Boy VS Dog: Confronting Childhood Fear
There are several good reasons to get a dog: moral support, unconditional love and loyalty, protection – if you get a dog larger than your average cat-, and of course all the snuggles. The twins were more than enthusiastic about the idea of getting a dog and it just felt like the right time to take the plunge and find the perfect pet for our family.
We decided to get a dog for the family and so, we visited Top Dogg K9 Foundation in Atlanta to find our very own giant Schnauzer. Top Dogg is an organization dedicated to meeting the critical needs of disabled veterans, so, choosing to purchase our new dog from them seemed like a no-brainer. Donating to help veterans and getting a protective and well-trained pup in return is a great business model if you ask me.
Ava and Alexis were THRILLED to be able to go meet new dogs, however, Jersey wasn’t on board. at. all. When we arrived at Top Dogg, he would not leave Ami’s arms and he would NOT touch the dogs for anything. But we were prepared for this.
To this point, every mention of getting a new dog was met with an objection from our two-year-old. We introduced Jersey to the dogs, and much to our surprise, he began to warm up to them. Now, in Jersey’s defense, the full-grown Giant Schnauzer was probably twice his size, so, understandably, it could be a bit intimidating for the toddler regardless of his fear of dogs.
By the end of the visit, Jersey was still timid in his approach, but he was interacting with the animals without being attached to a parent. This gives us hope that, when we bring our pup home, Jersey won’t be holding onto that fear and will be able to enjoy life with a new friend to play with. To watch this story unfold, watch our latest video here!
Parents VS Children’s Fear
This whole situation got me thinking about childhood fears. As kids, we fear things like the dark, storms, monsters, and any number of things that we tend to grow out of as we gain a better understanding of the world. As we watch our kids deal with these strange feelings, it’s often a gut-reaction to tell them to get over it and grow up. Did we know that we were taking the kids to see a well-trained dog that wasn’t going to hurt them? Yes. Did Jersey? Nope. He may very well trust me, but he doesn’t know the dog enough to trust that he will be safe. So, how do we help our kids overcome their fears?
Steps You Can Take
- Validate their fears: Make sure they know that you believe that they are scared and that their feelings are valid, but don’t dwell on the subject for long. Move on to a new topic quickly to discourage lingering thoughts about what scares them.
- Offer encouragement: Explain that everyone gets scared sometimes. This will help your child to understand that you relate to their situation. Also, encourage them to be brave. Find stories where the characters have to overcome their fears, often the same message from another voice can be helpful.
- Be patient: It will take time for your child to move past their fear completely. Try and remember that they can’t see the world as you do yet.
Have you had issues dealing with your child’s fears? What have you done to help your children cope? We want to hear from you so, pop over to FaceBook, like our Page, and join our McFam Gang to share your thoughts and ideas with us. And be on the lookout for when we bring our McPup home soon!