While at lunch, I asked my son about his favorite movies. I had let my kids watch Indian Jones and Last Crusade and Jurassic Park recently, with me skipping a few scenes in each.
They seemed to enjoy them. After watching Jurassic Park, my middle son just sat there, shaking his head. Then he said “That movie…it’s too good.”
He really likes dinosaurs.
But when discussing his favorite movies, he didn’t mention Jurassic Park. After asking about it, he said it had some scary parts. And so did Indiana Jones.
“Yes, there are. But lots of movies are scary in parts and you like them. Life can be scary.”
“Were those movies too scary?”
“Yeah, I think so.”
“I understand. That’s good to know. We’ll slow down a bit. It’s important to face your fears, though. That’s how you grow. It’s not fun, but I’ve never regretted facing my fears.”
“You’re afraid of stuff?” He seemed disbelieving.
“Yeah. Still some stuff I’m scared of.”
And so I went over some of the things I used to be scared of and some things that caused some fear in me now. Nightmares that shook me up. Some of them are small. Because of some experiences I had when younger, I still have an irrational fear of flying bugs that can sting you.
After the talk, my son opened up a bit more. He knew it was fine to admit his fears. That he wasn’t weird for being afraid of something.
In fact, fear must exist for courage to exist.
It’s important to admit your own fears to your kids, especially to your sons. It’s the only way you can guide them through their own fears.
Admit your own fears, and your kids will trust you to help them deal with theirs.