Yesterday morning I yelled at my son.
He had a baby molar that had broke in two and needed to come out. It had been loose for weeks, but because it was broke it stung when wiggled. A visit to the dentist showed that it was probably suction-cupped to the gums. I told him he had 30 minutes to try to get it out or I was pulling it with dental floss. He immediately started freaking out.
The fear of the unknown.
I told him, through his wailing, “Don’t let the fear of the unknown take over.” But he was past the point of listening. He was hysterical. I know what that’s like because at the age of 38 I still get hysterical if ANYone comes near me with a syringe. :-\
I yelled for him to stop talking so I could get the floss around the tooth. I tied it quickly and before he could finish another begging sentence I yanked.
Then he really wahooped! Not because it hurt. Not because there was a little blood. But because I yelled at him.
Once he calmed down, I hugged him and explained that once a person, young or old, gets to that point, there’s no logic and all reasoning is gone. I told him that most people have to deal with fear at some point or many times in their lives. He understood, but I still think he didn’t care for the yelling part. Neither did I.
I thought about it all day…did he really understand why I had to just plow through his fear. I don’t expect him to completely understand it, but on his level, did he understand enough?
Later that evening, he came running in the house with sweat running down his face, beaming from ear to ear…”MOM! I did it!!! I conquered my fear of heights!” He had been trying to get past the first branch from a huge tree in our backyard for a year. And he did it.
He got it. Maybe just this time, but he got it.