How You Can Help Your Child with Fears
Are childhood fears a problem in your home? If so, read the signs, causes, and solutions from our parenting skills expert, Dr. Michele Borba, author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions. Today she'll share 5 signs to look for, 3 causes for anxiety, and 3 keys to helping your children.
5 Signals Your Kids May Be Worrying:
1. Sleep problems – fear of the dark, fear of going to bed, begging to sleep with you.
2. Avoidance behavior – upset about going to school, the doctor, or other situations.
3. Attachment frights – clings to you, won’t let you out of her sight, follows you to be safe.
4. Retreats to younger behaviors – sucking thumb, carrying security blanket, wetting the bed.
5. Bodily symptoms – shaking, crying, whimpering
Dr. Michele also lists others signs of anxiety on page 249. Let’s look at 3 specific anxieties your child may experience.
3 Typical Causes for Childhood Anxiety:
Children lack experience and strategies for dealing with problems. Here are some difficulties that many kids face.
1. Divorce – wondering what will happen to them, fearing parents’ quarrels, feeling abandoned and powerless.
2. Bullies – feeling like an outcast, worrying about the next encounter, fearful about what to do.
3. Violent images – playing scary video games, watching brutal movies, listening to hateful music.
Again, Dr. Michele shares more causes for frightful feelings on page 250.
3 Solutions for Helping Your Child Overcome Fears:
1. To support your child through divorce check in with how he feels, let him know what to expect, and assure him that you love him and he will be okay.
2. To assist her with handling bullies, suggest she stay with a large group, an older child, or a helpful companion. Advise her to talk to an adult she trusts for help. Tell her to stay away from places where the bullies hang out.
3. To help him deal with frightening images that scare him, monitor his video games, screen the movies he wants to see, supervise his music.
Dr. Michele advises you to take your child’s fears seriously, avoid belittling, be supportive, teach relaxation skills, and use ‘baby steps’ when helping your child face his fears.
You’ll find a wealth of practical ideas for understanding childhood fears and helping your son or daughter deal with them on pages 248-254.
Let's THANK Dr. Michele Borba for her tireless work in helping parents help their children. She is an amazing expert.
Dr. Michele Borba
Pick up The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries.
Available at Amazon.com
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With warm wishes,
Jean Tracy, MSS
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