How to help child not be afraid of everything new?

September 16, 2022  18:37

Children need encouragement to learn about the world, and parents and caregivers need help figuring out how to give them that help without making them feel insecure or overly open. 

Here are expert-approved tips on how to help your child try new things without scaring them, CNN reports.  

1. Take something your children already like or are good at and encourage them to try it in a new setting or in a slightly different way, advises Maurice Elias, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University.

For example, if they play a musical instrument, where else can they play that instrument? the expert cites as an example.

2. Sometimes the new works best when it's part of the old. According to Karen VanAusdal, senior director of practice at the Chicago-based Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, this is a particularly useful tactic when working with children with neurodiversity, as well as other children who don't like change.

Routines and rituals can be very soothing and helpful. The expert believes in keeping them and then stretching out one part (of them) to add something new, while letting the child decide for himself if he wants to do it.

3. Ask your child what new things they want to try - or have them write a list, VanAusdal advises. Help them figure out what they're afraid of when they avoid new things, whether it's a sleepover at a friend's house or a new pasta dish.
Sometimes the very process of identifying and naming fears can help reduce them. 

4. Experts also advise parents and caregivers to practice both acknowledging their child's fears and expressing confidence that the child can handle the task. 
Tell them directly that you understand that it's scary or difficult for them. Let it be okay. But don't stop there.
It is important to instill confidence in your child.

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