Listening to fear: Helping kids cope, from nightmares to the nightly news

02/04/05

From the monster under the bed to the bullying upperclassman, a new book by Steven Marans of the Yale School of Medicine Child Study Center provides coping strategies for parents on these and other fears children and adolescents face.

Marans' book is "Listening to Fear: Helping Kids Cope, from Nightmares to the Nightly News."

Marans, the Harris Associate Professor of Child Psychoanalysis and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, is also director of the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence.

Adults often have trouble understanding and addressing their children's fears, according to Marans. "In a wide range of situations-from simple developmental fears to traumatic events-parents' quick and repeated assurances simply aren't enough," Marans contends in his book.

Drawing on his 25 years experience in clinical practice, Marans guides parents through three important steps for helping children effectively overcome these worries. Marans said parents need to acknowledge and set aside their own fears; then they should give kids the chance to express themselves and rely on those reports rather than their own interpretations, and, finally, they need to learn to interpret the "behavioral language of fear" that children employ more often than words.

Marans guides parents to better understand the emotional landscape of childhood fears; learn to decode behaviors that may tell them more than what their children are saying; encourage kids-even reluctant teens-to open up, and to support and help kids develop effective coping skills they'll have for life.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

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