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Gradually Face Fears


Social-Emotional Learning ^Extra-curricular/At-Home K-8 Strategy


Anxiety Flexible Thinking Self-regulation

Gradually Face Fears

If your child expresses fear or reluctance and you feel it's important to overcome it

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Students will overcome their fears with repeated, small dose exposure.
  2. Takeaways: a) Always start with compassion. Children need to feel safe and trusting that you understand how afraid they are and are there to support them in working through it. b) Be certain to support your child until the fear is overcome. Remember, repeat exposure is key but so are compassion and understanding.
  3. Model and Practice: a)Discuss why it is beneficial to overcome the fear. If the fear is heights, discuss the things they will enjoy doing. If the fear is speaking in class, discuss why it will improve their class experience and give them practice for the future. Overcoming a fear is hard work and your student must truly want to overcome the fear for their own motivations, not just because they want to please you. b) Plan for repeated, incremental small dose exposure to help them overcome a fear. The goal is to help students build up their confidence over time. For a fear of heights, consider trying one step higher on the ladder every day. If speaking, start by raising a hand once a day. Allow for advance preparation. Gradually increase frequency and impromptu comments. Let the student set the pace as long as you are seeing improvement.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Regardless of how determined someone might be, it is hard to overcome fears. Also keep in mind that fears are rooted deep in the psyche, and while someone's fears might seem irrational to you, they feel very real to that person. Research shows that repeated, small dose exposure to a fear is the best way to overcome it.