For my daughter, it was an irrational fear of water. The anxious thoughts that trigger and fuel phobias are usually negative and unrealistic. According to Cohen, validating your child’s fears helps them connect with you, which is a powerful way to counteract worry. Validate Your Child’s Emotions Through Empathy and Calm Confidence. This was two years ago and I have since finished treatment and cancer free for a year now. Chew on a stick of gum.

If you have social phobia, then you may be excessively self-conscious and afraid of humiliating yourself in front of others. Perform a simple deep breathing exercise. How can you project calm confidence while staying empathic when she’s afraid?

Monophobia, or the fear of being alone, is a catch-all term for several discrete fears. “I’ve felt this way before and nothing terrible happened. It may be unpleasant, but it won’t harm me.”, “If the worst happens and I have a panic attack while I’m driving, I’ll simply pull over and wait for it to pass.”, “I’ve flown many times and the plane has never crashed. Make a list. I’d been trying for years to persuade her to get her head wet, but it took another child to convince her. With our bodies and minds alert and ready for action, we are able to respond quickly and protect ourselves. In The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears by Lawrence Cohen, I found many of the strategies I stumbled on over the years, as well as others I wish I’d thought to try. (To receive our articles directly in your mailbox, sign up here if you haven’t already done so.). Although phobias are common, they don’t always cause considerable distress or significantly disrupt your life. Work your way up the ladder.

The fear of loud noises phobia is known by several different names: Ligyrophobia, Acousticophobia, Sonophobia or Phonophobia. For my daughter, the final key to overcoming fear came from her imagination. It’s telling stories about mermaids, and I won’t be the one to question it. Other fears associated with social phobia include fear of eating or drinking in public, talking to strangers, taking exams, mingling at a party, or being called on in class. I was thrilled my daughter was enjoying a book so much, but I was even more thrilled when one day she called me into the bathroom during her once-a-week bath. Get free article updates here.). One of the other kids on the trip was a girl a year older than my daughter. Go at a pace that you can manage without feeling overwhelmed. “How to Be a Positive Parent” Email Mini-Course, 100+ Popular Gifts for Infants and Toddlers (Ages 0 – 3 Years Old), 100+ Popular Gifts for Pre-Schoolers (Ages 3 – 5 Years Old), 100+ Popular Gifts for Elementary School Kids (Ages 6 – 11 Years Old), 100+ Popular Gifts for Middle School Kids (Ages 11 – 14 Years Old). Is there any evidence that contradicts my negative thought? I’d heard about the Emily Windsnap series, a chapter book series about a girl who discovers she’s half mermaid. Dancing, drumming, and running can be especially effective at relieving anxiety. When confronted with the sight of blood or a needle, you experience not only fear, but also disgust. Practice this deep breathing technique for five minutes twice day. Once you’ve done a step on several separate occasions without feeling too much anxiety, you can move on to the next step. If you have claustrophobia, for example, you might turn down a lucrative job offer if you have to ride the elevator to get to the office.

“I love baths,” she said. But one evening, she and her friend went out to the pool after dinner. If you stick with it, the anxiety will fade. He will show me something like a leaf and say it touched his mouth. Turns out I'm not! If your child is terrified and panicking, you automatically comfort him physically —you pick him up, hold him tight, maybe rock him or pat his back. Any help would be appreciated. Like other phobias, you initially feel anxious as your heart speeds up. Your details have been submitted successfully. A phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger. Posted Jun 14, 2019 What actions or words can you use to. For the first few days, my daughter stuck to her normal cautious behavior in the water. But recently, I read a book about childhood anxiety that I wish I’d had when my daughter was younger. Her new friend was rambunctious, outgoing, and active —the kind of kid who leaps first and looks never. When your child is in a state of panic, validation won’t get you anywhere, and reassurance will get you even less. It is normal and even helpful to experience fear in dangerous situations. I thought this was a very nice summary of Cohen’s book which I also thought was a very good book. That’s really scary.”. However, you can develop phobias of virtually anything. Some people are afraid of being apart from a particular person. For weeks before every trip, she has a knot in her stomach and a feeling of anxiety that won’t go away. Taste – Slowly eat a favorite treat, savoring each bite. When creating the ladder, it can be helpful to think about your end goal (for example, to be able to be near dogs without panicking) and then break down the steps needed to reach that goal.

