A fear in a child is as common as their being fussy about eating. Just like children grow up to leave behind their fussiness, their fears too go away depending upon how you handle them. Hence, deal with your child’s fears positively.

Accept your child’s fears

Don’t deny or force your children to hide their fears or else they’ll remain suppressed in their mind. If your children are afraid of dark stairs or refuse to go to the bathroom alone, don’t lose patience or ignore them. Try to think from their perspective.

Never scold the child

Don’t ever rebuke or ridicule a child for being fearful. Belittling them this way will only make them hide their fears and feel perplexed about their personality.

Think before you speak

At times, parents themselves are the cause of developing phobias in a child. ‘Finish your meal or the ghost will come’ or ‘Go to sleep or the monster will grab you,’ leave a lasting impression on a child’s mind and take the form of phobias.

Make your child courageous

Encourage your children to act brave even when faced with fear. Check out with them under the bed to reassure them that there is no ‘ghost.’ This way they’ll dare to look beyond their fears, go ahead and act.

Talk to your child about his fears

Let your child express when, how and why they feel afraid. Tell them even you had fears at their age. This will make them believe that they are not the only one going through this phase of life. This open communication, your acceptance and reassurance will make your children confident of overcoming their fears one day.

This article appeared in Hindustan Times

Sudha Gupta

Mrs. Sudha Gupta, Chairperson of Mother's Pride Pre-School and Presidium Senior Secondary School, is a sought-after expert on parenting.

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