Common fears in older kids
As your child gets older, you’ll find that she will grow out of many of the fears that marked her toddler years – to be replaced by a more sophisticated brand of fear. Most will be rooted in the real world – death, getting lost, divorce of her parents, burglary, house fire – but some will remain in the imaginary world – ghosts, monsters that come out in the dark.
How can I help my child overcome her fears?
- Listen to her and make sure that she knows that you are taking her fears seriously.
- Don’t lie to her. If she asks you tricky questions about war, death, or divorce, give her a truthful answer – you don’t need to give her more information than she needs so don’t elaborate if she’s satisfied with a simple answer.
- Don’t indulge her fantasies by fighting with the monsters in her room – by doing this, you’re actually telling her that you too believe that there are monsters in her bedroom.
- With gentle guidance, encourage her to slowly face her fear – when she does eventually overcome her fear, she will feel as though she has achieved a great deal.
- If locking the bedroom window, sleeping with a night-light, or crossing the road to avoid a dog allows her to deal with her fear, then let her make these choices.
Many children are frightened of things that we, as adults, struggle to understand. Whatever the fear – no matter how irrational – it is very real to your child so never make fun of her and don’t force her to
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