Tips for children and anxiety

We asked our visitors how they deal with anxiety in their toddlers and preschoolers. How do they respond to this? We received nice and useful tips! Of course we do not want to keep this from you!

To explain

Our children are all three afraid of spiders. We try to deal with it as normal as possible, although I also shudder myself. We say that spiders are very useful animals.
Our eldest son is afraid of new, unknown things. We stimulate his fear of discovery by approaching the new things 'just' and not emphasizing them. After a while, he often says: "Now I want to dare!" And then he does what he was afraid of.
My eldest son is afraid of thunder or strong wind. We try to take away his fear by explaining what a storm is exactly, what causes it. Speaking quietly with him usually helps to take away the most anxiety.
My son is very afraid of clowns. I take his fear seriously and hope to talk about it and read his fear a little bit away.

Light on

Our children are sometimes afraid of the dark, afraid of monsters. We light a light and speak quietly. If they are very afraid of monsters, they can sleep in the big bed.
Our child was afraid at night to go to the toilet in the dark. Since we leave the light on the landing, there is no problem anymore. Of course it takes some energy, but the fear is gone.
My son is afraid of the dark and being alone. When he goes to bed, all the lights must go on. As soon as he sleeps, we turn off all the lights again.
My son Niels is scared in the dark. That's why I bought a light, a very small one that is immediately plugged into the socket, which automatically turns on when it gets dark in his room and goes out again when it's light. Ideal!

Letting / showing yourself

Our son screamed when he saw a jet of water coming out of the showerhead. We then put the beam very soft and let him turn the knob himself, until he was in the normal position.
My child is afraid of barking dogs. Every time a dog barks and my daughter is scared, I talk to her about barking dogs. That barking is the same as talking to big people. And when I can, I try to have my daughter pet the dog.
Our child is afraid of spiders. I then show that nothing is wrong, by letting the spider run over my own hand. For myself also a victory, because actually I am afraid of it myself ...
My child of 2.5 is afraid to poop on the potty. We have therefore bought a booklet with all (different) drolls in it. Super funny and it works!

To come up with a nice alternative

My oldest is afraid of monsters, just like that, from nothing came. A bit of a shame, not only for her, but also for her little sister, who did not even know what monsters were, she is now also wary. I try to eliminate the fear by showing nice monsters ... .cake monster is not scary. I come when they call, I assume that it is temporary.
My son is afraid of monsters and dark and used to go to the toilet alone. I move in him how could he be afraid of that? Where from where in the lead it and talk to him about it, the toilet problem I have solved to always walk with him and take every day a step back and reward him well if it went well until he completely only went. Before the dark we always thought of a light after a while I showed him that I went to bed and all the lights went off and that Mama was a big girl and that he was a big boy and when he thought the light he could do that but then all the lights would go out soon.
and for the monsters I came up with a grand idea, SCOOBY-DOO to watch the cartoon that is always about monsters but at the end those monsters then finish their masks and it is a man or a woman so I could tell him and let him see that it was not real and because of that cartoon he also believed me!


Our son suffers from scary dreams. He tells this every night at bedtime. We have now bought a dream catcher and hung it by the window so that it keeps the dreams out. However, this must be confirmed every evening that it still hangs.

Active chase away

Our daughter is afraid of ghosts. We now leave a light on, but sometimes we have to chase them with: "Go away ghost!".
My daughter of 4 sees people in her room in the evening, I open her room door and ask people if they want to leave. According to her, most of them also go, the people who do not immediately leave the door there, we get a little angry and grab it to turn them off the room. After giving them a warning that they do not have to come back my daughter is going to sleep peacefully.
My son (almost 4) is afraid of "things" in his room. Sometimes it is a crocodile, sometimes a snake, sometimes a ghost. We now have a special "chase away the scary animal wand". A narrow flashlight that all animals are afraid of. So we take his fear seriously. We do not say: there are no animals, now go to sleep. Because for him those animals really are!
Sam (5 years old) is afraid of monsters. I have an empty hairspray bottle that we use to spray through the room and that the monsters are afraid of. Our cat Rinske is also our watch cat, where monsters are very afraid.
We sing a song "Ghosts do not exist!".
Our son is afraid of monsters / ghosts, but he wants to read all books about scary things. He also finds the reflection of a lamp in the window scary. This looks like an eye in the bush in the garden. Together with his little brother, he then scares the eyes in the bush in the garden. Before going to bed, we close the curtains and the shutter, then we hunt together all the monsters and haunt the bedroom by fighting movements from Kung Fu Panda. (I always say that monsters and ghosts only exist in books / films and not in real life).


Our child is afraid to do a poo. We take the food into account, so that the poo does not become too hard or soft, which probably caused the fear.
Izes is very afraid of big hugs in the dark. According to her they come to bed when it is dark. She screams then.
We take her very seriously and then talk to her with the cuddly toys and often put them very high on the cupboard, because then they do not dare to go off according to her. We now also have a small energy saving light next to the bed, which she can turn on and off herself.


My daughter went to the fire department at school. Here she was very scared when a car was set on fire. She did not want to watch anymore and was completely upset. She suddenly found a candle scary and when I wanted to light the barbecue she went upstairs to her room. Eventually I had got her to sit down at the table and we were going to do a game together. This then went better and better. Two months after she had been at the fire department, the children's holiday week was in the village. She was doing a treasure hunt and had to pee. She happened to be close to home and went home to pee. She knocks on the kitchen window to be able to go inside and she sees fire in the kitchen with two girlfriends. Fire in our house. I was not at home at that moment. My daughter of 5 years goes to the neighbor who is fireman and told that there is fire in our house. He called 112 and went to the barracks to come back with the fire engine.
Eventually the damage was not too bad. But our daughter was a hero. We have written a story with the event in it and we have spoiled her very much. We did not have a house without her. She has made a few drawings for the story to process it. The fear is still there, especially when the knobs are not off the hob, I take the knobs off and that is what they are reassured. She also finds a burning candle scary, but it also happens at home where she is. She has to go through it anyway, the candle is far away and then it's good for her.
My child finds dogs scary. When we meet a dog outside I mention that the dog is coming, that he is on the leash for example. She can always give me a hand, when the dog comes sniffing I also say that 'he just wants to smell for a while'. When we have passed the dog and it went smoothly I will call it to her; you see, the dog just wanted to smell, you did well, what good of you.
My son is often afraid to go to sleep and especially to close his eyes (he thinks he is sleeping with his eyes open!). But if I make a beautiful dream for him and kiss his eyes closed he will find it a lot more fun !!

Video: How Parents Can Help With Child Anxiety. UCLA CARES Center

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