Dealing with Childhood Fears and Phobias

My daughter has always been a little more on the sensitive side. It takes her a while to warm up to new environments, people, and situations. That’s why I think her transition to child care was so challenging for me, knowing that she was having such a hard time at first. She had the same struggle with her swim lessons—now she really enjoys the class, but still hesitates at the start of each 30-minute session.

Honestly, as her parent, I’ve always considered it more of a benefit, since I know I can trust her (for the most part) to slowly climb off the couch rather than launching herself off it. Or maybe I have a false sense of trust—let’s hope not! But this so-called perk started to take a turn for the worse. Kayla started to use the word scared, and would tell us when she was scared and what she was scared of. Suddenly, she proclaimed a fear of everything: she was scared of the sound of distant sirens of an emergency vehicle, of the ants on the ground, the bumblebees at the park, and of the ceiling fan in our home.

After doing some research, it seems these are some helpful tips for dealing with childhood fears and phobias:

  • Don’t smile at the fear, even if you think it’s cute
  • Acknowledge the fear so they know it’s appropriate to have fears
  • Explain and talk it out

While this all made sense upon my first time reading it, I found myself returning to do more research with new fears popping up almost daily. Has this become a way to get more attention or snuggle time with mom and dad? Is it something we should be concerned about? How have you dealt with your child’s fears and phobias?

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