On the other hand, if you have a severe phobia of crowded spaces, living in a big city would pose a problem.

And this was a very sweet story about learning to swim.

In this video, I talk about some of my irrational childhood fears! What would you say to a friend who has this fear? “Yes, I could press the alarm or use the telephone to call for assistance.”, “I’m fortune telling, as there is no evidence to suggest that the elevator will break down or that I’d suffocate.”. In more severe cases, you might only feel safe at home. Nothing like a good reframe. Please donate today to help us protect, support, and save lives. The two of them had only played together a few times before, but since they were closer to each other in age than any other kids on the trip, it only took an hour before they were playing like best friends. I’ve been trying to get my daughter to move past her fear of bugs using some of these tips. I came out on the other side completely cancer free. “Mama! I tried to do this. Telling your child they shouldn’t be scared will only upset them more, but if they can see your confidence, that will help them start to believe —on a deep, nonverbal level —that there’s nothing to fear. That’s so yesterday. By validating her fear, I was getting caught up in it. For example: Phobias: A Self Help Guide – Worksheets to help you tackle a phobia. And if you see my daughter at the pool swimming like a fish, don’t comment on her courage. (Vandrevala Foundation). Movement – Go for a walk, jump up and down, or gently stretch. It also helps to know that phobias are highly treatable. Understanding Childhood Fears And Anxieties, How To Help Kids Cope With Irrational Fears, Top Ten Relaxation Techniques For Children. No matter how out of control it feels right now, you can overcome your anxiety and fear and start living the life you want.

When you have a phobia, you tend to overestimate how bad it will be if you’re exposed to the situation you fear and underestimate your ability to cope. “Do I look like a mermaid?”. She looked at my daughter and saw a playmate for the pool. Hopefully by now you have gotten help and answers for your son. That’s exactly how she feels!

This is who she is now. However, don’t rush. Almost everyone has an irrational fear or two—of spiders, for example, or your annual dental checkup. Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. Look at me!”my daughter shouted. If you’re afraid of flying, your list (in addition to the obvious, such as taking a flight or getting through takeoff) might include booking your ticket, packing your suitcase, driving to the airport, watching planes take off and land, going through security, boarding the plane, and listening to the flight attendant present the safety instructions. Soon I was washing her hair so rarely that she became known at the playground as “the little girl with the fancy dresses and the messy hair.” We never went for walks in the rain or jumped in puddles. Although phobias can be crippling, they're not obvious at all times. The most effective way to overcome a phobia is by gradually and repeatedly exposing yourself to what you fear in a safe and controlled way. The key was the other girl’s mindset. If you have a phobia, you probably realize that your fear is irrational, yet you still can’t control your feelings. When water splashed on her face, physical calming exercises made a big difference. While not comprehensive, this phobia list offers a glimpse of the many phobias that can have a serious impact on an individual's life. Smell – Light scented candles.

There were times when her screams made me think she’d been seriously injured when she’d only gotten wet. Your anxiety over how you will look and what others will think may lead you to avoid certain social situations you’d otherwise enjoy. Exposure to confined spaces, extreme temperature... One of the most helpless and frustrating moments as a parent is when our kids have irrational fears, and nothing we say seems to help them cope. Make a list of the frightening situations related to your phobia.

Which is why it’s not enough to just validate fear —you also need to project calm confidence. It's normal for your toddler to be fearful. Inhale again, repeating the cycle until you feel relaxed and centered. Start with the first step and don’t move on until you start to feel more comfortable doing it. When I was looking for images for the article and found that last one of the little girl by the pool with the towel tied as a cape, I imagined that’s what your little girl must feel like . WTF haha. Today I talk about (one of) my irrational childhood fears. My daughter loved TV shows about mermaids (H2O was one of her favorites), so I thought she would like Emily. Many childhood fears are natural and tend to develop at specific ages. It was spring, so summer was coming, but I wasn’t thinking about swimming.