12 March 2012

wasatch powderkeg ski racers and a sidenote on teaching bravery








dan and friends participated in the 10th annual powderkeg ski race on saturday. it involves crazy technical vertical climbs with tele skis–skinning up and then skiing down. for safety in the backcountry, the participants have to carry / wear their survival gear; avalanche beacons, water, snow shovels, avalanche probes, warm layers, etc. not one bit intimidating for the racers' spouses back at the finish line. dan thrives on high adventure stuff. i thrive on the safe ride down the canyon afterwards, buckled in our seatbelts. luckily the sun was shining and all went well. the racers rocked the terrain while b and i comfortably made conversation with good company in the cheering section. my boys were both officially spent by the end of the big event. hip hooray.
check out our other powderkeg adventures here and here.

sidenote // thank you for your excitement about boy numero two. we are completely thrilled about it. and i'm already prepping myself on a life of worry with high adventures like building snowcaves, skiing, river rafting, target shooting, camping, jumping on a school bus (without me!), going trick-or-treating unattended (will i ever allow it!!?), little league try-outs, riding bikes without training wheels, balancing a wobbly cafeteria lunch tray loaded with healthy foods that will likely go uneaten... oh, how you brave mothers do it! 

benji and i have been discussing being brave a lot lately. every evening we make a fun game out of checking for dragons and monsters in his room. i turn his flashlight on and check every nook and cranny. he laughs hysterically; it has become routine and he loves it. last night he asked me what it meant to be brave and i did my best to give him a good answer. we also tell him there are three things he can do when he's scared: #1. say a prayer. #2. sing a song. #3. think happy thoughts. i've heard him singing quietly to himself in his room on more than one occasion. it melted me into a pool of motherly love right there on the hardwood floors of the hallway.

what are your tips on teaching bravery to your children (or to yourself!)? somedays i feel a bit unqualified due to my own wobbly stack of worries that weigh heavy on me. i want my boys to be tough and brave and to believe in themselves and believe in their capabilities (even if they are scared!). i will have to learn how to encourage courage while cloaking my own motherly fears! check out what mara says about being fearless. i'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

awesome powderkeg logo is not my own; created by the talented wasatch powderkeg officials.

9 comments:

Meg and Devin said...

I think for me in regards to myself and my children, facing the fear is half the battle. Rather than running from it, meet it face to face, even if you're shaking in your boots with grace, deep breaths, and confidence. Doing that once instills a great sense of accomplishment, whether it be a fear of heights or the monsters that may be hiding under the bed, and will allow us to face the next fear the same way. Just my two cents...

Anonymous said...

well, this is not something I did as a child (when I got afraid in the dark) but as an adult, I was afraid of childbirth, and told myself "hey, if ALL those women through-out the centuries can do it, you can too" and I did :) In fact, when the time came, I was so excited I forgot to be afraid at all.
Loved your pictures today...
Sandy in GA

Marisa said...

We always say, simply, "being brave is doing something even when you're scared." I used to think being brave meant you weren't scared, but once I discovered that I could still be scared and do something anyway, it was much easier to have courage! I think it takes a little pressure off, and my kids are definitely responding to it so far. (They're 4 and 7.)

cecilia said...

oh i love your advice to benji: pray, sing and think happy thoughts.
my two year old daughter and i haven't talked about bravery, but when she's trying something new that's a little scary or makes her anxious I remind her of the things that she can do now that she didn't used to be able to do. Like run. And dance. And say the alphabet. I think she gets the connection: that she is capable of new, even difficult, things and that she does them all the time.

Kate said...

I try as hard as I can to give my kiddo confidence to tackle things all the while telling him I will be right there if he needs me. A few weeks ago it was walking down a small but steep hill without holding my hand. The look on his face when he conquered that hill was so amazing. He walked right up it again just to come down without me. He was so proud of himself. This morning it was sitting on the adult toilet at the doctor's office while I held him promising I would never ever let him fall in. Over and over and over I say, "You can do this! I know you can! And I'll be right here to help if you need me."

If your kiddos know you love them, they will have to confidence to do all things. Or almost all things. Hopefully knowing how much we love them will keep them from jumping off the garage roof because they think they are superheroes. :-)

cranny + b said...

I love what Kate said and I whole-heartedly agree. I just finished toilet-training with my 2.5 year old little guy and I feel like I learned a huge lesson in the area of giving your child confidence. Constantly assuring him and saying the words " you got this " and " you are doing so great! " countless times gave him that extra boost, I think. And to see his little face after he learned ( especially number 2!!! ) was so rewarding. I think everyone needs a "mama-type" cheerleader in their life! : )

beautiful pictures, by the way. And yes, I would be shaking in my boots if that were my husband--I would definitely be loving the ride hom--safe and sound! : )

Nessa Bixler said...

Being brave- what an appropriate thing for me to read after coming back from the dentist - the place I fear the most. I hadn't been since I was pregnant the last time and feeling like a "bad kid" and being scared was all it took and I was almost in tears. I prayed and I hummed a song to the little one in my tummy - which gave me such happy thoughts. Great advice to give your Benji.

I am gladI am not the only one worried about things like walking to school or going trick-or-treating alone. Thank you Marta for making me feel normal.

Melissa said...

It's so hard when they are little. I was very afraid when I was little. I used to have dreams that I still remember to this day. I never learned to resolve my fears and continued to sleep with a night light until I left home to be married. When my nightmare-type dreams ended was when I finally broke free from the oppressiveness of my mom and knew I was my own person. Most kids learn to do this when they are younger. I want my children to be strong and brave, and the two things I can remember helping are what I've tried to teach them. One was grabbing a favorite stuffed animal and another is prayer. We even put pictures of the Savior next to my daughter's bed so if she woke up at night she could look at them until she fell back asleep. We let her pick them out. They are still where they were seven years ago. I don't know if she still needs them, but she is prayerful. The only other thing I've done is loved my girls and let them know I am there for them. I didn't have that with my mom. The more we learn about our own fears and conquering them, the more we can teach our children. I have learned to rely on the Savior, take a deep breath, and re-route my thinking. Sometimes there are real things to be afraid of, but even then, prayer works. I have such faith in that that I hope my testimony will be a strength to my girls. I tried to make this a short blurb, so I hope it made sense. :)

Travelin'Oma said...

I have always been afraid of everything and would rather have kept my kids in the family room watching TV than let them do scary stuff like ride their bikes in the street. Then I read: "It's better for them to break a bone than for you to break their spirit." It helped a little.

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