My child is scared of almost everything. I think he is more worried about safety than a 9-year-old should be. (He is not excited about Halloween at all.) How can I help him overcome these fears and have more fun?
Halloween is a great time to talk to children about scary things and dealing with fear. Here are a couple suggestions:
Help your child understand that life is not trying to beat us or hurt us; it is facilitating experiences to help us grow and become better and stronger. (Life is on your side!) Even though bad things do happen on occasion, we are not alone and in the end we will be OK.
This mindset will lay a solid foundation of strength and help your child handle life with confidence.
(You may need to change your own beliefs about life first. Remember, children learn more from who you are and how you live than what you say. You must learn to see life as a safe experience and overcome your own fears before you can teach them, because you can't fake trust. If life feels threatening and unsafe to you, you may want to seek some professional help yourself.)
5. Discuss ways to see a situation accurately (because fear can skew the truth). Teach your child how to process a situation accurately and recognize what’s real and what’s not. Halloween is a great time to work on this one. Help him to see that most of the time the things we are afraid of aren't real, don’t happen, or aren’t as bad as we thought they were.
Fear exaggerates things and makes them seem worse than they really are. Teach your child how to step back from a fear and get to the truth about it. You can even role play some scary situations and help your child identify what's real.
6. Teach your child relaxation and self-calming skills. We all need to learn ways to calm ourselves down when we are stressed or scared. Teach your child how to use slow breathing, visualization or prayer to let go of fear.
8. If your child's fear is still keeping him from enjoying life, seek out some professional help.
Hope this helps make Halloween more fun!
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker who specializes in repairing and building self-esteem.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.