Practical Steps In Helping My Child
One of the very first things we can do is listen. Even if it is our three year old and they are scared of the dark, we must be careful not to belittle or brush off a fear. Remember it may not be a real but the fear is real to them. The power of listening and being on their “overcome team” is extremely important because fears are very isolating. Another thing to do is watch for signal behavior. You might not know exactly what the fear is until you realize there is signal behavior. That same three year old battles bedtime or struggles staying in bed, or your teen all of a sudden has a very hard time getting out the door to school. Things like this may be telling us there is something deeper going on.
Some fears can be overcome by roll playing, like that fear of the opposite sex which we are deep down hoping never goes away. Some fears can be overcome by explanation, “No honey, the drain will not swallow you up. You are way too big to fit down the bath tup drain.” Some fears can be overcome by desensitization, that new school/new school year fear. Some fears can be overcome by time, hopefully the fear of the dark is an example of this.
One of the most helpful things with our sons is teaching them to pray when they feel afraid. This helps to teach them that there is someone bigger then them who is always there to protect them even if mom and dad are not.
Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic.