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How to Help Your Anxious Child Face Their Fears

Some children feel anxious more than other children do, and if your son or daughter is fearful about trying new things, then you must find ways to help your child overcome these problems. Here are some of the recommended ways to help your fearful or anxious child.

Overcoming the Fear of Getting Dirty

Some children like to stay clean, and they may worry about getting dirt on their clothes or their hands. This fear can grow into anxiety about the germs on things such as toys at school or the equipment at a playground. In some cases, parents are responsible for these fears because they are cleaning things frequently or using hand sanitizer. Avoid talking about dirt and germs constantly so that your child won’t have the same anxiety.

A Fear of Cats or Dogs

A child may develop a fear of dogs or cats from one bad experience such as having a large dog leap on him or having a cat scratch his arm. This type of fear can get worse as the child has nightmares about pets, and it is essential for your child to overcome this issue. Begin by having friends visit your home with a kitten or a puppy that your son or daughter can cuddle before progressing to a smaller adult dog or cat. After awhile, your child will feel okay about being near a larger cat or dog, making your life easier.

A Fear of Dental Work

If your son needs to visit a dentist to receive metal-free fillings for cavities, then he might feel terrified of the drill. Use stuffed animals or dolls to help your son understand what will happen at the dental office during the examination and procedure. You can buy a play dentist’s kit for your son to practice on his favorite doll or stuffed animal to help relieve his anxiety. Having older children share their experiences can take away the power of the fear. Explain the process, sounds, to make the unknown less scary.

Overcoming the Fear of Water

If your child is afraid of water, then it can make life challenging for activities such as having a bath or washing hair. Additional problems can occur when it is summer, and a child’s friends or siblings are happy going into a swimming pool, but your child is on the sidelines crying from fear. You can hire a swimming instructor who understands how to teach a child to relax in the water while at the same time, your son or daughter can learn how to swim safely.

A Fear of the Dark

A fear of the dark is a common childhood fear, but when your daughter refuses to stay in her room at night, it can disrupt your life. Help your child to overcome a fear of the dark by helping her to decorate her room with adhesive stars on the ceiling and decorations on the wall that absorb sunlight, creating a natural glow in her bedroom. Have a nighttime routine that includes a soothing bath before reading a fun library book.

Professional Advice

When a child has a fear that won’t go away or that gets worse, it is time for professional advice from a pediatrician or a child psychologist. Schedule an appointment to discuss the issues with one of these experts.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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We truly appreciate your support! Through the kindness of the community and generous donations to the Ready Set School! program, IFCS was able to assist 552 students with school supplies, clothing, and backpacks as well as supplies for 300+ students.
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