By Leesa Ostrander
Defensive behaviors occur when a person is hurt, in turn causing a reaction out of fear.
Recently, my Kindergartener came home from school very upset. She was angry at everything and snippy. After an hour and her telling me everything is miserable, she started to cry. I told her I will listen.
She blurted out, “She lied! Teacher deceit me. She was the Leprechaun. I saw the foot stamps. She deceit me!”
I tried hard to not laugh. Deceit is a big word for a six-year-old and to use it in context was really cute. My coolness over her choice of words was deeply misunderstood. I understood her sadness and fear. As her parent, I understand many of her trials.
Turns out, my dear daughter was sad because she discovered the truth behind the magical surprise gifts and tricks of St. Patrick’s Day. She feared that it was the end of surprise gifts and mystical figures lurking around holidays.
She feared all she thought was not true and a person she respected and trusted had, indeed, deceived her.
This is a fear I have as an adult. I do not want to be deceived, let alone by someone I trust and respect.
She turned her fear into less productive measures. She became the afterschool nightmare. Her fear turned to defensive behavior that hardened her heart.
Hum, thinking that this follows some of the thoughts shared by our church leaders and scriptures.
When fear is a factor, behaviors shift to less productive actions.
Needless to say, after discussing with her, magic and the feeling of magic is more about the love of each season and not the physical person or items, she eased her anger. We can enjoy each holiday knowing that there is a person behind it making the day or season special. It is not the person but the holiday and the reason we celebrate.
I want to tie this to writing by saying; fear can play a role in a story. Yet if it is the main goal of the story it is a less productive use of time. We have better things to do in our short time here than to focus on fear. It is more productive to focus on the good feelings and lightness that we can find in positive surroundings.