What to Do When Your Child Feels Scared

frightened of spiders

Reading time: 3 minutes

Suitable for: Families with children of all ages

What do you do when your child feels scared? Instead of trying to stop them from feeling frightened by anything, it's useful for them to experience fear in a safe environment and at an appropriate level so they understand how it feels and learn the strategies they need to manage the feeling.

Fear is a useful emotion. It teaches children caution and helps prevent them from taking unnecessary risks. Every child is different; some appear afraid of nothing. Others seem scared of their own shadow.

Common childhood fears include:

  • Loud noises, like thunder and fireworks
  • New situations, such as starting school
  • Strangers and unfamiliar adults
  • The dark, spiders and monsters

Most children grow out of childhood fears naturally and they change over time. As adults, we all still have fears and these early experiences help us learn how to cope with them.

Different fears at different ages

Young children in particular may show separation anxiety where they are frightened to be away from you. They may hold on to you, not want to move away from you, and cry when you try to leave them, even for just a few seconds.


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