Helping children with childhood fears

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Helping children with childhood fears

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All children in early childhood have fears. It's a normal part of growing up. It's a big, sometimes scary world. And those fears often fixate on monsters or a dragon that lives upstairs. My kids wouldn't go up to the third floor by themselves when they were little because the dragon would eat them. So it's very common for kids to have that kind of fear. So what can you do to help them through that? First, play games about it. Be that scary monster. Be the dragon. Chase them. Let them out with the dragon. And say, "Oh, I can never catch you. You're so fast. You're so smart. You always get away from me." And show them by your example that the dragon is something to be laughed at, that the dragon is something that they can actually outwit, outsmart, run away from, escape safely. If kids can laugh about their fears, those fears have a way of melting away.

See Laura Markham, PhD's video on Helping children with childhood fears...

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Laura Markham, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University and has worked as a parenting coach with countless parents across the English-speaking world, both in person and via phone. You can find Dr. Laura online at AhaParenting.com, the website of Aha! Moments for parents of kids from birth through the teen years, where you can sign up for her free daily inspiration email.  Dr. Laura lives in New York with her husband and her kids, who are now 17 and 21.

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