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We're Not Scared of Anything!

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Night time terrors. The BoogeyMan. The doll eyes following your every movement. The haunted house, the dark, the monsters.

Being afraid goes hand in hand with being little. Take being afraid of the dark, for example. I have six kids, so it seems like we've been sleeping with night lights on in our house since Moses was a baby - in fact, I'm not sure I could even sleep in complete darkness any more - although it sure would be super nice to try, wouldn't it?

My kids, like most kids, have been afraid of the dark. They've also been afraid of other, more random things. Clowns, for instance. That apple doesn't fall far from the tree, though - both my husband and I don't like clowns. For me, it goes back to a long ago, late night reading by flashlight of a better-left-unnamed Stephen King book.One of my children reports that she pulled her Barbie DreamHouse in front of her closet every night - for several years - because of the movie Monsters, Inc. No matter what I say, do or show - it seems like there's nothing you can do to get rid of the childhood fears. 

One of my friends bought a lightly scented room spray with a pump. She removed the label and created a duplicate, with the words "Monster Spray". She spritzed the room every night before her child went to bed, and told him that the lavender scent kept monsters away. Another friend allowed her child to sleep with a flashlight. The cost of batteries twice a month was a small one that ensured her son would sleep. 

Ask your child why he's afraid of something. Chances are, he won't be able to tell you exactly why - and maybe you can reassure him and help him get over it. Don't ever try to minimize your child's fears. No matter how trivial or banal, to your child those fears are as big as the Empire State building.

How do you help your child manage his or her fears? How do you keep those fears from overwhelming your child, keep them from becoming much more than simple, childish concerns?

© Mitchell

by on Oct. 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
by on Oct. 24, 2012 at 12:02 PM
My son doesn't seem to be scared of anything. He's only 2 though
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by on Oct. 24, 2012 at 2:53 PM

My kids are afraid of Thunderstorms. We did not get them to hard or frequently when we lived in Oregon but now that we live in the mid west we do. We let them bunk in our room or they all sleep in one room together and it makes them feel better. 

by on Oct. 24, 2012 at 4:17 PM
So far we haven't had any problems. I like the idea of monster spray
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by on Oct. 24, 2012 at 4:29 PM

They are welcome to talk to us at anytime about their fears.  When they are finished talking, the fear is eased for the most part.

by on Oct. 24, 2012 at 5:19 PM

I think the best thing that helps a child past a fear is giving them the power to do something that makes them feel safe.

Sue ~ Head Admin
~ D.V. Survivor/Admin

by on Oct. 24, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Good article!

by on Oct. 24, 2012 at 10:03 PM

ds is very fearful of a lot of things. we are still working on it, we talk a lot and pray a lot.

by on Oct. 24, 2012 at 10:20 PM

my son has stuffed puppies that sleep with him and scare away anything bad.

by on Oct. 24, 2012 at 10:34 PM

We have also had kids sleep with night lights and with flash lights when they are afraid.  If it is a fear of something that is real such as bears or mountain lions(both live by us) we teach them that they cannot get in the house and make them feel safe knowing facts about them.  If it is a fear that is of something not real like monsters we reassure them they aren't real and they are safe. 

by on Oct. 24, 2012 at 10:44 PM

I tell the child that there is no such thing and that it is OK for their imagination to pretend. I make sure they have a stuffed animal they can pretend is protecting them and that they have a flashlight and night lights.

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