Last week, we spent some time in Chicago with the kids. Although, most of our time was spent in the burbs, one day we took the train into the city. I watched the kids really embrace and even enjoy that unfamiliar, uncertain feeling you have when you do something totally brand new, and I was bursting with pride. I am so glad my children are not fearFULL. Meaning full of fear or scared of everything that suggests the slightest hint of uncertainty.
They are cautious, they are careful, but they are not stifled by the unknown. They are smart enough to know that uncomfortable doesn't equate with unsafe. Everyone has that uneasiness when faced with change or newness, but not everyone is brave enough to push through that feeling. Instead, most people turn around midway and decide it's better right where they were before. Never really going anywhere.
It is a child's instinct to follow the lead of someone they trust, which in most cases means a parent(s). When parents can't deal with their own uncomfortable feelings of not knowing exactly what will happen next, their children never really learn to trust their own instincts. Keeping your children safe is very important, I understand that, but that doesn't mean NOT doing things that are different or may be dangerous. Children need to be able to deal with situations that are foreign or that end differently than expected. Allowing your child the opportunity to see you roll with the punches, adapt and come out smarter on the other side, gives them an example of how they can do the very same thing when they have to.
The best part about understanding and embracing that uneasiness is it's usually on those detours where you see new places, meet diverse people and learn interesting things. I want my children to have a good comfortable life, but I hope the strange, awkward feeling that accompanies change, growth and learning is a huge part of it.