Just Testing (Independent thinking, Safety, Personal Power)

It’s been raining incessantly for days, making it a wonderland of puddles in our yard.

Her – “Daddy, can we go jump in puddles?”

Me – “Um…”

I had just settled in to work on a creative project. But she’s only going to be nine once…

Me – “Okay.”

Once outside, we could hear the waves crashing just beyond where we live. Minutes later, we were at the nearby beach. Only thing is, nobody was in the water.

Her – “Maybe it’s not safe. Nobody is swimming.”

I’m not a big fan of this beach to begin with for kids as it has a sharp drop-off. With the waves crashing, it might be hard for her to find her footing after being knocked over.

Still, I walked towards the shore.

Her – “Daddy, I’m not going in.”

I was happy with her decision; that she had assessed the situation and deemed it a senseless risk. It occurred to me, though, that it was a good opportunity to test her.

Me – “I’m going in!”

I took my shirt off and edged closer.

Me – “You coming? Come on!”

She stood firmly.

I turned back toward her and gave her a high five.

Me – “Good for you. I wanted to see if you would stick with your decision.”

As I walked past her, I saw a smile of pride flash across her face.

Me – “Don’t let anybody talk you into something that, in your gut, you don’t think is safe for you. If you can say no to your Dad, then you can say no to anyone, right?”

Her – “Yes.”

With that, we headed home, had breakfast and then went to the other beach with a very gradual decline. A friend of hers joined us, and we had a blast.

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