When I was little I didn't understand it. I love rain, and thunder was just a loud noise, and really hail was kind of cool... Now, I am terrified of storms! Why? not because I was born scared of them. Not because tv or my friends say I should be. The people around me when I was young taught me that storms are something to fear, like a hot stove, so I did. I also dislike spiders.
My daughter used to sit on the back porch and watch the storms with her grandpa. I hated it. It scared me. These are storms and she is outside! However, I trusted his judgement and he always brought her in if it got windy or hail or rained too hard, so I let her go. Why? So she isn't scared of them. Just because I don't like them does not mean she should cry every time there is thunder. Now, without grandpa living so close, she is a little bit afraid of storms. I'm ok with that, it means she will come inside and wait them out, and not chase them down, but her fear is not debilitating, she doesn't hide under a blanket and cry. I'll call it a success. The added bonus is that in pretending they don't bother me, for her sake, they actually don't bother me as much as they used to.
Now as she ages I need to choose more carefully what she learns from me. I am worried about the first day of school. Not that she'll be hurt, but that she'll be lonely or scared. However, she should be excited for school. That means I must look excited as well. It's hard work, but I'm going to do it! I will act so excited for school that she'll want to go, and I'll worry after drop off time, and stop again for pick up. Well, ok, I won't stop worrying, but she'll never know!
That being said, I do let her see me a bit nervous sometimes, so she knows it's ok to have those feelings, I let her watch me get scared a little, so she knows she's not wrong to be scared of something, as long as it's her own fear and not mine.
Are you passing fears onto your child? Are we teaching them to be scared of things that they shouldn't be? Children learn what we teach them, and they do need to be afraid of some things. It's a hard balance to find, but it's there.