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Children Who are Anxious: How to help

Parents can often do a great deal to help children learn to manage anxiety. Here are several different ways to make things easier for your child:

  • Be patient and give your child lots of time to overcome her initial fear of something new.

  • Use pretend play and stories to help prepare your child for new situations that he may have trouble adapting to or is afraid of.

  • Praise your child when she is successful at overcoming anxiety. Try to make your child feel like a conquering hero.

  • Keep reminding your child of the things that he is no longer afraid of. This will help him see that it is possible to overcome other fears too.

  • Try to negotiate with your child about "trial periods" with new activities, so that she can discover more about the world.

It's not helpful to push an anxious child too hard or too soon. Slow and steady is best. But, don't give up and allow your child to avoid all anxious situations.

If you find that your child's anxieties are really affecting how your child sleeps, eats and plays, or they really start to worry or frustrate you, consult your child's doctor.

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Ages and Stages
Emotional Development: 12 to 18 months
Emotional Development: 18 to 24 months
Emotional Development: 2 to 3 years
Emotional Development: 3 to 4 years
Emotional Development: 4 to 5 years
Emotional Development: 6 to 12 months
Emotional Development: Birth to 6 months
What to Expect: 12 to 18 Months
What to Expect: 18 to 24 Months
What to Expect: 6 to 12 Months
What to Expect: Birth to 6 Months
What to Expect: Your 2 to 3 Year Old
What to Expect: Your 3 to 4 Year Old
What to Expect: Your 4 to 5 Year Old

Answers for Parents
Children Who are Active and Distractable: What to do
Children Who are Aggressive: How to help
Children Who are Aggressive: Reasons why
Children Who are Anxious: Reasons why
Children Who are Depressed: How to help
Children Who are Depressed: What is depression?
Children Who are Difficult: What to do
Children Who are Loners: What to do
Children Who are Shy: How to help
Children Who are Very Particular: What to do
Children Who have Fears: How to help
Children Who use Security Blankets, Pacifiers and Suck their Thumbs
Children Who Worry a Lot: What to do
Crying and Upset: Making it better
Crying: How to comfort my baby
Death of a Pet: Helping my child cope
Death of a Pet: My child's feelings and reactions
Death: Talking to my child about its meaning
Divorce: My child's reactions
Nightmares: Extreme nightmares, or 'night terrors'
Personality: Temperament traits
Personality: What is it
Personality: What is temperament?

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