Make Light of Monsters

3 ways parents can help kids conquer their fears
Mark Mantegna

Do you have a child who's spooked by the sights and sounds of Halloween? Making light of his fears won't help, but his own creativity may offer a cure. "Because imagination fuels kids' fears, it can also help vanquish them," explains James J. Crist, Ph.D., author of What to Do When You're Scared and Worried. He offers three fear-fighting strategies.

1. Write off fears by concocting a story.
Have your child write or narrate a tale in which he successfully faces what scares him. "You'll be helping him absorb the message that he's capable of overcoming his fear," says Crist.

2. Push them away with a picture
If your child likes to draw, have him illustrate several drawings or a comic strip in which he--ta da!--defeats the boogeyman.

3. Cast them off with magic
Give your child a prop with special powers, such as a magic wand or "monster repellent" (water in a spray bottle). Tell him that it makes ghosts and goblins stay away.

Originally published in the October 2012 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

Family Fun


Be the first to comment!

All Topics in Parenting Advice & Tips

Parents may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.