How to Help Your Anxious Child
Strategies to guide parents in helping your child deal with his fears and anxieties. Parents can help children develop the skills and confidence to overcome fears so that they don't evolve into phobic reactions. The following steps will guide you in helping your child deal with his fears and anxieties. Recognize that the fear is real. As trivial as a fear may seem, it feels real to the child and it is causing him to feel anxious and afraid. "Being able to talk about fears can help," says Katharina Manassis, MD, author of Keys to Parenting Your Anxious Child. "Words often take some of the power out of emotion; if you can give the fear a name it becomes more manageable. As with any negative feeling, the more you talk about it, the more it becomes less powerful." Never belittle the fear as a way of forcing the child to overcome it. Telling a child, "Don't be ridiculous! There are no monsters in your closet!" may get him to go to bed, but it won'