When fears are present, many parents try to be reassuring, telling their children not to be afraid. But for inexplicable reasons, a child may actually need to be afraid. It may be more helpful to say, “There aren’t any real tigers out there, but I understand you’re scared, and I’ll be here to keep you safe.” With reassurance like that, a child may feel strong enough to think about the “tiger’ and eventually tame it.
Parents and caregivers, it is important we teach children how to manage through anxiety and the fear they may be feeling at this time. In the Adventures in Wisdom Program that I am certified to teach, we show children how to experience fear and the steps for managing it, so your child can move through the fear and accomplish their goals.
As the situation around the COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to evolve, and the World Health Organization declaring the outbreak of a pandemic, try and put yourself in your child’s shoes to see through their eyes and experience what they must be seeing at this difficult time. In a child’s eyes seeing all these people rushing around wearing face masks, the crazy line-ups, and bare shelves in the stores, no school or programs, listening to the news and always being told to keep your dirty fingers out of your mouth. You must really feel taken out of your comfort zone and that is a very normal feeling. So how do we help kids to start feeling braver? By taking the time and teaching them self-regulation is the key. Most adults practice this skill, without a thought. Kids take time to build this skill. As parents, we need to get comfortable with letting our children work through being uncomfortable as they figure things out. Give your child the opportunity to grow with support. If a child gets the message you will always be there to do the comforting, they are not learning it themselves.
Renaye Thornborrow creator of the Adventures in Wisdom Life Coaching Program for Kids put together a creative way for children to Slay the Dragons of fear. We the coaches that she has trained can show your children how to bust through fear, mistakes, failure, and change, so they can go for their dreams. I was drawn to this program because I strongly believe the importance of children learning emotional intelligence. Fear is an “emotional response to a perceived threat. I support the program because we can help children to burst out of their comfort zone which is an artificial boundary that we all create based on what we believe in what we can and can not do. Bursting through this comfort zone is the key that either pushes us through to achieve our dreams in life or holds us back from doing so.
As this crazy epidemic continues this is an ideal opportunity for us to show children how to manage anxiety and fear they may be experiencing right now. In the Wisdom program, children learn five key steps to managing fear and how to get through it so they can move strongly forward in life. Let’s turn this negative into a positive and teach children to Slay the Dragons of fear and grow to be healthy adults. Wishing you all health and safety as this situation unfolds.