How to Deal with Children's Fears: 8 Steps - MakeSureHow
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I am not going in there!


Fear is part of childhood. Toddlers are often afraid of being away from a parent, loud noises, animals, insects, potty training, going down the drain of the bathtub and things that go bump in the night. A preschooler’s growing imagination adds monsters and tragic scenarios to the mix. Your 4-year-old is not afraid to be away from you like a toddler is, but he might be afraid you are going to crash your car and die while he is at preschool. With support and reassurance, you can help your child conquer his fears.

Steps

  1. 1
    Listen to your child. Sometimes just talking about a fear can help it seem less scary.
  2. 2
    Ask how scary it is. Is it a little bit scary, great big scary or something in between?
  3. 3
    Acknowledge the fear. Don’t brush off his fears as figments of his imagination. You might know there are no monsters under his bed, but his fear that there is a monster lurking there is real.
  4. 4
    Give him a hug in reassurance and tell him you will survive long enough to pick him up from preschool. Tell him you are in the next room and can crush any monster that tries to bite him. Tell him he is too big to go down the bathtub drain like the water.
  5. 5
    Avoid letting his fears interfere with normal activities. If he is afraid of dogs, don’t cross the street to avoid one. Instead, hold his hand to give him a little extra strength.
  6. 6
    Remind him of a fear he used to have that he has overcome. “Remember when you were afraid of the potty? You know it isn’t scary now.”
  7. 7
    Give him tools to cope with his fears. Arm him with a bottle of monster spray before bed. Teach him how to approach a dog. Have him take a deep breath to help him be brave. Repeat a phrase to help him power through a scary moment, like The Little Engine That Could, “I think I can. I think I can.”
  8. 8
    Consult a doctor if the fear is persistent, if your child becomes hyperfocused, or his fear affects his development or daily activities.

Tips

  • Childhood fears are often a passing phase rather than a lifelong indicator of a child's temperament.

Warnings

  • Sometimes there is a reason for a child's fear. If your child suddenly seems afraid of a person or place, find out why.

Article Info

Categories: Education and Communications

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