How do you help your older children with fears?

Most young children have common phobias, but often grow out of them. But what do you do with an older child who is still afraid of the dark, being alone, or other fears?

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8  Answers

17 22

From the time our children were 3-4 yrs. old we had them memorize scripture. And the one they learned to help them with their fears was Joshua 1:9 "....Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

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1 6

I think that is so awesome and it's even wonderful for adults who struggle with fear in their lives.

317 9

I'm a "knowledge is power" kind of parent. I tell my daughter that it's ok to be afraid of things. Everyone is afraid of something. But it's not ok to let that fear control her. Then we do research on whatever the fear is to take some of the mystery out of it. (so far bees, spiders, ghosts and monsters) I have her practice visualizing her fear in a silly way (spider wearing a dress and a hat with a feather doing a jig) to ease the tension. I also taught her some relaxing breathing techniques. The combination really seems to work and she has become quite good at controlling her emotions, which benefits her in many other situations as well.

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3 48

Good job, Tracie. Another bit of advice - talk calmly. Validate their fear but don't accelerate it. Many older kids have extreme fears. I think it's a sign of brain growth. During pre-adolesence/adolescence there is a surge of brain development. We see the physical changes of puberty but there's a burst of mental development as well.

2 16

My 11 year old friend, Jordan, will undergo a complete pancreaectomy on the 29th. 12 hour surgery. Everything has been done in great ways to have her ready, she is awesome and tonight she is afraid. Anyone looking at this post is asked to lift her fears to healing as you read it and if you will....hold her in your hearts on Thursday...a 12 hour surgery. Keep the doctors and nurses and team in your thoughts as well.....and humbly, thanks.

2 19

I'm glad that is working for you, Tracie, but you need to make sure your approach is balanced. Kids can become obsessed with things they fear making the situation worse if you delve too deeply into the subject.

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3 0

There is only one way to teach a child not to fear things. Bring the fear to the child. You mentioned the fear of the dark. I suggest locking your child in a dark room, or perhaps a dark chest to tackle claustrophobia as well, and do not release the child until the screaming and weeping has ceased.

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31 19

Why are we mothers wracked with so much guilt? Is it just 'a Greek thing' as my friend and I were saying, or do all mothers experience it. I have heard it from many non-Greek mothers too... What do you do to deal with it?

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6 20

I agree- talking it thru, looking at it in a humorous way, and validating the fear. Most of all, teaching them that "The only thing to fear, is fear itself"!

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3 8

Just validate thier fears and talk it out with them. You could talk about your fears.

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2 19

My daughter is 16 years old and still has night phobias. It may have something to do with her ADHD or being bi-polar, but being on Depakote has not alleviated the phobia, because it goes deeper than chemical imbalances. I have given her the option of keeping a light on, which is usually enough to empower her. Occasionally she wakes up and wants the tv on as well, so whatever she feels comfortable having in her control is what I allow. But I think that is the key, because kids can feel overwhelmed by the unknown.

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31 19

I do something similar to Tracie: we are all scared of different things, etc. I did not think of researching the fear though. I think that is brilliant and will try it. Since I am a Christian, I also teach them to do spiritual warfare based on the Bible. So, if they say they see a ghost, I help them to say something like "Be gone in Jesus, Name". That makes it fun for them and they feel like they are doing something to overcome their fears. It becomes a bit of a game, and that helps too. I also praise them a lot (not falsely) when I see them overcoming one of their fears, and I don't push them to 'get over it'. I say its ok, we all fear different things - when you are ready I am sure you will be able to .... (whatever action) and I will be here for you.

8 1

My seven year old goes straight to the point...He is afraid of dying or of those close to him dying. I can not alleviate this fear or reassure him that we will not die. I usually tell him that we are pretty healthy and should do things to keep us healthy like eat right an exercise. I have done relaxation with him and encouraged him not to live his life in fear but I will not lie to him. I can not predict the future. I tell him most people are afraid of dying. Some children are just more aware and anxious than others. I believe he will always struggle as he is a deep thinker and very aware of the injustices of life. I just support and love him.

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