Foundations of Fear
Everyone deals with their fear differently. The reactions your children have to fear can help you understand how they deal with it. Do they get angry? Do they hide? Do they try to laugh it away? Here are some questions to explore the foundations of your children’s fears.
If you have ever seen me afraid, how did it make your feel?
Watch their expressions as they relate a story when they saw you afraid. Try to help them understand that it is not their responsibility to make you feel safe.
What’s the first thing you do when you are afraid?
Allow your child to experience some self discovery. They may not have thought about what they do when they are afraid. Encourage them that whatever their reaction, you understand.
What makes you most afraid?
Listen for concerns your children may have that are exaggerated or unhealthy. Whatever their response, accept it as their perception of reality. Sometimes just talking about their fears is the first step to overcoming them.
Many childhood fears stem from a lack of maturity and understanding. For example a toddler may be afraid of fireworks. It is a healthy fear to avoid loud noises followed by an explosion of sparks. Until they understand that sometimes noises and explosions can be intentional and controlled for entertainment, they will be afraid. Once you understand the foundation of their fears, you may be able to dispel them with conversation. Listen to them and show them unconditional love in your response to their fears. If they learn to trust you with their small fears it will be easier for them to come to you when they have larger concerns.