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9 Tips For Overcoming Common Childhood Fears

Does your child have a fear of something? Maybe he is afraid of the dark or will not go near water. In this post we will be looking at common childhood fears and how you can help your child with conquering these fears the right way. Learning to deal with our fears, is a vital life lesson that could benefit your child greatly. 

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9 Tips For Overcoming Common Childhood Fears

Common childhood fears that children often have:

It is important to validate these fears and move forward from there. Once you know what your child’s fear is, you must let him know that you are acknowledging it and taking it seriously. Often, things that are scary for children, are not scary at all for adults. These fears that children have are not always rational, but the feelings they have and the physiological reaction, is very real to them. 

You can rest assured that eventually your child will outgrow these fears, but in the meanwhile, you can try these nine tips to make the transition somewhat easier on your little one.

Nine tips for parents to help their children overcome common childhood fears

  • Practice patience

You should never force your child to face his fears until he is ready to do so. Remember, even though his fear might not make sense to you, the feelings he experiences is very real to him. Instead, practice patience, be empathetic, and let him know that he can conquer his fears at his own pace. With that said, you do not want him to overindulge his fear either, since it might do more harm than good. Talk to him about these emotions he is feeling in a comforting and calm manner. 

  • Use role models to your advantage

Childhood fears are not unordinary and there are many resources available that you can use to teach your child to deal with his childhood fears. Look for age-appropriate toys, children’s books or children’s entertainment that feature characters and storylines that involve dealing with being brave and facing your fears. Children’s programmes like Paw patrol, for instance, has storylines where the adorable pups have to face their fears at some point, to help others. 

  • Leading by example

Perhaps you have some fears of your own, like a fear of spiders, or a fear of heights? Often, the best way to teach our children to overcome their fears, is by showing them how it is done. Place yourself in a situation where your child can witness first hand how you face your fear confidently and calmly. After all, if you can do it, your child can learn from your example and follow suit. 

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4 A Kid Star Night Lights
  • Place them in charge

Fear is often the direct response of feeling physically helpless or threatened. Children who are scared of going to the toilet, for instance, have a fear of being flushed down the toilet. Kids who are scared of dogs, are fearful of getting bitten. Little children who are fearful of the monster under their bed may feel vulnerable on their own when their rooms are dark. 

Giving them some responsibility in managing their fears can go a long way towards making them feel secure and safe. For instance, if they are scared of intruders that might break in, let them shut their bedroom window at night before going to bed. 

  • Keep encouraging them and give praise 

Not taking your child’s fears seriously or teasing them about it will not do any good. Ignoring these fears or belittling your child, might result in them internalising the fear instead of dealing with it, and you may end up losing their trust. Instead, talk to him about his fears, reassure him that you are always there for him and its ok for him to face his fears at his pace and in his own way. It is vital to praise his efforts when he has done something that is not within his comfort zone. It will help him with boosting his confidence and eventually overcoming these fears. 

  • Always remain calm

It is not easy seeing your child in distress and we as parents often feel helpless. The wrong response, like getting angry, or laughing, might make these feeling s of distress and fear worse. Stay calm and consistent to get faster results. When a child is in a state of fear, they cannot discuss the problems reasonably. Be patient and offer comfort when it happens. 

  • Answer his questions

Even though childhood fears are often derived from exaggerated or imaginary perceptions, they are still very real to your child. Talk to them about these fears and try to put yourself in his shoes to understand where it is coming from. Prompt him to ask questions and try your best to answer them as age-appropriate and gentle as you can. If you do not know the answers, do some research online or at the library to arm yourself with the right answers. 

  • Take it one step at a time

You can help your child to overcome his fear through gentle exposure to it, and slowly increasing the time and practice. You can consult with your child while doing so. For instance, if he has a fear of the bath, you can first add a small amount of water, then slowly add a bit more. Use a jug to pour a little bit of water on his hands, then continue to pour a little on his neck and back. Always take small steps until he feels more confident and comfortable, before moving on to the next step. 

Conclusion

Many children have common childhood fears, and it is essential to handle the issue appropriately. Even though some of these fears may appear ridiculous to you, remember, to the child they are very real. We hope that these  tips will assist you with helping your child to overcome his childhood fears. 

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22 comments

  1. Quentin Viljoen

    The best way to allay fear, is to show none. A father needs to be strong and be the example for a child, to overcome fear.

  2. Marcus Hendricks

    This is truly an interesting read and i will definitelky be applying these methods

  3. Interesting read a must for all parents ,

  4. My daughter is scared
    Of being alone.

    This really helped me understand. Thank you

    • How do i teach my child to not fear the dark when I fear it?
      My daughter walks in and out of the room at night with the lights off. She’s not scared of the dark.

  5. Very intresting…my grandaughter is scared of feathers…And scared of the dark…thanks for this great Article…

  6. Chantelle De Jager

    Best website ever .. . All the tips you need and more

  7. Patricia von Meyer

    Beautifully written. Thank you so much for the tips.

  8. Interesting and helpful article. Will implement some of the tips given.
    Thank you!

  9. Delsinia Ranala

    My daughter is scared of injections. I am blessed because she hardly gets sick. Less time to the Doctor.

    This is very helpful thank you.

  10. Great article very informative.

  11. My daughter is scared of unfamiliar sounds and being alone in the room.

  12. Nelmari Germishuizen

    My daughter have more than one of these fears. Will definitely use these tips. Thank you.

    • My kids do too! My son is still scared of the dark and sometimes being alone in a room. And he cannot go to sleep when the cupboards are open. He also has a great fear of curtains, so we can’t have his bed anywhere near the window. These fears pass though, my daughter has overcome most of her fears.

    • My daughter also fear the dark but i think it’s quit normal, as kids we also feared the dark we just need to make them feel safe when they. As they grow older it gets easier…

  13. My baby is 20 months old and has a fear of talking toys whether its a singing doll or a talking telephone (she use to love them so not sure what’s changed.), she also has a BIG fear of the vacuum (which use to put her to sleep) but now you are not even aloud to touch it and she starts freaking out (switched off) and then of course the loud unfamiliar sounds like a car revving that she can not see or lawnmower.
    Our Solutions:
    We have packed the Toys away that freaks her out as just removing the batteries does not help, We do not vacuum anymore (more work for mommy to sweep the house, thank goodness its only laminating flooring) and if we do we take her out of the house, but as for the car revving that we cannot help her with yet except hold her tight and same goes for the lawnmower.

    • That’s so interesting Mariska, I wonder if it is something she watched on TV that has stuck in her mind. My kids got sudden fears sometimes after watching things on TV.

  14. My son has a fear of the dark. He’s 6. We definitely need to take a different approach to help him deal with it.

  15. Wow very interesting article. My son was afraid of the water whenever we went to the beach and pools he will never go in the water. But I leave him just so not forcing anything on him. So eventually as time goes by he went in by himself so proud of him

  16. My daughter cant sleep without a night light her fear is the dark but also animals and insects but thats my fault because i am scared of those things and my daughter sees that although I tried really hard not to show it but its my biggest weakness.

  17. Tshegofatso Bopape

    My 7 year old niece has fear of the dark and sleeping alone she even points out that she hears strange noises. I’ll forward the article to her mom hopefully it’ll make a huge difference and help her baby girl cope.

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