How to help your child overcome fear? Whether it is dental anxiety in children or something, else, this guide can help you as a parent.
Teaching your child resilience
As a parent, you have a lot to think about, and your kids’ minds are constantly going too with worrying thoughts. They spend a lot of time thinking there’s something under the bed or don’t want to go to sleep by themselves. As parents, your natural instinct is to comfort them. But while your words and hugs help to calm them, you also need to encourage them to cope so they will be independent in later life.
In fact, teaching your children how to overcome a fear involves giving them the skills to manage their own fears without your being there for them constantly. This will help them develop resilience and mental strength, and value their independence. So, how do you start helping your children feel braver and more in control?
Encourage your kids to talk about what is frightening them
While they may know what they are scared of, they may not be able to explain it. If your child is scared about going to the dentist, you need to ask questions to get to the root of the problem.
Are they afraid of the tools? Are they afraid of the dentist? What is it exactly that they are frightened of?
When you understand the reason for dental anxiety in children, you are better able to appropriatly respond to the problem. When it comes to something like going to the dentist, if they have an irrational fear, go to an experienced family dentist who understands the common worries of children.
To help your child overcome a fear, take it seriously
When your kids talk about something they think is scary, it is very likely you won’t find it frightening at all. You might end up putting your perspective on the situation. But this is not the best way to go about things.
Instead, let your girl or boy know that you take their anxiety seriously. You have to validate their feelings and offer reassurance because this will help them to move on quickly. Rather than shooting down their fear and saying something like “don’t be silly,” work with them to help them start feeling braver.
Put a plan in place
Working with your child to set goals is about being slow and steady. For example, if they won’t go to sleep on their own, make an agreement that by the end of the week they will try and fall asleep by themselves.
Then, put a plan in place to get to that point. For example, on the first night, you may sit further away from your child and then gradually move away until the light is off but you are outside the door.
Going at a gradual pace is the ideal approach, and it’s important to remember that this can take time. When overcoming fear, you must be consistent in your approach as a parent and praise youngsters for their hard work.
A few last words to help your child overcome a fear
For parents, also remember there will be times where kids may have a setback and go back to old behaviors. If this happens, it is important to offer them reassurance and gentle reminders that they have already beaten fear once, so they can do it again.