How to help a fearful or anxious child...

Does your child lie awake at night 'worrying' - or not want to go to school or leave home because they're feeling anxious about something? 

Many children will feel anxious or express fears at different times in their lives.  Some are simply age related and will change as they grow and develop, but other fears can be triggered by an event or may be learned fears from someone else.

Here are some ideas to help your child cope with their fear:-

1. Help your child understand the difference between fear and just being cautious.

2. Acknowledge and affirm their fear to validate their feelings but encourage them to be brave and face their fear and not let it stop them from experiencing life.

3. Don't lie to them or make promises that are not true.  If you can't guarantee their safety don't promise it, but reassure them that there are steps and plans in place to keep them safe and you (or a responsible adult) will be there for them if they have any further worries.

4. Kids gain power and control if they 'do something', so teach them skills to cope.  Role play is a good idea to show them options for coping and to help them face a new situation.

5. Confidence is catchy so show your confidence in your child’s ability to deal with their fears.