“Trying something new can be scary but re-trying something after slamming can be terrifying.”
A clip of dad teaching his daughter to drop in on a mini-ramp has struck a chord with parents across the nation and has gone viral in the process. In it a 36-year-old architect from Washington State helps his 5-year-old daughter conquer her fears after taking a frightening slam.
After the girl catches her breath, the dad praises her attempt, and lets her know its okay to call it a day. The tutu wearing kid is determined to nail the drop-in and when she finally does, Robert lets her know how proud he is:
“I want to say that I think that’s really amazing that after that fall, you’ve gotten up and you’ve worked through that fear.”
The TODAY Show reports Robert has been inundated with messages from men and women telling him they wish they’d had present and encouraging fathers.
“The message is clear: We have to do better. Our actions during this crucial and short stretch of time have lasting effects on our children that ripple through future families and generations.”
“Trying something new can be scary but re-trying something after slamming can be terrifying.
I had to re-gain her trust and she needed to re-establish her confidence after this slam and it was a tough but beautiful rollercoaster experience.
This is one of the biggest psychological battles we face as humans, because once that negative experience has made its home in our brain it’s very hard to get it out.
I know from intense personal experience that a bad fall can have long lasting [psychological] effects and truly believe, that when possible, it’s best to get back up and try it again with the goal being to end the session with a positive experience; to not have that negative memory ruminating in your head until the next time you return to try.
I’ve been asked a lot “How do you know what to say in these moments?” and the truth is I absolutely don’t know what to say.
Seeing her slam sucks the air out of my lungs and my heart drops but I just try to stay calm and redirect with some questions or comments while surveying the situation. A parents emotions (depending on how you instinctively react) will often times influence the child’s emotional response and it’s my goal to remove my influence and allow her to just be, to feel, to hurt at her pace and it allows me to get a better reading of how she’s truly feeling in these pivotal moments.
Ultimately I just respond from the heart.
If you calmly lead with empathy and support without applying pressure you’ll do just fine.”