Helping our children manage their fears can be a complex task. And with every kid being different, no one strategy fits all.
We put together this list of 10 strategies and 6 books to get your kids facing and conquering their fears:
• Find examples of kids being brave in books or films and talk about how those stories relate to the fear he or she is currently experiencing.
• Help them make fear manageable: Feel it, label it, share it, watch it go. Then make a plan for the next time fear shows up.
• Find ways to be brave together: take family adventures – camping, hiking, standing up for convictions, trying things outside your comfort zone.
• Teach your kids relaxation and self-soothing techniques: deep breathing, visualizing themselves overcoming the obstacle, listening to calming music.
• Curate their media choices to ensure that scary content isn’t contributing to their fears. Common Sense Media has exhaustive resources for parents on this front with ratings from both kids and parents on books, films, and games.
• Give children the flexibility to figure out their own appropriate risk levels, boosting their autonomy in the process.
• Use empathy to relate to them and tell them stories from our own childhood.
• Be as fearless as you want your children to be. Children “listen” to our actions more than to our words.
• Resist the urge to make it better for them, or help them to avoid fears, because this can actually increase the power of that fear has over our kids.
• Be patient and consistent, recognizing kids’ feelings of fear, reassuring them that we believe in them, that we’re in this for the long haul.
Here are 6 fantastic books designed for kids that will entertain while helping them better deal with fear. Select a book to learn more about it.