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Riding through fear: a mother’s journey of trust

How can we let go of fear to parent with trust? Here, a mother shares her journey and the joys that came with it.

“In the early stages of the pandemic when only outdoor activities were allowed in our state, my then-13-year-old son, Daniel, asked if I could take him to a skateboarding park. But, for me, the word ‘skatepark’ immediately brought to mind drugs, crazy people, and danger all around.  I told Daniel my concerns and he said he and a school friend could go together.  I took solace in the thought that Daniel was with a friend the whole time at the skatepark, but still worried about drugs and so I would often talk about the dangers of drug use. At one point, Daniel looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘Mom, just tell me not to do drugs and that’s it.’  So I did. And that was it.  

I looked past my fears and, through active listening, learned to speak his language.  

Now 17, Daniel has been to many different skate parks on his own and encountered many kinds of people –  good kids, troubled kids, grown up skateboarders who would caution kids on making bad choices.  He has also made a few good friends at the skatepark.  He is now a high school senior busy applying to colleges and in his application essays, he talks about how the skatepark helped him feel accepted and in turn, become a more accepting person. He also talks about how good it felt when the skateboarders came together to paint the skatepark to make it look nicer. 

P.E.T. helped me to hear my son out through active listening and communicate my concerns through I-messages.  While things were not always perfect at home, having a parenting framework certainly helped to navigate more difficult conversations.”