My child is afraid of new challenges. What can I do to help?

As a parent, you can start by trying to understand what the underlying cause is.

(1) Ask and observe: when is your child more afraid of challenges and/or risk of failure?

(2) Reflect: is your child’s fear linked to something specific? Can it be related to school, food, physical activity, social contexts or other things?

Many children prefer things to be predictable, organised and routined. In other words, some children (and grown-ups!) feel better when they can prepare for what’s happening. They prefer clear structures, planning and that the same things are repeated: Maybe the same teacher in school, same route to school or same dinner time every day. With predictability comes safety.

One way to help is to encourage your child is to be a role model and try new things yourself. 

In order to help, you can talk about things you have never done before or felt nervous about. For example: “When I was supposed to hold a speech once, I got very nervous and felt a fluttery feeling in my stomach. To overcome my nervousness, I thought about the wonderful feeling afterwards”

Watch a movie together

In the Peppy Pals scenario Sammy Helps Out, Reggy the dog is afraid of crossing the river. Sammy the horse is excellent at jumping och shows and encourages Reggy to also try. Along with some splashing, courage and help from Sammy, Reggy finally manages to jump over the river. 

By watching the movie, reading the book or playing the game Sammy Helps Out, you and your child will be able to see Reggy gain courage and jump over the river, much thanks to Sammy for the encouragement.

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