Addressing FearsMay 4, 2017
Many young children have fears.
Dealing with them requires sensitivity and empathy.
Here are our tips for addressing fears in young children
- Take them seriously. Don’t laugh, tease or joke about fears.
- Logic doesn’t help. Trying to convince your child out of it can prolong the fear and destroy trust.
- Stay calm. Avoid any of your own feelings of anger, frustration or sadness
- Show empathy. Showing understanding builds your own relationship with your child and allows you to explore solutions together
- Be creative. Your child may be comforted by a wide variety of things ranging from monster spray and magical stuffed animals to walking on the other side of the street or listening to music
- Find heroes. Use books or stories to teach your child about how other children overcame their fears. Recommendations for little ones, preschoolers, and elementary school kids here.
- Give your child control. Don’t confront your child’s fears. Allow them to control how and when they confront or try new things in their own time and set up opportunities for them to find success in small ways
Find more tips on handling fears from Child Mind Institute, or visit the American Academy of Pediatrics