Growing up is filled with wonderful experiences but children experience fears, as well. From being afraid of the dark or the monster under the bed to worrying about getting along with other children, having fears is a part of the learning experience. The problem can be figuring out the best way to talk to your kids about their worries. Here are tips to make things easier for all of you.
The first thing is to make sure your children know you are able and willing to talk with about any concerns they may have. Adults may instinctively try to reassure children or tell them their fears are groundless. While that response is natural, it can make children think adults are unwilling to talk about the subject in detail or to take children’s concerns seriously. Make sure you always leave the door open for more discuss or questions. Sometimes the best approach is to show the child there is nothing under the bed or in the closet rather simply telling them there are no monsters there.
Both children and adults can have a difficult time articulating concerns. One way to help with that is to use the soft toy gifts your children have received. They can serve as characters to act out your kids’ concerns. Children are often more comfortable talking to a stuffed bunny or other toy about their worries than they are talking to an adult. For example, kids who are afraid of the dark might find it easier to admit they’re frightened if they say one of their favourite toys is frightened, too. From there, you can discuss their concerns and figure out their best way to make them feel comfortable.
If there are particular concerns one or more of your kids is facing, a book on the subject can be a great way to resolve their fears or at least start the conversation. There are children’s books covering a great range of topics from fear of monsters to worries about being different.
Children’s television may seem vacuous but it often deals with a range of different topics. That’s why it is important to spend time watching television together with your children. Then you can answer questions when they don’t understand something or the subject matter brings up other questions or concerns. Often the experiences of your children’s favourite cartoon characters offer excellent insights into things your children may experience personally.
If you and your children spend a fair amount of the time commuting together in the car or on public transportation, that could be the perfect time to discuss any of their concerns. Rather than having the kids spend the trip watching a video, you can talk together about their day and what happened at nursery or school. Having this sort of ongoing opportunity to talk can make it easier for your children to raise any questions or concerns as they develop. This can help to quickly turn your child’s concerns into worries of the past.
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