It is natural for a human being to fear what they don’t understand, so you can imagine just how frightening our world may seem through the eyes of a child. To make things even more difficult, sometimes this fear will make sense only to them and when this happens, the parent is often left in the dark. However, where there is a will there is always a way and it is quite possible to help your child overcome his/her fears with just a bit of effort.
Identifying the fear
Even though fear is something quite individual, there are some types of fear that are more common than others. For example, a lot of people (even adults) are afraid of the dark. Furthermore, a fear of heights or closed spaces is also quite common and the fear of thunder closely follows. Once they grow into a phobia (intense irrational fear) there will be not much you can do. However, while the situation is still in its infancy, you can do quite a few things to remedy the situation.
Talk to them
You would be surprised just how much you can achieve by just talking to your children in these situations. Remember, you are the person they trust the most in the world, which means that they often take your words as an absolute truth (a reason more why you should never lie to them). Still, you need to pay close attention to the way you approach this situation. Remember that something that gives so much trouble to your child is not to be taken lightly, which is why it is crucial that you are as serious as possible. You also cannot afford to be dismissive about the reasoning behind your child’s fear. In other words, thread lightly.
Some claim that in order to overcome your fear you need to face it first. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that you should just push your kids into a dark room, close the doors behind them and expect for things to just magically turn out for the best. In fact, this course of action can even make things worse. What your child needs is to feel safe, so take your time and try to approach this one step at a time. In other words, helping your child overcome their fears is a lengthy process and there is no rushing.
Ask for professional help
Another thing you should most definitely do is ask for professional help when dealing with such things. Sure, you know your children the best and you spare no effort when their well-being is in question, but sometimes you may need a fresh (and professional at that) perspective at what you are doing. People you should speak to in these situations are usually psychologists, pediatricians and even life coaches. In fact, high performance coaching is in its essence (in some aspects) not that different from parenthood and there are so many useful tricks that you can pick up from it.
Teach them by example
We have already said that your kid looks up to you at all times, which means that even when you are not actively trying to convey something to them, you are teaching them by example. If you dislike some type of food, there is a great chance that your child will come to dislike it too. Similar to that, a child is able to sense your fear, even if you are trying to hide it. This is why you need to learn how to overcome your own fears, before you can help your children do the same.
As you can see, helping your child overcome their fears is a difficult task, but it is also one worth every effort and trouble endured. This being said, you need to be there for your child every step of the way, take their problems seriously and learn how to teach them by example. Finally, never be too proud to ask for help when you need it.