Fear traps us; it stops us from growing and expanding our abilities. What one can do is to teach children how to deal with the feeling of fear itself when it comes up.
Here are 6 steps we can take to help our children overcome fear:
- Create a safe environment to openly talk about fear. Admitting fear isn’t easy for anyone, so we need to be extra sensitive when starting this conversation. Don’t judge it; don’t laugh at it; don’t undermine it, and make it feel normal and possible to deal with.
- Share your own fears. Include how you either overcame your fears or are still working on them.
- Write down their fears. Identify a few fears and let your children choose which one they are ready to tackle first. You cannot choose for your children or push them if they are not ready; they need to see for themselves how this fear limits them and stops them from being who they want to be.
- Make a plan to overcome the fear. Choose small steps to take toward the goal. Make the steps clear, doable, and age appropriate.
- Acknowledge every small progress, even if it takes longer than you think it should. Real change takes time.
- Be a children’s ally. Always be supportive and make them feel your belief in them. Having fear is stressful enough; let’s try not to create any added pressure that would result by showing our disappointment or adding our own fear to the mix of emotions.