We are SO glad to have her as a partner in our parenting journey.


  1. I love that!

    It sounds like you have found a truly special person who will help Abby grow, learn, and build her confidence.

    (By the way, tell Ms. Karen I'm totally stealing her trick. :).. )

  2. Wow, very cool. I wonder if it would work for MG and going to bed.

    When I find her night light on the front lawn, I'll know who to blame! :)

  3. That's so awesome. Hooray for big, brave girls.