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Childhood Fears and Worries: Opening the Doors to Conversation

by Jean Schreiber
November/December 2012
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/childhood-fears-and-worries-opening-the-doors-to-conversation/5020840/

Although we may try to shield our ­children from information that may be upsetting to them, inevitably they will be exposed to life's challenges and painful realities. We live in the 'information age' and children are frequently bombarded with overwhelming news from the media. Since children are very aware of the emotions of the adults who care for them, they can quickly tune into the anxieties of their parents and teachers. When dangerous events occur in the world, adults are understandably worried. Often we have not had enough time to deal with our own reactions before we are faced with pointed questions from our children. How can we respond to these questions honestly, age appropriately, and as reassuringly as is possible?

While attempting to protect our ­children, we sometimes avoid sharing information — even that which is developmentally appropriate — with them. Most parents find it uncomfortable to see their child upset; and, at times we are afraid to hear what is on their minds. Adults are often worried about where a child's questions will lead, and might even feel unprepared with answers. It is easy to close the door and avoid conversations. But, when we don't talk to children ...

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