How to help kids overcome fear

Psychologist & Author Charlotee Reznick, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to help your children overcome their fears
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How to help kids overcome fear

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Fears are such a big issue for so many kids. It could be fear of being alone, it could be fear of abandonment, it could be fear of being left at school. I see kids with all kinds of fears. And what works really well for them, first step is to close their eyes, do some deep breathing and just access. Imagine where their fear lives in their body. Is it in their belly? Does it have a mean face? Is it in their shoulders? Is it in their brain? And then we’ll often draw out the fear. By drawing out the fear, it becomes more concrete and not as scary, because you’re facing it. You’re starting to face it. And then we’ll use imagination to help work with the fear. So if there’s fear in the belly, we look for an anecdote. I usually like to use two – good stuff, good feelings – to balance the one negative one. So what’s fear? Would it be calmness? Would it be confidence? Would it be bravery? It depends on the situation in the child and they ask inside what will help. One girl was afraid of speaking to her sport’s coach who was really yelling and mean, and so she used… fear was in her belly and their confidence was kind of green and in her shoulders. And so I had her close her eyes. She closed her eyes and breathed in the green confidence to the fear and watched the fear get smaller. And then she breathed in the confidence throughout her whole body and then she really felt good. And then she had the wear it all to speak out to her coach.

Psychologist & Author Charlotee Reznick, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to help your children overcome their fears

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Charlotte Reznick, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Charlotte Reznick, PhD, is a child educational psychologist, a former UCLA Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology, and author of the Los Angeles Times bestselling book, The Power of Your Child's Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success. Dr. Reznick is also creator of Imagery For Kids: Breakthrough for Learning, Creativity and Empowerment, a mindful, positive coping skills program, and writer/producer of several therapeutic relaxation CDs for children, teens and parents. In addition to her private practice, she is a frequent media consultant, and teaches workshops internationally on the healing power of children's imagination.

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