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Jun 29, 2022

With everything we have to worry about in today’s world, it’s easy to lose sight of how our children can have their own big worries too. Things like getting nails clipped, night-time noises, strangers, doctors, even entering a pool can feel overwhelming to our children.


How do we help them push through their fears? Which are normal, and which are extreme? And how do we validate their feelings without making their fears worse? Jessica Rolph, your host, welcomes Pediatric Psychologist Dr. Ann-Louise Lockhart to today’s episode. She is an expert in childhood anxiety and helps parents distinguish between appropriate behavior and something that requires more attention.


Key Takeaways

[1:48] What should parents do and not do when it comes to soothing their children’s fears?

[3:11] What’s the optimal way to handle fear? 

[4:22] How to tackle repetitive fears?

[6:08] When does separation anxiety become a concern? 

[8:17] Where do parents draw the line between encouraging, strongly encouraging, or even making their child try something new, while also respecting their fears?

[10:35] How can we help a child push through their fear?

[13:15] Do we push through the first time they face a fear, or can gradual exposure begin the second or third time? 

[15:07] What is a normal level of apprehension towards strangers for toddlers and what is extreme? 

[18:30] How do parents avoid over-pathologizing their children?

[21:17] Where can parents get help with their questions about anxiety? 

[22:03] Dr. Lockhart suggests parents be aware of what we are consuming.

[23:33] Jessica shares the highlights of her conversation with Dr. Lockhart.


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