• Facing Down Phobias

    Facing Down Phobias

    Almost everyone has a phobia of something – arachnophobia (fear of spiders), agoraphobia (fear of tight spaces), and acrophobia (fear of heights) are all common ones. Since many people can trace these phobias back to childhood due to a traumatic experience, many have had these fears for as long as they can remember.

    Ways to Handle Phobias

    If your child has a phobia or seems to be developing one, you can spare them a lot of trouble later on in their adult lives if you help them confront their fear now. Making a fear pyramid can be a good place to start. The bottom of the pyramid has activities that would be mildly frightening to your child while the next level up, slightly more anxiety-inducing situations. The top of the pyramid would be the most intensely frightening situation.

    For example, if your child is scared of dogs, the bottom of the pyramid could be looking at dogs through a pet shop window, while petting a large dog off-leash might occupy the peak.

    little-girl-scared-afraid-phobia

    Confront Your Fears

    After you and your child create the pyramid, it’s time to start gradually exposing them to situations where their phobia comes into play. It’s important that you be supportive every step of the way; figure out what words and phrases can inspire extra bravery in your little one. If your child admires a heroic character, discuss how that character faces their fears. Sharing a situation in which you faced down a fear can also inspire confidence in your kids and let them know everyone deals with phobias. Finally, be sure to lay on the praise when your child has successfully faced a fear.

    A Confidence Builder

    Once your little one has mastered a few situations that previously scared them, you’ll find their confidence will increase dramatically. Not only will they begin to lose their phobia, as a result they may find they’re more prepared to conquer other scary and intimidating situations. In addition, this confidence can lead to decreased anxiety and a more self-assured outlook, a powerful transformation.

    confident-boy-superhero-cape

    Hopefully, this confident streak will last. But it’s also important to remind your child that there will always be things out there that scare them.  But most importantly, each time they experience fear with something new they can call upon the bravery that served them so well against their first phobia.

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