Practical Ways to Help Your Child Overcome Their Fears

frightened girl at dentist's office
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The world is a child’s learning ground. They love to take everything in. But some things might incite fear in them. Some may be in passing, while others linger for a while. As a parent, how can you help your child overcome them?

Trace the Causes

The first thing you must discover is the causes of their fear. Most of the time, a child is afraid of something because it is unfamiliar with them. For example, a child may be afraid of having their teeth checked for the first time. Take them to an accommodating kids’ dentist in Murray. They will realize that going to a dentist does not mean having all their pearly whites pulled out.

The first step to dealing with fears is knowing the reason behind it. Disregarding their fear as something trivial tells them that you do not care. Also, it will feel like they have to deal with it on their own. Protecting them from it without tracing the roots does not work, either. It will give your child the idea that their fear is something really dangerous and powerful.

Take Baby Steps

family brushing together

Once you know what causes fear, you can now create plans to combat it. At this stage, it is best to involve your child. Ask for their suggestions on what will make them feel safe. They might want a night lamp that illuminates different shapes. This might help them combat their fear of darkness.

Be patient as you and your child take baby steps. Fear is a major emotion. You cannot expect your child to overcome it for a night. If your child is afraid of going to school alone, it might require you to come with them first for long periods. Then gradually decrease it as time passes by. Look for schoolmates who can serve as their companions.

Giving them control also helps to overcome their fear. Is your child afraid of being swallowed by the toilet bowl? Does the sound of the flush like a roar of a dragon? Let them handle that flush every time they pee or poop. Giving them small authority over things will also make them feel like they have power over their fear.

Teach by Example

One of the best ways to show them that there is nothing to be afraid of is to lead by example. If they are afraid of brushing their teeth, show them that you enjoy doing it. Sometimes, your child’s fears are actually due to their observation of some grown-ups in their lives. When they see that you are afraid of dogs, it teaches them that those creatures are dangerous. Thus, if you have fears of your own, do not show them how you react to them.

Treat Small Victories as Something Big

When a child takes a step toward eradicating their fears, celebrate with them. It does not matter how small it is. A word of encouragement, a high-five, or a simple pat on the back goes a long way for them. They may exert more effort to receive a good reaction from you. But when they do try harder, it will be eventually for their benefit.

For young children, experiencing fears is natural. As a parent, you must help them overcome them in time.

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