Growing up, I had a few phobias. There wasn’t any real reason why I was afraid, but the fears were real and I can remember the anxiety whenever I was faced with my specific triggers. I am thankful that over time I seemed to learn better coping methods so my heart wouldn’t race as much and I didn’t feel like I had to avoid situations because of my fears.
When I became a parent, I wasn’t really surprised to see that my kids had their own fears and anxieties as well. Again, I am not sure where they came from, maybe I modeled some fear-type behavior and they picked up on it, but I do know their fears are real. When it comes to parenting higher anxiety kids, it can be a little challenging.
An article by HealthyChildren.org states that in a study they found, 43% of children between the ages of 6 and 12 had many fears and concerns so I know it’s a topic many other parents may be struggling with as well. The Canadian Mental Health Association gives a few tips on how to help work though the fears that kids have, while still teaching them that sometimes that anxiety and fear is a way to keep them safe. Some tips they offer include letting your child know that you love them, spend time practicing skills, and a lot of reassurance.
10 Fears and Anxieties My Kids Have 1 of 11
Fears and anxieties are common in kids and my own children have some pretty common ones for all kids.
Going Through The Door First 2 of 11
My kids have never been a fan of going somewhere new. They seem to like to know the routines and what they're doing so when it comes to entering some place we've not been, they are very hesitant. They don't go through the doors first when we hold them open. They will stand in the doorway and freeze like a deer caught in headlights.
Tornados 3 of 11
With all the news that came out of Oklahoma yesterday and Texas, it's more of a fear of mine now too. I can't even imagine, but for my kids -- it's a real, huge fear for them. They had a tornado drill at school their first year and since, even a small gust of wind leaves them terrified and searching the skies.
If you're able to help the relief efforts from the devastating tornado in Oklahoma, Red Cross says the best way to help is to donate at RedCross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999.
Large Dogs 4 of 11
My kids love dogs -- from afar. As long as the dogs are smaller than they are, they seem to be much happier around the. Once the dog reaches larger than their body, their anxiety rises and they won't leave my side. It goes into overdrive if the dog is not on a leash.
Quiet Rooms 5 of 11
My house is always buzzing with noise so it's not common for them to be in a room of silence, but when it happens, their anxiety goes right up. If they're in their room by themselves, they have to have music on lightly so it's not pure silence.
The Dark 6 of 11
I don't like to not be able to see where I am going, but the darkness for my kids brings up real anxiety for them. We have nightlights in their room when they go to sleep and keep the bathroom light on during the night if they need to use the washroom. They're getting a lot better about their dark fears, but it's still got a way to go until they're totally over it.
Being Alone 7 of 11
It never happens, but if they even think it's going to happen, they are terrified. My kids don't like being alone or the idea that they'll be left behind. Like I said, that never happens since they're too young to be alone and there are three of them, but you can't even pretend it with them.
Heights 8 of 11
A fear of heights is a pretty common anxiety and according to LiveScience, 3 percent to 5 percent of the population suffer from this fear. I had it (and still do to some degree), so we have to be careful for where we go with the kids to not spark this anxiety.
Thunderstorm 9 of 11
Just like with the tornado fear, my kids also are not a fan of lightning and thunderstorms. They have this idea that they will be struck or that the wind that's usually associated with the thunderstorm will cause damage. I have some anxiety about thunderstorms as well, but I work hard not to show that to my kids.
Spiders and Bugs 10 of 11
This is another common fear and anxiety and it's for sure one of mine. I can't even look at this slide picture without my heart rate going up a bit. I do my best when my kids are around to not show fear for bugs and creepy crawlers that are too small for me to ever worry about, but they're just so creepy.
Large Pools of Water 11 of 11
My kids love to play in the bathtub, but add any water above that level to the situation and they're afraid. I tried to put them in swimming lessons and it was a disaster! They are afraid to put their head in the water, sometimes even when they are washing their hair. It's not an anxiety that I've ever had, so it's a little strange to me. (But it's a common one, I hear.)
Photo credits: photostock