Children are learning and experiencing everything for the first time and they look up to parents and other adult mentors to help them grow and gain confidence to know what things to be cautious about. While kid safety is #1, sometimes in an attempt to keep our kids safe we can over- do our intentions and end up with… well, wussy kids.
Here are 3 common situations that parents should help teach their children not to be afraid of in order for them to become more confident as they grow up.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking… duh, Crystal… STRANGER DANGER! We’ve always been taught since the beginning of time to not speak to strangers, but I think we’ve all just been taught the wrong way to approach strangers. Not everyone you don’t know is a “bad” person. People tend to be generally good in nature. Telling your children that all strangers are bad, gives them the impression that they cannot be trusting of adults or anyone they don’t know. When it comes to my children, I hope that someday if they were ever in a situation where they needed to ask an adult for help in an emergency, that they would be comfortable approaching someone and not be scared of asking for assistance. Instead of telling kids that strangers are bad and “don’t talk to strangers”, help educate them on what kinds of encounters with strangers that they need to steer clear of (Don’t go alone with strangers, don’t take food from strangers, tell another adult if a stranger is making you feel uncomfortable…ect.) Kids who can trust adults are less shy and they are more likely to speak out and ask questions when they need help. These can be great life skills to have as they grow older.
To be honest, I’m not quite fond of the creepy crawlies either but most bugs are completely harmless. I see it often where kids have a full-blown meltdown and panic attack because a fly landed on them. For real? I understand that there is a fear of the unknown, but I think it’s important to teach your kids early on that bugs are not scary. Introducing bugs to your children gradually can help them become more comfortable with them. It’s important for kids to love and experience nature and creepy crawlies are a part of nature! To help get them excited instead of scared, take them outside and find a bug to show them. (harmless or not, both are good to learn about!) Use a bug catcher, like this one to catch and examine the bug. Tell them cool facts about the bug like what it eats and where it lives. Educating them makes them more familiar and lets them know that the bugs are just creatures doing their own thing.
Seriously, don’t laugh. I’m being honest. It’s one of those odd things that I’ve noticed that goes along with certain kids who are petrified of loud noises. You would be surprised how often I meet kids that scream and run away every time their parents flip the switch to the vacuum. One of my proudest teaching moments I had with my toddler was teaching him how cool the vacuum was. The first time I showed him the vacuum, I got really excited …like really excited, I felt ridiculous. I wanted him to think we were going to have a crazy party or something. I pulled it out, told him that it was going to be awesome and loud and flipped it on. He was a bit panicked at first, but I continued to dance around and smile and laugh over the sounds of the vacuum and he eventually joined in. Now he is almost two and he gets so happy when I vacuum, he’s like my own mini cheerleader jumping and dancing around cheering me on. It’s the best thing ever.
If you could teach your kids not to fear something, what would it be? Leave me a comment and let me know!
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