Thursday, June 20, 2013
Kids' Fears, Demystified
Kids have very vivid imaginations, and it's hard for them to separate what's real from what's pretend. So simply telling a child there's no such thing as monsters isn't going to help much. Go through the motions - look high and low, under beds and on shelves, to prove to your child there aren't any monsters. Fill a small spray bottle with water and allow your child to use the "monster spray" around the room to ward off any monsters. Create a soothing atmosphere at night with lighting that's just bright enough to ward off fear of the dark, decreasing the light if needed after the child falls asleep. One healthy fear that kids have is that of strangers. Parents may scold if a child is unfriendly or impolite to someone he doesn't know, but that's really a healthy response that may keep him out of a dangerous situation. When visiting friends and relatives, it helps to model friendly behavior yourself by giving hugs, smiling and showing the child that it's OK to be around those people. Clue them in beforehand if you think bringing up a favorite game or character would help your child warm up.