Shared by: Ashley Miller, MS, LPC, SAC

“We do not fear the unknown. We fear what we think we know about the unknown.” – Teal Swan

As we enter the month that can be full of Halloween anticipation, it seems fitting to discuss fears. All of us experience fear at some point in our lives and what triggers that response is different for everyone. Bringing in a parent perspective, it can be increasingly difficult to help manage those fears of your child.

Developmentally, children can generally experience similar fears as they grow. Starting early with “fear of strangers” for infants. It can be helpful, as a parent, to understand that it’s a developmental stage your child faces, which can help you better navigate that with your child. Another example is most children will fear the dark at early preschool/school age. Without any knowledge of stages children go through, it can bring about uneasiness as a parent.

As I talk with parents, I point out that we were not provided a manual upon our child’s birth on what to expect. We are all navigating and learning along with our children. It can bring fear to a parent to try to maneuver the world of parenting without any seeming direction. Support and sharing with other parents can be validating in what your’re experiencing with your child or affirming you may want further professional opinions from a pediatrician or mental health provider. Biggest advice I reinforce is that you, as the parent, know your child best. In working with your child through their fears, remember you are the best teacher, role model and supporter your child has. Be confident in your ability to be there for your child.