Reading the Harry Potter series together is a thread that weaves through the days of our lives. Having just finished Book 3, it was time for our great reward – getting the movie.
There is only one video rental store left in our town. They had it, of course, but it took a week of waiting before it was returned. She was beside herself with excitement when they told us we could come pick it up.
But that excitement soon abated.
Me – “Ok, you go and get it.”
I handed her money.
Her – “No, Daddy.”
She recoiled into an anxious posture.
Me – “Come on. You can do it.”
Her – “No. Daddy, you do it.”
Me – “Look, you need to feel comfortable to go up to people and buy things. When I was your age, I was traveling on my own in Switzerland and buying candy at kiosks, and I didn’t even speak the language. I wanted that candy!”
Her – “Well, can you come with me?”
I got out of the car but then waited inside the store about ten feet away from the check out desk.
Her – “No, I’m not going to do it.”
Me – “Okay, we don’t have to get it today.”
She didn’t like that.
Me – “Look, he seems like a nice guy. Only one of two things can happen. You have enough money and he gives you change. You don’t have enough and you need to get more money from me.”
Five minutes later, she was bounding out of the store. As usual, she was proud of herself for pushing through her shyness and inhibitions.
Me – “You can’t overcome a fear by avoiding it. You have to see it as a challenge and keep gaining experience. Then, it will be no big deal for you.”
I could do everything for her, but that would not help her, long-term.
Lots of love and steady nudges.