How to encourage kids to face fears?

How to encourage kids to face fears?

How to encourage kids to face fears?

It was exactly a year back when we went for dinner at our friend’s house. Having kids of the same age, such informal dinners were always great to unwind and were full of fun for kids. But this time, it was a little different, as they had adopted Toxy, a cute beagle recently. I had some inhibitions, as the presence of Toxy could’ve been a little unsettling for my child, as we are not pet parents.

After the greetings, when my son walked over to gently pat Toxy, he suddenly began barking, which made my son frightful and he ran towards me, all scared. Well, he wasn’t afraid of dogs before, but yes, he never had such close interaction too. I didn’t want a new phobia to settle in his mind, so I allowed him to calm down and after a few minutes, asked him to come with me. Toxy loves playing with kids, and we took a ball for him, sat beside him, and petted him gently. I could see my son getting comfortable, as Toxy began to wag his tail. After the initial 3-4 minutes of convincing, my son became a little more comfortable, though he was cautious at the same time.

This incident taught me something vital: do not feed fear; rather encourage kids to face fears.

The fear of darkness, fear of bugs, fear of water, all these are some real fears for young children. As parents, we’re always there to soothe kids and accommodate their “fears”. But kids should not get the message that my mama or papa will be there to comfort me always. That way, children will not be able to work on their fears independently.

As parents, we have a larger role: to help children confront their fears gradually, so they can learn to deal with them on their own. We need to make children aware that they can face their fears, which will in turn help boost their confidence.

The fear of darkness, fear of bugs, fear of water, all these are some real fears for young children. As parents, we’re always there to soothe kids and accommodate their “fears”. So how to How to encourage kids to face fears? #parentinghacks #parentingtips #momblogger #pediasure #staysurewithPediasure #facefears

Ways to encourage kids to face fears:

 1. Introduce Role models:

When learning about how to encourage kids to face fears, the best way is to introduce a role model. This is what I did, to re-introduce my son to Toxy, in a much calming environment, which made him believe that he is a nice and playful dog.

Some age-appropriate books and movies showcase how a child can deal with his/her fears. Such stories motivate children to overcome their fears and give them the confidence to face their anxieties.

2. Talk to your child:

When your child is calm, talk to him, and understand what is frightening him. I remember when I asked my son what made him feel scared of Toxy, all he could say was, “Mama, he barked at me. I’m afraid that he would bite me”. At times, children are aware of the reason and at times they aren’t. Fear of the dark is real for many children. Try asking, what makes it scary? We need to understand where they’re coming from, talk to them. Make a plan with your child.

3. Do it gradually:

If your child fears dark, he/she will certainly not walk into a dark room all of a sudden and sleep on his/her own. Be with them for some time in their room, and then turn off the lights when your child sleeps. Continue this process for a few days, until your child feels comfortable enough to sleep in the room all by himself. Be patient, that’s the motto!

4. Encourage them:

Little encouragement is important. “It was brave of you to try once again and make friends with Toxy. See, you’re petting him lovingly and now Toxy is playing with you”. Praising your child’s efforts to confront their fear makes them feel more confident. Tell your child that you know as a parent that he/she can do it. My son loves stickers and tattoos, so I make sure to give him a sticker.

5. Be Empathetic:

Empathy goes a long way when it comes to dealing with kids’ fears and anxieties. For us, children’s fears might sound mystifying. We, as adults might have fear different things, but making a mockery of a child’s fears will hinder their confidence. We sit in the balcony and discuss/ talk about challenges while my toddler sips on his glass of PediaSure. It is one of our favorite things to do – him with his glass of milk and me with my cup of tea, as we talk about our day. Drinking his favorite beverage with me, we both talk about things that matter and bond. We need to provide kids with the right support, mentally and emotionally.

As a mom, I feel that the best thing we can do for our children is to help them face their fears. As they develop a very important life skill of accepting the challenges and developing a sense of confidence by overcoming it.

The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not reflect the views of any brand. Any omissions or errors at the author’s end does not assume any liability or responsibility on any party mentioned in the blog.

Much Love,



Quest to live the life surrounded with the charming little bundle's of joy. When they speak, I sing, When they smile, I rejoice , When they hug, I hold them never to lose, Such is my passion for these Gifts of God.This love urged me to navigate separately from my Travel Blog & establish an "All-In-One" Blog for budding mothers. Mum's have multi-tasked this world ,with all her professional commitments , she still makes an extra effort to be a loving, caring and be an intellectual mommy! Cheers, for me too come from the same fraternity, post having a superb academics & close to 8 years of professional experience and blessed with a little one "who has indeed changed my life from Autumn to Spring";)

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Milan Singhal

    Righty said, we need to do it gradually. These are very helpful pointers you have mentioned .

  2. Ruchi Verma

    I too feel like every emotion we need to teach our kids how to face this one too…you have shared it very nicely!!

  3. Smitha N

    So well picked topic it’s really important to teach kids to face fear and be strong thank you for sharing this informative post …

  4. Paresh Godhwani

    These five tips are not just tips these are the mantras to make your kid ready to face the fears.

  5. Siddhi

    As of now my daughter is 3 and only scared of studying. I need for her to be able to speak up in the class. She “acts” to not to the answer or is shy.

  6. Sandy N Vyjay

    Fears take root at a tender age and can prove detrimental in later years. They need to faced and tackled early on. Parents need to do this sensitively and empathetically.

  7. We have to face our challenge to let it go. This is same with kids, we have to help our children to face their challenge and will see them as all together different kid.

  8. Shub

    What a lovely article and great pointers here. We should encourage kids to share their fears and then we have to work with kids to face it. Earlier we begin better!

  9. Humaira

    Parents need to balance that compassion with encouraging their children to confront things that make them anxious. Great thoughts.

  10. Jhilmil D Saha

    Thats a really wonderful post. Who knew we had to go through this phase in life…so its better we teach our children to face their fears.

  11. Snigdha

    This is do helpful for parents. Your pointers are very true. We need to work slowly and gradually on this .

  12. Communication is the key in the parenting journey and if we can instill a virtue by communication and the change being gradual then surely it is permanent change.

  13. Binil Varghese

    Very good pointers, it a slow and steady progress that helps over come our fears and more over we should never ignore or undermine a child’s fears.

  14. Ashvini Naik

    Great pointers, Jhilmil!

    I specially agree with being empathetic with children. Unless they trust us to know them well, they will never feel comfortable sharing their fears or inhibitions with us.

  15. These are great tips to understand kid’s emotions and educate them about their emotions. Helpful post for all parents!

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