You're about to go on a week-long family vacation, but your 4-year-old doesn't want to board the plane. Or you spend a day at the beach, and your toddler refuses to even go near the water. Often, there's nothing to worry about, because phobias are common in kids, especially those ages 3 to 6.
Then again, you don't want them to stay scared forever, but you don't want to force them to 'get rid' of the fear – otherwise, they could grow up to believe being afraid isn't okay. Short of having them undergo hypnotherapy Melbourne, what can you do to help them get over their phobias?
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1. Acknowledge the fear. This is like telling your kid the fear isn't valid, and it can make the experience scarier. Imagine facing monsters in the closet and not being able to ask for help because you're the only one who can see them – wouldn't that make you more afraid?
Ask them what you can do to help, and what makes the thing they're afraid of less frightening. The gesture may feel silly for you, but to a child, knowing they have someone on their side goes a long way to helping them feel more secure and safe.
2. Talk about it. Just as acknowledging the fear, talking about it helps to pinpoint what exactly makes it something to be afraid of. If your kid is afraid of flying, for instance, narrow it down to what makes a plane ride scary. Is it the 'thunk' sound the wheels make when they come up, or is the shuddering that comes with hitting air pockets?
3. Expose and distract. Gradually expose your child to the phobia, on their terms. Have something on hand to help distract them so it doesn't become too much for them to handle.
For example, if they're afraid of the dark, go with them into a room, give them a kid-sized torch, and tell them you're going to turn of the lights. Hold their hand when you do so. You can suggest a game of hide-and-seek, using your torches for light, to distract them.
4. Get professional help. You can bring your child to a hypnotherapist who's used to working with kids. Melbourne hypnotherapy can actually be used to help people overcome fears, even adults, so there's no reason it shouldn't work with someone younger.