Parents teach their children to be fearful and cautious of specific dangers, such as fire or crossing the road. Anxiety can be useful, because it helps protect the child from harm. However, children can be fearful of situations or objects that adults don’t consider threatening. The sources of fear may change as the child matures; for example, a fear of the dark or monsters under the bed may give way to fears of burglary or violence. Tactics that don’t work include teasing the child for being afraid, or forcing them to confront fearful situations. Helping the child to deal with fear includes taking their feelings seriously, encouraging them to talk about their anxieties, telling them the facts, and giving them the opportunity to confront their fears at their own pace and with your support.
The next post is on the common fears for babies!