Understanding Preschooler Anxiety

Worry #6: "Bad things will happen like they do on the news."

What You Do: When your child asks about a scary real-world event, it's best to address the subject rather than try to protect your child because it will only make him more anxious, says Carolyn Landis, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, in Cleveland. The key: Put the event in perspective. "When my young child worries about something that's happening in another part of the world, I show her on a globe how far away the event is from where she is," Dr. Landis says. And if your child is upset about something on the local news, like a fire? Talk about the safeguards you've taken and ways he can help to prevent such a tragedy from happening to him. And try to keep the news off when your child is in the room.

Originally published in the February 2009 issue of Parents magazine.

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