Fear robs people of their vitality and makes them feel alone, unsure and unable to live life to the fullest, Rabbi Shmuley says. In Chapter 9 from his book 10 Conversations You Need to Have with Your Children
, Rabbi Shmuley talks about how parents can give children a solid foundation of love and the tools they need to overcome their fears. "Our job as parents really should be to teach them how to confront their fears—never to reinforce them and certainly not to create any more, any unnecessary or extraneous fears," he says.
How parents can help children overcome fear:
- Empower children with the knowledge that they are significant, loved and—most importantly—that they alone determine whether they "matter" in life. Tell your children, ''Never fear that you don't matter—you matter profoundly,'" Rabbi Shmuley says. "Then they can overcome every other fear."
- Teach children the difference between fear and caution. "Fear is a hysterical reaction to an imagined threat, but caution is a calculated response to a real danger," he says.
- Show them how to overcome fear through your actions as well as by giving them opportunities and experiences in which they can overcome different fears.
"Never allow success to be the currency by which you purchase self-esteem."