Parents are naturally protective of their children. After all, no mom or dad wants to see their kids put in uncomfortable or even potentially dangerous situations. However, sometimes parents allow themselves to become over-protective, and their kids to grow up sheltered, cautious, or even spoiled. There’s a fine line between supporting your children and helping them overcome their fears. While every child is unique, you can still encourage your little ones to face their insecurities and come off better for it. Here then are four smart ways you and your kids can conquer common childhood pitfalls together:
The Deep-End Approach
Crude? Yes. Effective? It certainly can be. Tossing your kids into the deep-end of the pool (metaphorically speaking) and telling them to swim might not be a comfortable thing for parents to do, but sometimes it’s just the sort of tough-love a child needs. Over-analyzing and coddling don’t always assist in development. Rather, simply letting your kids learn things for themselves can be a great way to help them adapt to tough situations. Self-sufficiency is a vital skill for children to cultivate; don’t deny your kids the chance to build some independence.
Strength in Numbers
The difference between facing a fear by yourself and facing it with a group of trusted confidants is massive. As such, parents looking to expand their child’s horizons should value group efforts when branching out. Bringing a sibling or close friend along for a potentially nerve-wracking outing may ease some of the tension your kid normally might feel.
Parents learn all sorts of strange things about themselves and their children over time. And yes, it can be difficult to take all of your child’s concerns seriously. A nightmare, history test, or a trip to the dentist’s aren’t things that most adults dread, but it’s important to remember how children interact with the world. Dismissing your kid’s worries sight unseen can actually have a negative effect. If your child feels they don’t have your support, there’s little chance of them overcoming their fears.
Educate and Inform
We humans are most afraid of what we don’t understand; and any seasoned parent knows kids don’t understand much. Oftentimes then, removing the mystery around a place or event will work to dispel any associated misgivings your child harbors toward it. Explaining the function of medical equipment like a sodium oxalate tube can help alleviate a child’s nerves about visiting their doctor, for instance. At the end of the day, the more your child learns about the world at large, the sooner they can vanquish irrational fears and anxieties.