Fears are common among children. As parents and teachers, it is sometimes difficult to guide young children through particularly fearful phases. With a little patience, practice, and discussion, children can develop the skills necessary to overcome and handle fear as they grow!
In our own family, my husband’s mother passed away 5 months ago. Death has been a topic of discussion and a source of fear for our 7 year old son (it is even a difficult topic for many adults). We all know it will happen to us someday, but explaining it to children is not so easy. My son is worried that his parents will die. He is genuinely scared of what would happen to him if his Mom or Dad was not there for him. Our first instinct: tell him that we will always be here for him, that we’ll read to him;, guide him, love him, AND then only when he has all of the independent skills he needs….God will take us home. That, as you know, wouldn’t be the truth. We have no promises for tomorrow. Telling him that would give some false sense of security without the skills necessary to go on should something truly happen to us. SO…
We have a star in the sky. Each night we look to the sky and try to find the North Star. That star has served as a guide since the beginning of time: from the earliest of travelers to ships that have lost their way at sea. As a family, we look to the star each night because no matter where you are in our world, we all see that same star. On cloudy nights when we cannot see the North Star, we still know it is there in the sky. In our home we believe that even without seeing, the loving hands of God surround us and care for us. My son can look to the star and know that whether or not he can see us, our love is strong in his heart and will always be there to guide his decisions as he grows. We are still discussing, looking, and remembering to love each day. We try to act as if we only have today; no one can promise a tomorrow!
Reading Rainbow – “Overcoming Your Fears”
On Saturday, December 7th – Reading Rainbow will be tweeting live from the set (using the hashtag #RRlive) with LeVar Burton and a child who is afraid of flying. If you are traveling for the holidays with a fearful child, this is the segment for you!
From December 7th through the 15th, Reading Rainbow will be listening to YOUR stories of helping children overcome fears! On Twitter, view the hashtag #RROvercome throughout the week to see how others have helped their own children or students!
What is YOUR child afraid of? Leave us a comment below!