Five childhood anxieties and how to banish them
Simple strategies to soothe your child's anxieties
Scary monsters, ghosts and ghouls Reassure your child that he is safe, and help him to feel secure and less anxious. A toddler may benefit from choosing a toy that can “protect” him; an older child may be reassured if he can take the time to explain
to you what is real and what is just imaginary.
Fear of the dark Use a night light to give a reassuring glow. Remember, too, that when lights do go out, absolute silence can be frightening. Your child may be happier if she can hear people moving about, or the sound of a television or radio.
Thunder and lightning Keep your own mood upbeat. Say something like: “That’s the sound of the sky celebrating – how exciting to have rain!” In other words, even if you hate it yourself, make light of it.
Being alone Encourage your child to have a special toy or comforter that she brings to bed with her, and reassure her that you are close by. If your child cries at night, respond quickly by going to her and reassuring her, but avoid the temptation to make a big fuss.
Loud noises If your child is frightened of loud bangs, like fireworks, watch them from the safety of a window. Leave the professional displays, which usually include spectacular bangs, for older children, and opt for gentle LED or fibre-optic toys instead.
Discuss this story