Fear is a normal part of being human. We all have fears, from being alone to the fear of walking down a dark street at night. Fear can make us feel out of control or anxious. Sometimes it can signal that something dangerous is going on, and sometimes it’s not.
For children, fear is a natural way of responding to the world around them. Sometimes they have fears that seem silly to adults, but other times their fears can be very serious – especially if a child’s fear or anxiety is constant or lasts for a long time.
Learning how to control fear is not an easy task. It can be hard for a child to understand that they can’t control their fear, that it’s ok to feel nervous or upset, and that adults are there for them. But no matter how hard it is, you can help your child break free from their fears, build self-esteem, and better understand the world around them.
At Montessori Academy, our goal is to nurture your children’s ability to feel safe and understand that they are capable of making sound decisions. We want them to thrive, not just survive. We do this by teaching our young ones how to face their fears and helping them develop a greater sense of confidence in the world around them.
If you are looking for new ways to help your child overcome fear, this article will guide you in the right direction. We have compiled a list of ways you can help your child conquer fear and build confidence.
Signs Your Preschooler May Be Experiencing Fear
We all know that fear is part of being a child. But what if your child is experiencing fear that seems to last? Here are some signs that your preschooler may be experiencing fear:
- He is afraid of specific people, places, or things.
- He shows a lot of worry about what might happen in the future.
- They act like they don’t know how to handle difficult situations.
- Your child has a hard time staying calm during events that would normally not cause concern, such as going to school or visiting a doctor.
- Your child has frequent tantrums or meltdowns.
- He is afraid to try new things, even if you have given them lots of reassurance that it is ok and will be fun.
- He has a hard time falling asleep.
- He is afraid of certain pain. (for example, being hit with a rubber band)
Sometimes, we know that children do things (like hit you or run away) that they aren’t upset about. But if your little child seems overly worried or upset, it is better to be safe and admit that there has been a problem. Sometimes children have imaginary fears that are very real to them, so we believe it is essential to address these issues as soon as possible. It can help your child learn to cope with fear and feel more confident at home.
9 Tips to Help Your Preschooler Learn How to Overcome Fear
1. Help Your Preschooler Talk About What’s Frightening Him
How can you help your child with fear if you don’t know what is frightening him? Children sometimes have fears that can be very hard to put into words. Try not to assume that you already know what it is. Try to give him an opening to tell you what is bothering him. Encourage him to talk about his worries and try not to dismiss them. But also know that he may not want or be able to tell you right away, and that’s okay too. Just try your best, and keep working on it until he feels comfortable telling you what’s wrong.
Some of the common fears your child may be experiencing are:
- The dark
- Water. (for example, the bathtub)
- Being alone
- Getting hurt or sick
- Getting shots or going to a doctor
- Imaginary monsters like witches, vampires, and ghosts.
2. Validate Their Feelings, then Move On
Sometimes children have fears that are completely out of the blue, and it can be hard to know what to do about them. Sometimes we adults try to push our children away or tell them “it’s not real,” but that only makes it worse.
Your job is to learn how your child thinks and feels so that you can validate their feelings and make sure they feel safe. When they are afraid, help them make sense of their surroundings. If they need reassurance, talk with them calmly while reassuring them that their feelings are normal and valid. It will help your child understand how they are feeling without being judged by you or someone else in authority.
3. Establish A Plan
If the fear keeps happening, like your child is afraid of the dark and often runs into his room at night, you may want to make a plan so he knows what he can do when this happens. For example, if your child says he’s afraid of the dark and you know that it’s time for bed, talk with him about how maybe you can leave a small light on for him and how this might help him feel safer. This way, he knows that he will have a source of light while in his room, which can help him relax and fall asleep. You don’t want to let his fears take control of his life, so you may have come up with rules that allow your preschooler a sense of control during scary situations.
4. Educate Your Child
If you are confident in your young child’s ability to understand a situation, then begin talking about the relevant details about their fears. If your child is afraid of spiders, start by telling him the facts: spiders only bite if they feel threatened. It can help him understand that spiders are not out to get him and that they are not dangerous in any way. If he says things like “I’m never going in my room at night because I heard there is a spider,” it doesn’t matter, though – by explaining the reason behind your fear, he will learn how to manage it himself.
5. Be Patient
Lastly, it’s important to remember that change doesn’t come overnight. It is important to understand that this can be a long process and that your child may need constant reassurance when dealing with fear. You may have to walk your little child through the same situation or talk about a similar situation over and over again until you get where you need to be. Just remember, you have the patience for this, and it will all end up being worth it in the end!
The Importance of Overcoming Fears
Helping your child learn how to overcome fears brings a lot of benefits to his life. Following are some of them:
- It makes your child more independent, confident, and has more control in his life.
- Overcoming fears can help your child feel less anxious and better prepared for new situations in his life.
- It allows your child to understand that feelings are normal and that he can talk about them without being judged or scolded.
Learning how to overcome fears can be a long and difficult process, but it is necessary in order for your little child to be prepared for the future. You will help your child learn to cope with any new or uncomfortable situation; however; you will have difficulty dealing with them when they are happening. As you work with your child, try to make the process enjoyable while learning what they need to know. Try not to listen to their negative self-talk, as this can lead to more fear and anxiety.
We at Montessori Academy understand the importance of overcoming fears and managing worries. We hope this piece helped you understand how to overcome your child’s fears and manage their worries. If you still have questions about this topic, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.