Friggatriskaidekaphobia is a fear of Friday the 13th.
Could you even pronounce that? I couldn’t! How many of us avoid days like today because of superstitions and fears? If you raised your hand or smiled because you know its true… don’t worry, I won’t call on you!
I’m here to say, “Let’s face our fears together!” Since we’re in a new year, lets look at some of the most common fears kiddos and adults have in order to see how much in common we have with our own little ones.
Does your family have any fears in common? Heights, bugs, snakes, or dust bunnies? Sometimes, just growing up in a family that has common fears means we taught them to our kids and maybe we learned them from our own parents! Can you believe it? How to we help them conquer those fears? Welcome to our suggestions….
- Validate the Fear
Once you realize the fear exists, recognize it, acknowledge it, move on. Understand that your child doesn’t know the monsters aren’t real until you say you understand they believe they are real. Reinforcing comfort in something that is scary will only help them continue the behavior.
2. Make a Plan
Work on goals! Everyone loves goals! Or, we love to make goals anyways. Where we should focus for our kiddos is to make a tangible goal, probably similar to potty training, to help work toward overcoming the obstacles or fears. If we’re afraid of the dark, for example, lets read a book with the lights off but a night lamp. Next night, lets read two books with the lamp on. Add closing the door afterwards and eventually only having a nightlight. This could be a week or a month of time! We believe every child is different, so we would never force them into more than their level of growth.
3. Be Patient!
OH man… patience! Is that the most difficult for any of us as parents? Probably Encourgaement and patience will go so much further than you can imagine. “You’ve got this!” or “We can do it together!” will help your child to know that you are here to help and here for them through their struggle.
These simple three steps will help littles and bigs to know how much you love and support them. If you think through fear itself, its just False Evidence Appearing Real. How cliché, right? Well, cliché usually means true but over said! Help your child dig in their heels and face their fears! And, if you’re like me, I’ll pretend that I read all of this to use on my own child, but really… I’m the one who needs to face a couple fears in this new year. If that’s the case, remember that Step 3… patience with yourself is more important than I can express.
Learning new things is tough… But hey… You’ve got this!!!