We have all heard the term-children are like sponges. This statement is very accurate. Children early on in life are extremely perceptive and receptive, possibly more than most adults realize. They observe their parents or primary caregivers with hawk-like precision to learn the behaviors they will adopt in their own lives.
After growing up I told my mother – “I never listened to a word you said but I observed everything you did and from your actions and who you are as a person, I derived much of my character.” Who you are speaks so loudly no one hears what you are saying, is an expression I find fitting.
Many of the fears that parents have and try to hide from their children are not quite hidden. Emotional fears, financial, or any fear at all is picked up on by children. The good news is that fear is normal.
We all have fears and knowing that they are normal and are not shameful is the first step in letting them go. Growing up, most of us think our parents are superhuman not having the burden of fear or worry, until later on in life we find out this is usually the opposite.
Many children go to school in fear and put on a brave face trying to hide their fear from their peers. This is a behavior learnt from adults around them.
After we know and understand the normality of fear, we can openly discuss this with the children in our lives to empower them to demystify fear. Showing our children our vulnerability and speaking about personal fears, as apposed to pretending to be strong and hiding our fears, can greatly enhance our children’s emotional intelligence and improve their own ability to deal with fears.
Name That Fear
Pinpointing the exact fear that we have is the next step in easing our fears and those of children. We cannot triumph over an enemy we do not know. So we must be specific when it comes to our fears. Common fears are: the fear of being left out, fear of being alone, fear of failure, fear of losing possessions, and many more.
It is through introspection that we must come to know our true Self as well as the fears that we hold within that stand in the way of the expression of our true Self. Our best Selves are free from fear-driven worry and anxiety.
Once we know what our fears are, we then can make more conscious choices to implement actions and tools that can free us.
Moving Through Fear
Moving through fear is not always an easy process, however it is most rewarding. To rise to challenges we often need motivation or inspiration. When it comes to freeing our minds from the limitation of fear, we certainly will need a reason to confront this darkness.
The greatest cause a child or person can have to overcome fears or challenges in life, is the profound light that is their inner dream. Dreams that come from within, and not prescribed by society or our parents, are linked with a person’s passion and purpose in life. These dreams are extremely important and create the fire that churns the engine of the individual person throughout their life, inspiring them to live and create a life worth loving.
Fear is the opposite of love and therefore living the life of your dreams has no room for fear in it. When we are put strongly in touch with our dreams and life purpose all challenges and fears are surmountable to achieve our goals. There are many ways to confront our fears if we choose to and other ways of reducing fear by bringing a peaceful and un-stressing influence to the mind-body complex.
Creating a Peaceful Home Environment
Creating a home environment that is peaceful and nurturing, helps immensely in the development of children and in their perception of self. I did not grow up in a peaceful home. There was a great deal of fighting, shouting and anger. This created a lot of fear, uncertainty and stress in me as a child that later turned into anxiety and anger.
Having overcome this, I now know how important it is to have a home setting where children can feel safe and calm. It is worthwhile giving children a good foundation and building upon it instead of having them dig deep and work through negative emotions later on in life as I did. Embracing kindness and compassion in the way we speak and relate to others will influence our children in a positive way and create a peaceful home. A child’s interaction while at home with parents is pivotal.
So much can be said about the value of quality time spent with a child. This is face to face interaction without the distraction of multi-media i.e. televisions, iPad etc. It is reassuring for children to know that their parents are there and present in their lives.
Spending time with your child will connect you in a way that gives you insight into their lives. You can communicate better with each other and understand what they might be experiencing on a day to day basis. In this time you can encourage them to develop imagination and to go within and dream. If you want a life worth loving you need to be able to imagine it before you can create it.
The more quality time you spend together, the more secure children feel. If they are experiencing fear you can be aware and be there to ease it and comfort them. Children might not always be able to express emotions verbally so knowing your child and their behavior is essential for true understanding.
A Healthy Sense of Danger
A healthy sense of danger is important and this is not what I am referring to when I speak of fear in any sense. Life is precious, treat yourself with care, nurture and take of your mind body and soul, and teach this to your children.
Be aware that what we put out into our environment and into our bodies is what we experience. If you and your child create joy around you by being kind, compassionate and friendly, the world will respond to you in this way. Inciting fear in others will create fear in your own life. Take the school bully for example -- it is the absence of love and fear in their own lives that results in frustration and the mistreating of peers. Remember love and joy are the polar opposite of fear, so try to incorporate these qualities into everything around you.
Book by this Author
Freeing Freddie the Dream Weaver: The Reader
by Brent Feinberg
This is a beautifully illustrated book that captivates children through the character of Freddie, a young boy who lives in a magical rainforest. The reader accompanies Freddie on a journey of discovery as he meets Mr. Cotton, the giant friendly spider who teaches Freddie how to let go of his fears, become part of a loving world, and create the life of his dreams. Throughout this magical tale, the reader learns important life lessons and acquires tools that enhance development.
About the Author
BRENT FEINBERG is a best-selling children's book author from South Africa and is an integrative healer and practitioner in consciousness-based health care. Beginning his training at the young age of 13, he is now a triple Reiki Master, a Body Talk Practitioner, yoga teacher and well-known speaker. Brent is passionate about empowering children and youth in order for them to live healthy fulfilled lives. He is an author and creative force of “With Love From Freddie LLC” www.tomorrow.org.za