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Helping Your Child Face Their Fears: A Proactive Approach for Parents

Fear is a natural part of growing up, but for some children, it can be a paralyzing force that hinders their development and potential. As parents, our role extends beyond providing comfort and reassurance; we must actively cultivate bravery and resilience in our children, especially those who are timid, anxious, or prone to avoiding challenges. This opinion piece will explore strategies for helping your child face their fears, grounded in active and proactive parenting.

Lead by Example

Children often learn by observing their parents. As such, leading by example is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Show your children how you confront your own fears and challenges. Whether it’s public speaking, trying a new activity, or tackling a difficult project at work, involve them in the process. Share your feelings and thoughts openly, demonstrating that fear is a natural emotion but one that can be overcome with courage and determination. Your actions will speak louder than words, instilling a model of bravery that they can emulate.

Reinforce Bravery Through Rewards and Praise

Positive reinforcement plays a crucial role in encouraging children to face their fears. Celebrate their small victories and efforts. When they confront something scary or challenging, acknowledge their bravery with sincere praise. For instance, if your child is afraid of the dark and manages to sleep with the lights off, commend their effort and bravery. Rewards don’t always have to be material; sometimes, a heartfelt “I’m proud of you” can be just as impactful, sometimes a token system can also help encourage these changes. This reinforces the idea that facing fears leads to positive outcomes and builds their confidence to tackle bigger challenges.

Discuss and Review Growth and Change Together

Create a space for open dialogue about fears and progress. Regularly discuss their fears, experiences, and achievements. Encourage them to share their feelings without judgment. Review their growth and changes together, highlighting how far they’ve come and what they’ve learned along the way. This not only helps them process their emotions but also allows them to see tangible evidence of their bravery and progress. It’s important to validate their feelings while gently pushing them towards continuous improvement.

Seek Qualified Professional Help When Needed

While parents play a pivotal role in helping their children face fears, there are times when professional help may be necessary. If your child’s fears are overwhelming or significantly impact their daily life, don’t hesitate to seek the assistance of a qualified therapist or counselor specializing in children’s mental health. Professionals can provide targeted strategies and support that go beyond what you can offer at home. There’s no shame in seeking help; it’s a proactive step towards ensuring your child’s emotional well-being and growth.


Cultivating bravery in children is a multifaceted process that requires patience, consistency, and active involvement from parents. By leading by example, reinforcing bravery through rewards and praise, discussing and reviewing growth together, and seeking professional help when needed, you can help your child transform fear into courage. In doing so, you’re not just helping them face immediate fears but equipping them with the resilience and confidence to navigate life’s challenges with bravery and tenacity.

At GroundWork, our child therapists work closely with children and their families to identify and address fears and anxieties. We offer a variety of evidence-based techniques and strategies to help children develop helpful skillsets and build emotional resilience. Contact us today to learn more about our Orlando child therapy services. Let’s walk this journey together, and help your child become the bravest version of themselves.

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