Since Finding Dory just came out, I decided to watch Finding Nemo with the kids. On the surface, Finding Nemo is about a father's search for his son. But on a deeper level, it is a story about fear. Both father and son alike learn to overcome their fears--Nemo learns to overcome his disability and Marlin learns to trust his son's abilities.
A lot of bad things can be born out of fear. People discriminate, commit hate crimes, give up, or fail to show up due to fear. But fear is also an opportunity. Just as fear can be a powerful negative motivator, overcoming that fear can be a really powerful incentive.
Colin used to have a fear of water. His fear stemmed as much from Cassie and myself as it did from himself. Neither Cassie nor myself are that comfortable in the water. Last summer, we enrolled Colin in his first set of independent swim classes. Like Marlin, I felt nervous for my little Nemo. At first, Colin was so scared, he wouldn't even blow bubbles. Eventually, by the end of the summer, he learned to overcome his fear of water.
This summer, we once again signed him up for swim lessons. At first, I was sort of dreading the nightly trips to the pool. But then, I witnessed an incredible transformation in Colin. He actually liked going and looked forward to getting into the water. As I let go of my own uneasiness, I saw my Nemo swim down, swim forward, dunk his head, and even happily jump into the pool.
When kids reject new foods, they are often acting out of a fear of the unknown. Colin tends to reject green foods. However, early on, he accepted broccoli, and now it is one of his favorite vegetables. Once a child accepts a vegetable in one form, they are much more likely to accept it in various forms. To build on Colin's acceptance of new foods, I introduced him to a this tilapia dish topped with a pesto sauce made from broccoli. It turned out to be a surprisingly tasty dish, and I recommend you try it. I mean, what do you have to be afraid of?