Does your child have a certain fear or phobia? Is he/she afraid of the dark or the scary monster hiding under his/her bed? Well, it is pretty common for children to have some sort of fear. Overcoming them is something you could teach them and below are some ways you can help them to overcome that fear!
1. Take Small Steps
You can help your child overcome their fear through gentle exposure to his/her fear! For example, if your child is afraid of adults dressed in costumes, you can start by letting him see Santa Claus from a distance. Slowly, when he is comfortable, you can carry him and approach Santa in a very slow and gentle way. Start by you shaking hands with Santa first, showing your child that it is safe and is fun. Gradually, he/she will be more comfortable and their fear will soon be gone!
2. Focus on Fun
Try incorporating something fun into this fear. By doing so, you can reduce the amount of anxiety your child has towards that fear. For example, if your child is afraid of the monster hiding under the bed or in the closet, you can start by having your child give this monster a little 'makeover'! Draw something silly on the monster's face or even a tutu for the monster! This can help your child feel less fearful of this monster. Or, try having an act/puppet show where your child can "chase" the monster away! This can also help her to tackle her fears.
3. Lead by Example
Do you have a fear too? If you want your child to get rid of his/her fear, you have to lead an example too! Show your kid how you can overcome your fears calmly and confidently and that there is nothing to be afraid of. Most likely, your child will try to overcome their fears just like how you did.
4. Encourage and Praise
Putting your child down or teasing them about their fears are not going to help them. Consequently, it will force them to internalize their fears instead of facing it and overcoming them. Instead, talk to your child about their fear. Encourage them to overcome their fear in their own way. Do not rush them! When they have finally overcame that fear, prepare a small little present or a reward and praise them for overcoming the fear!
5. Be Patient
Similar to point 1., as parents, we must always be patient with our children. Especially when having them confront their fears. Rushing them or pushing them towards their fear will only increase their anxiety and make them even more fearful than they already are. Don't force your child towards confronting their fear. Instead, be patient and let them confront their fear at their own pace, while using point 4, Encourage and Praise them!!