Something happened today and I’m not sure what to do next. Gilbert, our 9 year old son with autism and albinism, had an appointment with the ophthalmologist. He had to have eye drops that he’s never a fan of, but today was quite traumatic. He has resisted and attempted to refuse the drops before, but not like this. It took myself and two nurses to pin him down and apply the drops while he just screamed about how scared he was.

A little piece of my heart broke and I’m tearing up just writing about it.

I get that he was afraid, but at that moment in time there was nothing that could be done – he just had to have the drops. But now, with a good half hour and a Happy Meal between us and the event, I am left wondering. What do you (I) do to engender bravery in a child? How do you do it when you yourself are anxious and not a risk taker? I know I am a helicopter parent, and that doesn’t help this at all – so what do I do to begin to address this?

An irrational part of me also feels guilty that my son did not trust me enough to believe what I was telling him – that the drops won’t hurt and that it will be alright. Silly, I know, as fear is a powerful, irrational emotion that easily overrides our better judgement.

I know it will all look better from tomorrow, but right now I am feeling like less than the greatest Dad in the world. I would love to hear what you do to build courage in your children and resilience in yourself.