Arm Her With Facts
Five- and 6-year-olds love to be in the know, so use that to your advantage. If your child is a scaredy-cat about getting shots, for example, talk with her before her annual checkup. Explain how the shot she's getting will prevent a specific disease, maybe even look up information online. Once you're in the doctor's office, ask if she wants the vaccine in her left arm or her right, then let her choose the type of treat (a sticker or a new pencil, for instance) that she can have afterward. "You empower kids this age when you give them choices and information, and that can make them braver," says Parents advisor Jenn Berman, Psy.D., author of The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids. Another way to help her feel in control: Make sure that she has realistic expectations before trying something new like putting together a 300-piece puzzle ("This is harder than your other puzzles, so it's probably going to take a couple of days") or learning to roller-skate ("Most people fall a lot the first time they try").