A child of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Maurice Sendak understood that little kids loved to walk on the wild side in the safety of their parent’s arms.
PARENT ADVICE ABOUT THE SCARY STUFF
Hovering parents and the Just-Keep-Kids-Happy gurus miss an opportunity to help kids face reality and build emotional strength. The main trick is to make the scary stuff just a bit above the child’s comfort level and then to use those times as teachable moments.
Tip one: Honor the need of the young and not so young to test facing fears AND at the same start teaching what is real and what is not.
Tip two: The smallest among us don’t have the judgement to know what is real and what is not. Any parent whose kid has tried flying off the top of the stairs thinking he is Superman knows what I mean. What to do? Start young to teach coping with reality by using the following praises even with toddlers.
- Not safe.
- A toy.
- Make believe.
- No Danger.
- Not real.
Children will still believe in magic, won’t fully get it for a while, but the foundation for thinking more critically has been laid.
Anxiety disorders are high on the list of mental health problems and are apparently part of an inborn temperament trait–shy versus bold. So if you have a scared kid, probably somewhere in the family are other scared and nervous ones. I plan to write more about Taming Anxiety, but for now, you might find this ebook of mine useful – the message and exercises are universal, but applied to Taming Test Anxiety.
For anxious parents, Parents Are People Too provides an Emotional Fitness Training Program that strengthens your ability to manage all sad, mad, and bad feelings. Remember, you don’t need a Kindle to read Amazon’s ebooks. You can download them to your computer using these apps.
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