There was a garbage truck on our street one morning this week, picking up and emptying a dumpster down the block. This drew a lot of interest, and some concern from LP. CC noticed her friend feeling scared, and at first tried telling LP: "I'm not scared of that!"
LP replied that she was still scared of the garbage truck, and we took some time to discuss how some things are scary to one person, but not to another. This reminded CC of something she had heard about movies and shows, "Sometimes they are too scary for kids but not too scary for mommies and daddies." I asked her if she thought all mommies and daddies like scary shows, and CC thought for a while before deciding that scary shows might work for some people but not for others.
Then we took a moment to think together about how to help someone who was scared. I gave some of my ideas about the topic: that it's okay to feel scared even if no one else is, even if no one else even understands why you're feeling that way. Everyone gets to feel how they are feeling. LP and CC had many thoughts how one friend could help another friend who was feeling scared. LP: "A hug!" CC: "I could be very close to her and tell her, I know that garbage trucks are safe, and the garbage truck won't come into our school."
Fear is a tricky emotion, it can be irrational and unpredictable, and sometimes hard to understand in others, or even in ourselves. These two close friends were able to work through the confusion of feeling differently about something they were both experiencing, and come up with ways in which they could process the situation together. Once we had talked about not needing to erase or fix feelings of fear, both children instinctively felt that the way to help a frightened friend was to offer connection.