“This bridge freaks me out, Mama,” says my 6 year old as we get ready to enter the National Zoo.
“I know baby. Sometimes I get nervous on bridges, too. What’s going on?” I ask.
“It makes my legs feel funny. It feels like we’re high up in the trees and the water is so far below,” she explains.
“You know what’s cool about that? I ask, getting her attention, “Your body is real smart & that’s your body’s way of asking - Is this safe?
And, what’s cool is that you can look around, make sure you’re safe & give your body an answer.
So, what’s the answer? Are you safe?”
My big girl looks at me, and then all around. “Yeah, but I still feel funny.”
“Let’s look at the bridge,” I suggest. “Hmm - looks strong – lots of people are on it – cars, too.
Let’s check the railing (we try to shake it). Nice and sturdy.
What can we tell our body now?”
“It’s ok body. I’m safe,” she tells herself out loud, smiling.
“That’s right & that funny feeling in your legs & tummy will slowly go away. Maybe it has already. And, if it doesn’t for a while, that’s ok too.”
“It’s gone already,” she tells me.
“Alright, baby. Let’s go to the zoo!”
“Yeah! I want to go see the monkeys!”