Fears. We all have them. Sometimes they are rational, sometimes not. Fear has evolved as a safety mechanism, and it can be a helpful emotion. I don’t want my kids to be afraid of anything, but I know the development of fears is normal and a sign of intellectual and emotional growth. But there are occasions when my son tells me that he is scared of something, and, well, I’m just not buying it. I respect my children’s feelings and want to help them work through their fears. And part of that means weeding out what is a real fear and what is. Here is how I work to distinguish between real and fake fears.