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A Kids Guide to Overcoming Worry & Anxiety (made simple)

 

 

So Halloween may have been a bust.

 

Maybe your little Nate or Natalie refused to go near

any person dressed in costume and shrieked in

fear while browsing Walmart’s Halloween isle.

 

Maybe you forced your child to engage thinking you

were doing the right thing. Or maybe you told them,

“There’s nothing to be afraid of” or “Don’t be such a baby”.

 

But now you know better. Probably no permanent damage there parents.

And now..you have a second chance to get it right.

 

Here are some things you can do that will be healthy and productive

for your child who is afraid of Santa according to, What to Expect (2014)

 

 

 

·        Don’t force it. The photo op is oh-so-tempting, but making a petrified toddler go near the big bearded man in the red suit (much less sit on his lap) won’t make her fear of Santa Claus disappear (or make for a good photo). In fact, it can ramp up the anxiety and turn her off all things holiday-related (’tis the season for tears).

·        Play it straight. That means no teasing or smiling at her distress, which can backfire and make her even more phobic. Your child’s fear of clowns may seem silly or irrational to you, but it’s no laughing matter to her.

·        Avoid admonishing. Along the same lines, try not to say things like “there’s no reason to be afraid” or “don’t act like a baby.” Instead of making your tot feel less anxious, scolding and shaming will fan the fires of this toddler fear and make her feel bad about herself.

·        Be supportive. Tell your tot that you won’t let anything bad happen to her. And tell her that she doesn’t have to approach that mega-sized Mickey Mouse if she doesn’t want to.

·        Back away. If your little one seems more shy than scared, have her hold your hand and watch from afar while other kids hug the clowns or Santa. When she sees and hears their reactions from a safe distance, she may calm down enough to realize that there’s no danger. And if possible, avoid encounters with costumed characters in a small, crowded space (your tot may feel cornered and even more afraid).

·        Offer to go first. If your cutie seems curious, you can ask: “How about if I have my picture taken with Santa first?” or “What if I shake Cookie Monster’s hand?” If she still doesn’t want to, don’t plead or push. There will be many other opportunities for photos and making happy childhood memories" (credit: What to Expect, 2014)

 

 

Good luck!

 

PS Remember the idea is to gradually expose to fears and allow the fearful sensations in their body to take place. Little by little they learn they are safe and they can trust their body to keep them safe even when they are scared. Little by little they build up confidence in themselves and fears subside. The Magic Finger Countdown found in Scaredies Away, can get them through this “gradual exposure” process for those who need it. Sometimes gradual exposure is too scary for little ones (and big ones too!). We now have a solution.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Best,

Stacy

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