Dealing with Fears

Even adults have fears. We’re all afraid of the proverbial “monster under the bed.” Dealing with fear effectively can make a child more confident and secure. Feeling afraid is common at any age. How a person deals with fear can influence his confidence and happiness.

Help your child learn to manage their fears effectively with these tips

  1. Share your own fears as a child. Whether you were afraid of the dark or the life-sized teddy bear in your closet, tell your child about your fear. Then share how you were able to overcome it. Teach your child that it’s natural to be afraid and that it happens to everyone at every age.
  2. Teach your child about being brave. Many kids believe that being brave means you’re not afraid. But bravery is the act of facing your fears. Encourage your child to be brave. Fear and avoidance are something we do. Being brave is also something we can do.
  3. Avoid books, movies, and television programs with characters that you know will cause your child to feel fear. If your child is terrified of wolves, it doesn’t make sense to read the “Three Little Pigs” to them.
    ‣ Explain the difference between fantasy and reality to your child.
  4. Avoid embarrassing your child. The worst thing you can do to a fearful child is to tell them to stop being a baby. The last thing a fearful child needs is to start believing that he is unloved. Your own fears aren’t any more realistic 99% of the time.
  5. Ask your child to come up with solutions. Only they know what will make them feel better. A nightlight or five minutes snuggling in bed shouldn’t be an issue for any parent. You might even enjoy it.

Who isn’t afraid? Our fears limit us and rob us of confidence. Be supportive, seek solutions, and admit your own childhood fears. Show your child that feeling fear is natural, but that they can also take action to minimize this fear.

Among the other values children should be taught are respect for others, beginning with the child’s own parents and family; respect for the symbols of faith and the patriotic beliefs of others; respect for law and order; respect for the property of others; respect for authority. – James E. Faust

Next Chapter: Conclusion – Raising a Happy and Confident Childa>