Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This Is When Parenting is Hard......

When your child has an irrational fear, it is hard. It is hard to rationalize with them. It is hard to make them understand. It is hard for them to trust you. It is hard to get them just to listen.
For the sake of honestly here, I am going to share some of the hard part of parenting tonight. That is where Ralph found ourselves tonight, as our smart, funny and sweet middle child had a total melt down. She has developed an irrational fear of thunderstorms. Let me explain why I say it is irrational - she wants me to check the weather on my computer when she sees the wind blowing, or see clouds. Even with the sun shining. It has gotten to the point where I have actually had to go get her from school a couple of time. Granted those times there were Tornado Watches and Warnings all around us. Her teacher has told me she has never taught a student this afraid of thunderstorms.
But tonight, it was simply rain, with a little lighting and thunder. Laney began to rock, and then cry and beg to see the weather. So, I scooped her up, opened the front door and told her, "We are watching the weather." She came completely undone. So, both Ralph and I both calmly talked with, trying so hard to get her to understand that she was safe. To get her to recall the verse - "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." Matthew 6:34
She was having none of it. Her fear had gripped her beyond seeing anything around her or hearing what we had to say.
That is when Ralph quietly got up and left. It took me a minute to realized he was gone, then I saw him. Through the door. Standing in the rain. With his arms outstretched. Showing Laney it was safe.
She still would not calm down. So, he did what any loving Father, who wants their child to trust, would do. He came to the door, picked her up and carried her out in the rain.

She did not immediately calm down. As a matter of fact, she kicked and screamed for a few minutes. Then after about the second round of lightning, she settled down. She realized she was safe. She was ok. She trusted.
When she settled down, Ralph brought her in and I ran to get her in a warm shower. After she was dried off and dressed she walked back into the living room and with the biggest grin, proclaimed, "I am NOT afraid of thunderstorms!" And those are the moments that speak to me, "Yes parenting is hard, but so worth it."


Jay said...

That made me cry... Overcoming fears is a HUGE thing. Good for Laney!

Charlotte said...

I am sitting here with tears running down my face for the tenderness and commitment that Ralph and you both have for helping Laney face her fears. That was a big moment in her life. Praise God for parents like you. I am glad we are related! Tell Laney that we are very proud of her for facing her giant.

Michelle Yoder said...

Sorry guys, I didn't mean to make y'all cry :) If it helps, I had a good cry during and after the fact.

Alicia Yoder said...


Philip & Alicia said...

lol - ok, that was me, not Philip! Guess he hadn't logged off. ;-) Although, I'm sure he would think that was incredible too. The strength that you guys have with your kids is amazing. It's evident (through your words) that it's not always easy...but it's something we can tell is so important to you. Thanks for being so transparent.