Helping Children Overcome Fear: A Comprehensive Guide


Fear is a common emotion experienced by both adults and children. However, children often struggle to understand and cope with their fears. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to help your child deal with their fears.

1. Listen and validate your child's emotions:

When your child feels fearful, it is crucial to listen and validate their emotions. Do not dismiss or belittle your child's fears; instead, try to understand why they are afraid and work together to find ways to address their fears.

2. Provide a sense of safety and support:

Children often feel more secure and safe when they have a trusted adult by their side. Show your support and willingness to help when your child is feeling afraid. Comforting words, hugs, and holding their hand are effective ways to make your child feel safe and supported.

3. Teach self-protection skills:

When your child feels fearful, teach them about self-protection. Guide them on how to handle scary situations by finding safe actions, such as running away or calling a trusted adult. It is important to encourage your child to feel confident and learn how to protect themselves.

4. Utilize play and storytelling:

Play and storytelling are excellent methods to help your child process their fears. Read fairy tales about overcoming fear or engage in pretend play that simulates scary situations, allowing your child to express and resolve their emotions.

5. Understand the origin of your child's fear:

To effectively help your child cope with their fear, understand the origin of their fear. It could stem from a negative experience, a story, or a specific event in their life. By understanding the root cause, you can assist your child in finding ways to address and overcome their fear.


Fear is a natural part of life and cannot be completely avoided. However, helping your child cope with their fears is an important responsibility for parents. By listening, accepting, and supporting your child through their fear, you can help them develop emotional coping skills and become more confident in life. Remember that children can process their experiences and emotions even without adult guidance, such as through imagination and free play. Free play is essential, so make sure to provide time, space, and tools for this important daily activity.

Even challenging emotions like fear, anger, or embarrassment are part of the human experience. It is not the goal to eliminate fear entirely, and being fearless is not necessarily healthy for a child or an adult. It is possible for a fear that has been overcome to resurface later, and sometimes a child may simply need to be afraid for a longer period than an adult can easily understand.

A child's fear often triggers strong emotions in parents. Sometimes, parents need to determine if the fear is genuine or, for example, an attempt to seek attention. Children can employ extreme and clever methods to test boundaries and seek attention. Alongside scolding, shouting, and other methods, fear can be an effective way to grab parents' attention or get them to comply. In such cases, parents usually notice and let the child know that they now need something different, such as more quiet time and attention together or solving some worries.

Downloadable material:

Fear! - A handbook for addressing a child's fear