Fears are normal, especially for kids. But if your child has fears that they can’t seem to get over, then you may start wondering if you need to intervene. There are a few things that you can do to healthily encourage your kids to overcome their common childhood fears. Especially if these fears are causing anxiety or distress, helping your child overcome them can be a crucial step for your child’s well-being. Here are three helpful tools for you to use to assist your kids in overcoming the most common childhood fears.
Fear of the Dark
It is very normal for children to have a fear of the dark. But at a certain age, if your child is still using a nightlight, it may be time to help them get past this fear so that they can sleep easier when they are away from home. You can start with a nightlight to help, but if that isn’t cutting it, or they have outgrown a nightlight, then it is time for something else. Start by reassuring your child that there is nothing to be afraid of in the dark. You could also try having a pet sleep with them in the dark to provide comfort when they are scared. The key is getting them to recognize that nothing changes in their room when it is dark versus when it is light.
Fear of Doctors and Dentists
Most children have a fear of doctors and dentists. The doctors or dentist’s office can be a frightening place for a child, as there is a lot of unfamiliar equipment and a lot of touch and closeness with an unfamiliar adult. One key to helping a child overcome these fears is seeing pediatric specialists for both doctors and dentists. A pediatric dentist can help kids feel comfortable and at ease during the visit. Pediatric doctors and dentists are trained specifically in working with kids, so they know how to help them through the visit. You should also try and help them get familiar with the setting and understand that they are safe in their environment, perhaps teaching them that doctors and dentists are people who heal other people and that they are very smart. Making them seem like special superheroes can make your kids excited rather than scared of the dentist and doctor.
Fear of Heights
The first step to helping your kid through any fear is validating those fears and letting them know that it is natural and normal to feel scared. With heights, a great way to help your child is to slowly help them grow accustomed to greater and greater heights so that they begin to feel more comfortable. They don’t need to become skydivers, they just need to be okay on the top bunk or climbing a ladder and doing other normal childhood things that require a height.
Childhood fears are normal and natural. Reassure your children that their fears are okay and they don’t have to hang on to those fears if they aren’t helping them succeed. Helping your child through these three common fears will help them grow into confident and happy adults.
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