Saturday, 9 March 2013

Facing our fears.

Today we were invited to the ultimate birthday party- a Tree Tops climb. Just what every boy dreams of- a day of climbing trees. After Joe's koala experience last night I thought he'd be up those trees in seconds flat. Drew is really nervous about heights. He pushes himself to do roller coasters & was terrified when we did the Valley of the Giants walk in WA. I thought he might find the day a bit challenging.
Well that's what I get for making assumptions. Drew was awesome & loved every second of climbing with his best mate. I deliberately let him set off without Joe so that he could just enjoy the experience with his friend, without worrying about his little brother. Joe, on the other hand, crumbled. He is not scared of heights, he loves climbing trees and is frequently reminded to 'get down before you break your neck'. But he would not set a foot on the first rung of the ladder & kept dissolving into tears.

Today it was all about tough love! Joe had to push through the barrier. I was convinced that it had to be a social anxiety. It was about feeling overwhelmed around so many people & unsure about how to manage his anxiety- there were also a lot of kids he didn't know. After letting him watch for a while I told him to try climbing to the first platform and then climbing back down. The first two times he got half way up before retreating in tears. Unfortunately every time he was offered help by one of the guides- he retreated further. He watched all of his school friends have a great time, he saw several other kids cry but finish the course in the end. And then he finally agreed to climb to the platform again. He did it 3 times- his smile widened each time. Then, thankfully Kobi and Drew encouraged him to climb with them. They promised that one would go ahead & one behind him to help him if he needed it. He didn't need any help. My little monkey did what he does best- he climbed and jumped with gusto. With the little time remaining before we had to leave he was able to squeeze in several courses. I kept my distance & watched from afar after the first course. He didn't need me to hold his hand. He needed to be with friends. His mates called out encouragement & cheered his name but he didn't get a chance to hang out with them. He stayed close to Andrew & Kobi and therefore didn't really face the true fear today. Little steps- onwards and UPWARDS.





















No fear!!! Threw himself off the platform with a huge grin.



Kobi and Andrew were so great with Joe today. He relished their attention and he felt like he could fit in. He needed the security of familiar and safe today.

4 comments:

  1. I have to confess there is no way I would have gotten up there!

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    1. I think I'd like to give it a go, but I haven't put the harness on yet ;)

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  2. Looks like both boys had an amazing time! Looks like a great adventure and I am glad Joe felt safe enough to push himself x I am always amazed that it is my non abled bodied child that is way more daring and confident even though his body inhibits independent adventure.

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    1. Sorry Bron- this comment ended up in my spam box for some reason and I have only just found it. Cams is my most daring child too!!

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