If your child fears getting up in front of his or her class to speak or is afraid of the big bad wolf under their bed, here are some things you can do as a parent to help.
Children and even us adults can have fear tied to virtually anything.
The key, though, as a parent is to not accept that the fear is real.
The worst thing we can do as a parent is to believe that anxiety is an illness or that you’re just wired that way. Anyone can get hooked by anxiety and anyone can get UN-hooked.
The key is to know HOW to manage anxiety so that you can overcome it and move past it. But first, let’s take a look at some of the most common childhood fears.
Top Child Fears
WebMd shared some of the top child fears as:
- Loud Noises for infants
- Strangers for infants
- Separation for toddlers
- The dark, monsters, various animals and masks for preschoolers
- Snakes and spiders (me too)
- Fear of teacher who is angry
- News (turn it off)
- Fear of rejection and failure
The fears can go on and on, as Jodi Aman points out in our interview. However, you CAN regain control in just minutes if you do two things.
How to Help Child Overcome Fear
The first step to overcome anxiety is by refusing to let fear take over (anxiety needs you to be scared). The second step, as Jody pointed out, is by taking action.
Let’s go over a few ways to take action.
Move Your Body
This could be anything from going on a jog or walk to doing yoga. When stress hits, you have this rush of adrenaline and your body is primed for fight or flight. So put that rush of adrenaline to good use and move your body. Moving will decrease those stress hormones and restore calmness.
Do Something Creative
Is your kid feeling anxious? Have them to start planning out or diving into a creative project that they’ve been thinking about. It could be a video that they’ve been thinking about creating or craft project. Not sure what to do? Jump on Pinterest to come up with some ideas.
The reason this works is because creativity uses the part of the brain that keeps you anxious. So if you’re using your brain for problem solving on a creative project, you won’t leave any room for anxiety to take over.
Get Your Kid Laughing
Laughter and anxiety can’t share the same space, so if your child is feeling anxious, try putting on a funny movie that you know he or she loves. Or just turn on YouTube and watch some funny videos together. Laughter is sure to help the anxiety pass quickly… and put everyone in a happier state of mind!
Connect with Someone
Jodi has shared that one thing anxiety does well is isolate us, making us feel like we’re the ONLY ONE with this particular struggle. But the reality is that we ALL struggle with fears.
If your child is having a hard time, suggest that they spend some time and talk with a close friend. Talking about your fears (even with just a beloved pet) can help us get new perspective on our fears. Talking about anything – really – can help take attention away from what’s bothering us.
Final Thoughts on How to Help Your Child Overcome Fear
As Jodi Aman explains, there are two steps for overcoming anxiety in minutes. First, you have to understand that anxiety needs you to be afraid of it, so just choosing to not be fearful is a very important first step.
Next, your child needs to take some kind of action to put that rush of adrenaline to good use. Some ideas you can try include:
- Moving your body (this could mean jumping around singing and dancing, going on a walk or jog, or anything to move)
- Doing something creative
- Laughing out loud
- Connecting with someone
Let us know how these work with your own kids and what they do to take action! Leave us a comment below.