Being a father with a fearful child

Feeling lost and helpless in a world of so many answers about fear, what it’s like… to me.

He can be so humorous, but it masks what a fearful child he can be
He can be so humorous, but it masks what a fearful child he can be

What do I mean by saying feeling lost and helpless? Most of that is on me, as a father and as a man in general. Like many guys of my age, my idea of support is fixing. Having an anxious boy who can be oppositional is an ongoing challenge. Some days are better than others and there are successes and failures. But there is no cure. No point where you can say this job is done, put the tools away and move on to tomorrow’s tasks. We’re not talking about a task, it’s a process. and it’s tomorrow’s process, and on and on. Notice I said process, my gut and probably your’s, would tell me it’s a struggle. But it’s not, because no matter the hardship and feeling of failure this is my boy, his fears and anxiety are part of him. There is no hardship for me, it’s his burden. And I’ll be here to support and help him. Yeah, it can weigh heavily at times. Especially when he can be so oppositional. But this is my calling, this is my purpose as I find myself on the backside life.

This post hopes to be an introduction to a new series of posts about being Nate’s dad. That anxious boy who can seem to crater at any moment. Who always has me on edge, worried about how he might react at any given moment. Concerned over how I might react and how it will effect what he’s feeling. Will I make it worse?

Nate was a foster to adoption, the single greatest decision my wife and I have ever made. I wrote a post titled, The importance of foster care in the United States should you like some information on fostering a child. The US Health & Human Services is a a great place to start. The wildcard of what his biological traits might be can be a challenge when trying to understand his fearful and oppositional tendencies. And the importance of Nate being adopted plays into my previous statement about raising him being my calling.

A good start to our story might be starting with this post from August, 2021. The Long Climb for the Short Rip. Sure he’s a fearful child, but you know… it makes the little moments of bravery that much more joyful. And for him? The look of pride. That is what’s its all about.

If I could say one thing to the father of an anxious boy. It would be that as he looks to you and asks if you are proud of his accomplishments, tell him you’ll always be proud that he tried. You’ll be happy, for him, of success.