Growing Courage: Tips for Helping Your Child Overcome Their Fears

mother and son

What will you do when you see your child's face in fear of something?

The Situation
My son was only two years old at that time. Both of us are busy in the Internet shop. My partner used a pot to boil water for his coffee. Since the Internet shop was bustling, he forgot about it because there were a lot of customers. I had no idea that he was boiling water. Suddenly, the Super Kalan or stove erupts. The water inside the kettle dried up.   My partner ran and put out the flame with a cloth instantly. We are all shocked.

There are a lot of computers around. I didn't realize my son's feelings at that time. I only hug my son. His father bought a new kettle that whistles when the water is boiling. Every time it whistles,  my son will shout, "Fire! Fire!.

As parents, one of our most important roles is to help our children develop the skills and tools they need to navigate the world around them. Part of this process involves teaching them how to overcome fear, which can hold them back and prevent them from reaching their full potential. While it's natural for children to feel scared sometimes, it's essential to help them learn how to manage and conquer their fears to make them feel confident and empowered in different situations. Here are some tips for helping your child to have courage and overcome their fears.

1. Listen and Validate Their Feelings
The first step in helping your child overcome their fear is to listen to them and validate their feelings. Rather than dismissing their fears or telling them to "just get over it," take the time to listen to what they're saying and empathize with them. Let them know that it is okay to feel scared and that their feelings are valid. My son shouted, "Fire" I went over and hugged him tightly.

2. Help Them Identify Their Fears
Once you've listened to your child and validated their feelings, help them identify their fears. Sometimes, children may have a general sense of fear or anxiety without understanding what's causing it. To help them identify the specific fear or trigger, you can work with them to develop strategies for addressing it. 

You have to explain by holding their face and looking into their eyes why it happened and why it will not happen again.

3. Practice Exposure Therapy
Exposure therapy is a technique that involves gradually exposing your child to the thing they're afraid of in a controlled and supportive environment. It can help them augment their tolerance and reduce their fear over time. Start with small steps and gradually increase the intensity or duration of exposure as your child becomes more comfortable.

I hugged him and explained that sometimes we make mistakes. It is okay because we will learn from it. We both watched the boiling of the water and the kettle's whistle. I told him to turn off the stove and transfer the boiled water to a thermos.

4. Be a Model
Children learn by example, so one of the most effective ways to help your child develop courage is to model it yourself. Show them how to face challenges head-on, take risks, and persevere even when things are tough. When your child sees you being brave, they're more likely to feel empowered to do the same.

5. Celebrate Small Wins
Finally, don't forget to celebrate your child's small wins. Overcoming fear is a process, acknowledging them and celebrating each step forward. Whether you take a risk, try something new, or face a fear head-on, make sure your child knows that you're proud of them and that their efforts are making a difference.

In conclusion, helping your child overcome their fears help them to grow into confident, resilient adults. By listening to them, helping them identify their angst, practicing exposure therapy, modelling courageous behavior, and celebrating small wins, you can help your child build their courage and overcome their fears. As a parent/s, support and guide your child to learn and face any challenge with confidence and determination.

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