I do what I feel led to do.
Thank God I have people at my work, whom I would consider close enough friends to cry in front of [like I did today, and have in the past] to share my concerns, fears and frustrations. And to know they may not always agree, but they understand a mother's heart.
I completely understand the side of the coin where people think it is better to help children learn to face their fears, even if it means some days/weeks/months of "uncomfortability". I really DO understand that.
On the flip side, I am not that parent. Instead I am the parent who follows my child's cues as another good friend pointed out [Thank you Shari!]. When I KNOW in my heart that either of my children are not ready to face a fear, and when facing that fear means deepening an anxiety rather than helping to heal it....I WILL pull them away from the fear until such a time that they are ready to hear/understand/begin to rationalize and know that the fear can be controlled.
I myself have some deep fears and let me say, that if someone forced me to face those fears [on in particular that I am thinking of], it would only worsen and and in addition create a resentment towards those pushing it. I don't expect anything out of my children that I do not expect or do myself.
I can not watch my children suffer and not cry, not reach out to them, not comfort them. It is not in my nature to do that. I am not wired that way, I do not parent that way, I will not parent that way.
'Tis true the old saying "to each their own" and such is the case now. People can tell me I spoil them, I baby them too much, they need better discipline and they surely have the right to believe that.
But I will continue to follow my heart and my children's cues and travel this road right along with them, hand in hand. Not in front as if I'm "training" them, nor behind them were they can get too far out of my "sight" for me to feel anything. But beside them as my child, as a fellow human being in need of the same love and comfort that I desire.
It works for us :)