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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Overcoming Fears

There are a lot of things to be scared of in this world.  I personally have a fear of sliding on ice in my car.  It is something that I can't have control of if it happens.  But I don't let that fear stop me from driving in the winter time.  I just take necessary measures to get over my fear (slow down, get snow tires, etc).  Kids can grow up with multiple fears.  To them, the world is a big unknown place and without proper understanding of some things a true and honest fear can set in.  Fear is normal for children. Normal fears for children can range from things like the dark, bugs, and dogs to rejection, failing, and not being accepted with their friends.  Your job as a parent is to help them in handling their fears as best as you can.
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There are multiple things you can do to help your child cope with their fear.

1.  Be patient with them.  You may not understand their fear and it can seem ridiculous but to them the fear is very very real.  Don't push them to hard to do something they just aren't ready for.  Do things little by little taking small steps.

2. Find out how the fear started.  Talk to them about what caused them to be afraid.  What do they think is the worst thing that can happen?  That can help you know how to approach the situation.

3.  Read about the fear.  If the fear is bugs.  Look up a book about bugs and check it out at the library.  If they are afraid of failing find a cute story that goes along with that and how to deal with making mistakes.  The more knowledge someone has about something generally the less scared of it you will be because you understand it more.

3.  Have them write about their fear in a journal.  If they are to young to write them have them draw a picture of it and how it makes them feel or dictate to you what they feel and you can write it down for them.

4.  Slowly introduce them to the real thing.  If they are scared of dogs get them a dog stuffed animal that they can learn to love.  Then go to someones house that has a dog and watch it through the window in the backyard.  Then introduce them to a small calm dog in a comfortable environment.  Go at their pace.  Never force them into a situation that will only continue the fear.
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They may totally get over their fear and not even remember being afraid of the dark when they are older.  Or they may never get over their fear completely but they will learn to at least tolerate it and not let their fear control their life. Help give your child the courage they need to see the harmlessness of their fear.  But in spite of everything show them love and support and that you will always be there for them even when they are afraid.

Source:
Stress Free Kids

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