Watch My 4-Year-Old Overcome Her Fear

This was a BIG day for Lil’ J. This little girl is my cautious one. After she got scared on the Peter Pan ride at Disney World right out the gate we changed most of our plans to avoid any semi-thrilling rides.

Our little family went to Sea World and Aquatica in San Antonio, and like I suspected, she didn’t want to go down the water slides with her brother. She preferred the low key merry-go-rounds and shows. They were safe. Predictable. It’s not easy to overcome fears.

I’ve always noticed she’s had a huge imagination. And I think her heightened sense of awareness makes her extra cautious. Though she claims she’s only afraid of volcanos, and singing volcanos, I happen to keep track of things she’s really afraid of.


She hates being alone, in the dark, and rides. When her little brother saw this kid roller coaster (thinking it was a choo choo) he pulled us to it, asking to go on.

He needed to be 38 inches to meet the height requirement and I just knew he was going to fall short, then cry as we’d drag him away. But thanks to his Crocs and afro he had a couple extra inches and was barely able to make it. Lil’ J said she wanted to ride too.

sea world aquatica san antonio

I thought for sure she’d want to turn around or change her mind before we got going, or that she’d cry halfway through. I’ve been through this before. It was bound to happen. But I didn’t push her. I just encouraged her as long as that’s what she wanted to do.

I sat next to her and my husband sat next to our son. On the way up Lil’ J started to panic a little and I braced myself for the water works. But once we started going back down she started giggling. After the first lap around the short track she even put her hands up. My heart swelled with pride, and over all of the screaming around us I yelled and told her her how proud I was.

She faced her fears and knocked them out of the park.

We went on at least 6 more times.

Shamu express kids roller coaster

When we stepped off the ride and I saw the image of her reaction on the TV screens above and I knew I had to buy it, no matter the cost. Ok… Well, I probably had a limit, but I was happy to spend $15 on the cheesy park picture because it captured this big moment for me. The moment my little girl finally let go of her fears, and found joy in a new adventure.

I left my camera at home (I rarely do this) and just captured a few moments with my phone and watched the rest through my own eyes instead of behind a lens. Don’t get me wrong. I missed my camera and some cute moments. I couldn’t have frozen a single moment in one frame that would have topped this video.

We still have other fears to work on. Like sleeping in her room alone. But this was a big step, and it’s definitely making the “best of 2015” cut under “conquered fears.”

What’s your child afraid of? Has s/he ever overcome it?

Helping kids overcome their fears

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  1. My son turns 6 in Oct and he is scared to go two rooms away by himself, he is scared of mice, Bugs, and of storms. The mice and scared of being a couple rooms away without someone is the most frustrating to me. I haven’t found a way around the fears either.

  2. I wish Kinsleigh would do this! We went to Sea World a couple weeks ago and I tried to get her to go on something, but nope. She’s scared of EVERYTHING! You name it, she’s scared of it. Almost to the point of it driving me nuts lol! But then I think of my friends who have fearless kids and they wish they were a little more cautious so no matter what you have you wish they were the opposite lol. Hopefully one day she’ll overcome some of those fears 🙂
    Good job Lil J!

  3. My daughter too with the rooms. She’s says when she’s 5 she will sleep in her own bed again. So she has 4 days left.

    I don’t blame your son with the mice. Does he see them often?

  4. That is great! I’m going to have to ask my mom if I had any fears as a child well besides the fear of getting my hair combed lol

  5. I have a very cautious child too. I’ve found if I just give her time and space she often works up her own courage! I remember to tell her I’m proud when she tries, and also that it’s okay to say no to some things too!

  6. Hey look who it is my fav champion, glad to see how much fun she had, How I’m wishing it was me…might have to go to six flags or something

  7. You must be so proud of her. My middle daughter puts up a fight filled with fear when there is an unknown ride, but then, if she does go on it, she absolutely loves it.

  8. That is the cutest video ever! We took my daughter to a theme park for the first time when she was 3. She got mad at us because we wouldn’t let her ride the giant, twisty, steel roller coasters. Not that she was too small or anything, lol.

    Her fears always revolve around her daddy leaving (he’s military and has deployed 4 times since she was born 5 years ago). With each one, she gets braver and handles it better and more maturely.

  9. Kudos to her (and you too mama) for pushing through what scared her. Rollercoasters are so much fun and I’m glad she got to experience it!

  10. Beautiful story and beautiful pictures! I adore the rollercoaster picture! Her face shows absolute joy! Big T is quite a cutie too!!!

  11. There are times that we as a parent are the one who creates the fear of our child. For example, we teased our child to something that really don’t exist just to make them behave. Just like your child, my daughter has her fear. Fear of the dark, because of her big brother who teased her that there are huge monster beyond this darkness but I organize a glow in the dark party and that’s the moment that my daughter realized that there are nothing to be afraid of.

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