Many people who follow my blogs have suffered abuse as children. Childhood trauma has left us with a tendency to be triggered easily into fear states. When it comes to our own children, we want to protect them from such discomfort. Presumably, they haven’t been abused. But how do we help our youngsters deal with normal fears and anxiety.
In her new book, The Fear Fix, psychologist Sarah Chana Radcliffe provides parents with a wise and practical guide for empowering children to deal with their own fears. From common fears to full-blown anxiety disorders, Radcliffe leads parents through detailed training. Emphasizing the importance of empathic listening and responding in such a way that the child feels heard, not dismissed or trivialized, she encourages parents to resist the temptation to negate the child’s fears
Here’s an example from the book of the wrong way to deal with fear.
Child: I don’t want to get a needle. It’s going to hurt.
Parent: I know you’re scared, but really, it’s not going to hurt that much.
This approach takes the child away from his fear too quickly. Fear is a wave, says Radcliffe. The child must be encouraged to feel all of his fear, to complete the movement of the wave. Here is an example of effective listening.
Child: I don’t way to get a needle. It’s going to hurt.
Parent: Of course you’re frightened. Pain is a scary thing.
This response gives the child an opening to experience and ride through his fear. The parent simply listens without trying to talk him out of feeling the way he feels.
Radcliffe realizes that wise parenting means helping parents to be calmer and more centered emotionally. The book offers parents a host of good ways to maintain the state of calm necessary for effective parenting.
Mindfulness, aware breathing and a host of other proven methods for maintaining a state of inner peace offer parents the opportunity to learn life skills that will make for a better life (with or without children.) Bach floral remedies, Aromatherapy, Tapping (EFT) are some of the ways described for parents and anyone else wanting to go through life peacefully. This is a book anyone will benefit from reading.
You can visit the author on her website: www.sarahchanaradcliffe.com