5 ways to help your toddler deal with fear
As much as you should encourage your child's imagination, you also need to help her deal with her fears. Here's how.
With a developing imagination kids are able to think of all sorts of things - some things are wonderful, and some not so good. Of course some of their fears are not from something the imagine; kids can be anxious about losing a parent, going to a new school and a lot more. Here is how you can respond to your child's fears:
1. Understand why she is afraid
Talk to your child about what frightens her, and try to find the source. It might be something she saw on TV, something heard from other kids or something that is going on in the family. Understanding will help give you a way to deal with the situation.
2. If possible, avoid the things that make her afraid
Don't allow her to watch programmes on TV that will form a scary picture in her head. If she's afraid of losing you because you are going to the hospital, explain to her in an age appropriate way what is going to happen and when you will be home. When she understands, it sometimes helps. If she is afraid of monsters when you tuck her in, do a monster check all around her room and assure her nothing is there.
3. Be sympathetic
Don't shout at her and tell her there is nothing to be afraid of. Listen to what she tells you and comfort her. If talking about it helps settle her down, then avail yourself to listen to her and hold and comfort her.
4. Empathise with her fear
Let her know that you understand what she's going through, and make sure she knows you are there to help her deal with and get through this situation. Also share with her that you've also been through this, and tell her how you dealt with it. This will help her see that this will pass.
5. Seek professional help or advice
If anxiety or fear interferes with your child's healthy development, get help. If her fears affect her normal daily activities, and things are getting worse and not better, it's best to see someone about it.