Posts Tagged ‘ fears ’

Your Child’s Top 3 Classroom Fears: A Back-to-School Infographic

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Is your child heading to school for the first time? Or heading back to new classrooms with new teachers? We polled our Facebook readers with the question, “What scares your child the most about going to school?”  Not surprisingly, a majority of kids were worried about not being able to make friends.

Based on the answers, we created this fun infographic to show your children’s top 3 fears, plus tips on how to help them ease into school.

For more ideas for gear, clothes, and lunches, visit our Back to School page:

Also, check out our Back to School board on Pinterest to start pinning fun images (like this infographic!):

Parents Back to School 2012 Infographic

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How Parents Can Discuss Difficult Topics

Monday, June 13th, 2011

parent-child-talkA few weeks ago, we shared a few tips from Project Recovery Iowa on how parents can talk to kids about natural disasters.

We interviewed Project Recovery Iowa to provide you with more advice on the ways parents can discuss catastrophes and tragic news stories without traumatizing children. Advice includes being sensitive to your children’s reactions and emphasizing the government’s progress to prevent/reduce suffering.

There is also helpful responses based on different age groups (ages 1-5, 6-11, 12-18) and ideas on how to cope with grief.

Read the full interview on how to talk to kids about difficult topics.


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Tips for Talking to Kids About Natural Disasters

Friday, May 27th, 2011

tornado-oklahomaNatural disasters are making the news again, the most recent being an endless string of tornadoes that struck mostly midwestern and southern states in the U.S., including Oklahoma, Alabama, Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri.  Increasing TV updates and news photos focusing on the death toll and destruction brings to mind other disturbing images of the Japan tsunami from March. consulted experts from Project Recovery Iowa, a  Department of Human Services program funded by FEMA and administered by the state of Iowa. Project Recovery Iowa offers mental health counseling for those affected by natural disasters.  The program was started in 2008 to assist people coping with the after effects of severe storms and flooding in Iowa.  Amanda Gesme, Children’s Manager at Project Recovery Iowa and licensed mental health counselor, shared advice on how parents can talk to kids about natural disasters.

First, parents should approach the topic of tragic events in a calm, patient, and truthful manner.  If your children are aware of current events, it’s ok to ask them first to start a discussion and answer questions, even ones that are repeated over and over.  Kids are looking for reassurance when processing information, so be open to talking.  Even if you don’t have all the answers, says Gesme, validate what your child tells you.  However, make sure to limit exposure to media or any unnecessary details.  “Children are smart — even if parents are careful and talk in whispers or behind closed doors, they know that ‘something’ is going on,” explains Gesme.  Even children as young as 2 years old are aware when something important is happening.


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Talking to Kids About Tragedies and Disasters

Friday, March 11th, 2011

parent-child-talkThe 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan and caused a tsunami calls to mind other large-scale natural disasters from past years, such as the Indian Ocean tsunami and earthquake in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the Haiti earthquake in 2010. 

Oftentimes, talking about tragedies–whether worldwide or personal ones–can be difficult.  It involves explaining how and why bad things can happen to good people in the world, cultivating your child’s empathy and compassion, and making sure your child understands serious events without being too upset, scared or traumatized.

In light of this recent event, here are some guidelines to help you explain natural disasters and catastrophes to kids.

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Little Children, Big Worries

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

3415666185_b46a941904_tIn our March issue we have a really interesting story on children and anxiety (“Worried Sick,” page 50). We offer very helpful advice for the roughly 15 percent of kids who suffer from anxiety that’s major enough to impact their daily routine. We also address the more common fears that just about every child between the age of 2 and 7 experiences—stuff like being scared of the dark, afraid of dogs, bugs, and so on.

This story has more personal significance to me now than it did even a month ago, when I was putting the finishing touches on the edit. In the past week or so, my 17-month-old has developed an incredibly specific fear: tiny specks. It started with a microscopic black spot in our bathtub, where the white enamel has worn away. It’s been there Lila’s whole little life, but she just noticed it, and she points to it and works herself up until she cries. I think she thinks it’s an ant. I admit we seem to have a few of them scurrying around our house at the moment. (We’re not infested or anything, I feel compelled to explain.) Anyway, I’ve tried downplaying the speck, covering it with a bath toy, and turning her around in the tub so she’s facing away from it. All strategies have proved beyond ineffective. My husband had the inspired idea to use White-Out on the spot, and that worked… until Lila found an even more infinitesimal dot in the tub, and fixated on that. I had to laugh, as bad as I feel for her. But the fear has made its way outside the bathroom, and now my child worriedly points to any small thing that shouldn’t be there: lint, a piece of dust, a teeny scrap of paper. The only things that don’t scare her are crumbs. She just eats those.

Does your child have slightly unusual fears? How are you handling them? And if they’ve gone away, how long did they last?

[Photo via]

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