Helping Children Face Their Fears
Expert session Question & Answers

My son has been recently questioning about death and gets very emotional and mostly fearful of us or his Grandparents passing. How can I present the conversation about death in a more healthy / positive manner ? (Boy, 10 years)

The best way here is to tell them an appropriate story – it will not be possible for me to explain here due to time constraints, but use metaphors to explain it.

She almost freezes when she encounters strangers, neighbours, sometimes even relatives. She is not able to greet them or answer what they ask (Girl, 8 years)

Fears could be due to a bad past experience, or fear of a particular person or a certain situation. It’s possible something in the past may have led her to this fear. 

My son always cries and is very scared to lose any tournament. He has won many but always fears when the next one is coming and affects his performance drastically and that failure is difficult to handle when we have absolutely no pressure on him for winning or even participating (Boy, 7.5 years)

Check if fear of failure is an issue here. This is valid for most parents here. Schools never taught us how to react to failure. As parents, we need to teach them. Teach them to face it.

Tell them it’s ok – even celebrate. Analyse his game. I had a client who used to be nervous whenever she came across a specific opponent in the Draw. You have to get to the root cause of what is causing the anxiety. The issue maybe somewhere else.

My daughter fears to speak in front of strangers and so has stage fear. Also when we meet our friends she shies away from them even after knowing them well (Girl, 6 years)

Fears happen because of multiple reasons. Fears could be due to a bad past experience, or fear of a particular person or a certain situation. Check if something happened in the past where she felt insulted because of what someone said. You will have to gently question her.

In general, let’s also understand that fears are natural and children outgrow them as they grow up. This is part of their development. However, some fears are psychological in nature (like phobias), where you have to take professional help.

How do I really recognize whether it's a fear or just an empathy gaining tactics.

Often children look for attention which they are not getting. It could be a parent is not giving enough time, or maybe because they found a way of getting what they want. So you have to identify that, and motivate them towards what you want them to do.

My son has a short attention span in studies and is very hyper energetic and does not sit at one place quietly (Boy, 7.5 years)

Some children are ‘body-smart’ which means their natural flair is gross body movement. These people are usually good athletes or dancers because that requires aggressive body movement. Besides studies, check if he is getting enough of body movement through sports or anything he loves.

Regarding studying, if they don’t get what they need, there is a distraction. See what motivates him, use that as a ‘carrot’ as a motivation.

I know someone where there were parental relation issues and child suffered. So check these out. Also please don’t compare him with others. Check out his real interests and work through those interests.

How to help children with shyness and stage fear. My sons 15 and 11 and both are non stop chatter boxes with just us at home but their lips are tightly sealed in front of our friends and distant family members.

This can happen to many of us too. It also depends on how parents behave because children observe. Treat them with respect in front of others – introduce them like adults, make them feel respected. This is a phase – they will outgrow it.

My younger daughter is 10 years old. She cannot sleep with the lights switched off until there is anyone elder with her in the room. She is uncomfortable alone as she fears ghosts etc.

From your description, this seems to be a phobia – take professional help – this fear can be removed.

One incidence- In Diwali he played with Shiwaji and his Sainik (Mawale). Suddenly at night he developed fear for Shivaji and mavle. He was imagining Shiwaji will come with Sword and might kill us. So we hid all statues. Today he is not going to the washroom, anywhere alone. And fear is still there. Sometimes imagination is for vehicles and trains also after watching any video, TV. (Boy, 5 years)

There is a process that I use called ‘scrambling’. Just tell him this story again and make him imagine those characters as funny cartoons doing funny actions. Let him see the funny side of it. This works well. Also, he will soon outgrow it.

My elder daughter is 13 years old. We recently moved her to a bigger school. She excelled in studies and topped all the sections. But at the same time she has become more image conscious now and we can see that fear of failure or fear of being ridiculed has increased in her. On her birthday recently when her friends of earlier school were clicking pictures excluding her she started crying. What fears are playing behind all these and what is the remedy. Pls suggest.

The ages between 13 and 18 are said to be adolescence which means it’s after childhood and before adulthood. Children go through physical and mental changes , they become more aware of their body, their looks, a bit of ego starts getting in, and are also sensitive to what people say. 

 You need to let her know that it’s alright if expectations are not met. Every champion fails but learns how to rise after that. Ask them to replace the word ‘failure’ with ‘feedback’.

My 10 year old daughter gives up very easily . For example if I put her into any sports , initial learning is not easy , it takes time and is a struggle too but she is not ready for that struggle and gives up Pls suggest how I help her ?

Does she really like to play the sport or is she being forced to? It’s like asking a fish to climb a tree and then judging it. Find out what she likes and give her that. She will do well.

Also, let us not compare our children with others. Every child is unique – find what works for her and she will shine.

My 10 years old daughter suddenly started behaving strange, as soon as it is dark outside, she doesn't like to stay in any room inside (even with light on) alone and always looks around, as if she can feel or see something scary. She can't sleep alone as well. How to handle this fear?

Have answered earlier for similar case. Check on a past experience which created this fear – where is this fear coming from. Every fear has a root cause.

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Shyam Kalle – Help Child Overcome Fear

Shyam Kalle is a parenting expert by profession. He is a success coach, mind transformation and motivational trainer and also conducts online parenting seminars. Author of the best seller book, ‘The Unbound Transformation’ and is an NLP( Neuro-linguistic programming) Expert.

Brief About Shyam Kalle

NLP is a pseudoscientific approach to communication, personal development and psychotherapy. His ideas as a success coach are known to be simple, practical, eye opening and powerful.

His expertise lie in understanding the learning styles of children, handling children emotions, removing their fears, etc.

The Session

Shyam Kalle – Help Child Overcome Fear is the topic where he will be answering the growing concerns and questions from the parents.