Does your child think there is a monster under the bed? Are they scared every time you turn off their bedroom light? Don’t worry, fears are perfectly normal. But seeing your child dealing with scary thoughts isn’t fun for most parents. Help them conquer their fears at any early age with these tips. You’ll need a little bit of understanding, and a lot of love and compassion, to help a fearful child overcome how they are feeling.
The expert article at https://www.anxioustoddlers.com/worries-by-age/ will give you an account of the types of fear your child is likely to face, according to age. Knowing what to expect will prepare you in each stage of your child’s development.
Remember, the threat feels very real to them, so don’t dismiss it or belittle a fearful child with an impatient attitude. Take the time to talk to them about they feel right now. Help your kid conquer fear at their own pace.
Cognitive therapy teaches us to confront our fears as the best way in dealing with them. However, this approach may compound a child’s fear if they are not yet willing or able to deal with it. Take small steps, such as leaving a dimmer light on in your child’s bedroom if they are scared of the dark, and eventually they should overcome whatever fear is troubling them.
When the fear becomes too much for your little one, they may feel threatened and helpless. However, you can give them back a sense of control by helping them deal with the situation.
So, if a fearful child thinks a monster is under the bed, go through a nightly ritual of checking under the mattress with a flashlight with them for any ominous creatures. Doing so will help them see there’s nothing to be afraid of there. Being able to control the fear will eventually help them to conquer it.
The earlier you introduce a child to something, the less afraid they will be of it. For example, a child fearful of water is not uncommon. If you can take them to the swimming pool at an early age, they are unlikely to be afraid in the future.
For example, if they are afraid of the dentist, visiting a family practice together, such as https://www.southviewdentistrycharlotte.com/service/family-pediatric/, will show your child that there is nothing to be afraid of at an appointment. Think of the things you were scared of in life, and make efforts to prevent these fears from showing up in your children’s life.
As parents, we are responsible for how our children behave in the world. Like it or not, however, we can sometimes do more harm than good, without even realizing it. For example, you may have a fear of heights, and your child will pick up on your fears every time they see you panic.
Furthermore, they will watch you if you start screaming at the bottom of a hill rather than the top! So, lead by example, and don’t let how you’re feeling rub off negatively on your child. You can deal with your issues using our tips on fear blockers. When you have a handle on the situation yourself, then you will be in a better place to help a fearful child.
These practical steps can help your child but if the fears become unmanageable then see a doctor or child therapist. In most cases, however, you need to stick in there until your child feels calmer and more confident. Good luck!
Such good advice. Did you have any fears as a child?
Great advice, Christy. I still look under my bed each time I watch Silence of the Lambs. :)
John Wayne — ‘Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.’
Amazing piece. I still recall me as a child loudly chanting any Christian hymn anytime I’m about to cross a dark staircase or enter a dark room… Lol… Thank God I’ve outgrown that one except my phobia for water. It sucks anyway as I hope to conquer it before starting a family of my own.
Great article, Christy. The key to parenting well in all situations is to be respectful, listen, be sympathetic, and patient. Funny, this works with adults too!
Great strategies Christy! For adolescents & adults too. Thank you for sharing.
Great tips. Talk,talk,talk with your kids.
Yes, parents need to leave by example !
These are great tips, but I also think it’s important that we push our children to face their fears as well. Anxiety is a tricky monster, and I’ve met quite a few families that what once were small, typical anxieties had grown to epic proportions because they had developed lots of avoidance strategies to protect the child. If the fear is always avoided, coping skills are never learned. It’s perfectly okay to be afraid of the dark – this is a biological norm; we are meant to be afraid of the dark – but it’s not okay to have every single light on in the house. A nightlight suffices, or even better – a flashlight that the child can turn on when anxiety spikes. Gives the child control of the light and encourages de-sensitization.
Great post, Christy
Great advice. By listening to your kids and talking with them, you are helping them not only be less fearful, but also kinder, more compassionate people.
Loved this! I’m still afraid of what lies beneath the bed, lol. I never dangle my feet over the bed when I sleep. There, I said it. LOL :) xoxo
That’s a great advice!
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