It began with a child expressing ‘ I am feeling ghost around me’. We announced a session on fear and invited anyone to join.

Two children joined and we began with talking about fear, first they expressed ‘lets keep it secret, don’t tell anyone – the stories we tell you’. We took pledge to not to tell others.

Children shared many ghost stories, some told by parents, some by friends, some from movies. They were clear which stories they believed as true, and which were just stories.

As they were telling me stories I was drawing for them. Later together we drew ghost which they have seen. We gave names to them – one was good ghost and other was scary ghost.

Children refused to give any food to ghost because they do not have any stomach. In between I tried asking what makes them believe that ghost are real, but they were very clear that ghost are real and I had no scope to changing that belief. I listened more to their stories. As they were telling they were expressing their fear. They also prayed to the god to save them from evil.

Before we closed the session, they expressed they are feeling scared to be left alone, even to go to bathroom. They asked for help. At the end of the session I was not sure did that increased their fear or they connected with themselves? I continued to listen to them and at no point tried telling them ‘no need to feel fearful’ or ‘ghost are not real’ or ‘you are brave, do not feel scare’.

At the end of the day they expressed ‘I am feeling relieved and relaxed after fear session’ Next day one of the child asked for one more session, We started with making mask, went through various books to see scary mask, measured mask for his face size and selected colors which will make scary mask. We clicked photos to see which one looks scary (with one eye or two eyes)…..he shared his mask with other kids and went around. He want to have fear session everyday and his reason ‘so I can make myself less fearful’.

Fear is a natural feeling – we do not need to suppress it by saying ‘nothing to fear’ or protecting our children, rather help them in understanding their fears.