8 ways to make your kids fearless

scared child can feel sad forever- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Having been a daredevil (well, sorta) for most of my life, I was a bit taken aback when my son (then 2) didn’t want anything to do with big theme park rides, or even the slides in the garden and so on. He was just a very cautious child by nature and it came down to me to negate his fears and make him feel safe in new environments. I worked on it for some time and now at 4 years of age, he is like most kids of his age – excited and amazed by all new things he sees and most of all, willing to give it a go. Here are some tips to develop a fearless mindset in your kids too—

1. Acknowledge the fear

It’s all too easy for us, as adults- a small child’s fear of something is mostly perceived as totally innocuous – like swings or slides. Give them the opportunity to express their concerns, then show them that all kids are playing and there’s nothing to worry. And that you’re right there to take care of them.

child who fears can be depressed- Parenting resources by ZenParent

2. Failure IS okay

Children who don’t perform or are the least bit different from others do face a lot from others because they simple appear to be different (not in a good sense) from the rest. Here’s where we come in. It’s absolutely essential to reassure our kids that failure is an option and you’ll stand by them no matter what. As Edison once said, “I didn’t fail. I just fund 2000 ways that didn’t work.”

3. Do not pass on your own fears to them

Most of us fear something. For me, it’s flying cockroaches. At first sight, I can feel my skin crawl and hardly fight the urge to flee. However, when he was a baby, my son thought it was positively amusing when a bug kept running away from him as he chased it. And he taught me that bugs were okay. We aren’t going to raise a bug farm any time soon but I can at least not make him be as afraid as I was (or am). 🙂

child fearful is not happy- Parenting resources by ZenParent

4. Identify the fear

Does your kid tell you she hates airplanes? She probably means the flying experience or the feeling of being airborne which makes her fear she might crash. Reassure her that everyone flies every day and that she can hold your hand tight during takeoff. Then distract her through the flight with toys, games or other forms of entertainment. And once you’ve landed, you can tell her, “Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?”

5. Remind them of past successes

Fears evolve with age and comprehension. You once were probably scared of swimming but are now a regular. For kids, its useful to point out these instances where they can bask in their own successes and understand that they can overcome whatever it is that they’re scared of now.

helping a child overcome his fears is possible- Parenting resources by ZenParent

6. Don’t compare

Showing examples of random kids in the same situation is totally different from using one constant example, like a sibling or a cousin. It only makes them feel inadequate and possibly build resentment against whichever unfortunate child you chose to compare them with.

children with the help of their parents can overcome all fears- Parenting resources by ZenParent

7. Show them the advantages

Talk to them about what you’re trying to get them to do. Sometimes, identifying the reward in the situation may motivate them to give it a try. Ask them questions to find out what they think the possible outcomes can be and dissuade their fears.

8. Give them time

It’s okay if your child doesn’t want to go on that theme park ride even after you’ve tried your best to make him go. Accept their decision and don’t give them grief. Instead, offer an opportunity to go the next time you visit or something to that effect.

 

 

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