Posted May 29, 2007.
Young children often have fears. They can be afraid of the dark, animals, noises, strangers, or being alone. “Hearing” a child’s fears means to listen and be supportive. Fear often eases when someone bigger and stronger is there to help you.
The most important thing for an adult to remember is that feeling fear is normal, and that children should not be ashamed of feeling scared. “Be a big boy,” or “there’s nothing to be afraid of” are common things parents say, but this attitude can make it more difficult to earn trust and ease fears. The fear is real, even if the cause might not be.
A child's personality and temperament can affect how he deals with fears. Children need adults who will understand and help them with their feelings. Ignoring a fear can make it stronger and create even more fear.
Ways to help young children with their fears:
As adults we often forget what is scary as a child. We can help to ease the fear by listening. This isn’t indulging or spoiling. Being there for your child and not belittling her feelings creates a special bond.
Websites with further information:http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM1529D.pdf http://www.nncc.org/Guidance/dc16_fear.courage.html http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/anxiety.html
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