This One Tip Helps Parents Free Children from the Bondage of Fear

(Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash)

Licensed mental health counselor Sissy Goff says parents need to be intentional about asking their children if they're anxious about anything. Otherwise, children may bottle up their feelings and that can have negative repercussions for many years to come.

"If you have a daughter or son ... say, 'Tell me the things that you worry about,'" Goff says. "One of my favorite tactics to do is to help kids name it. So to call it worry—with the young ones I'll call it the 'worry monster.' I have one little girl who named her worry monster Bob. But whatever they want to call it, then when it circles back, you can say to them now, 'Has "worry" been bothering you? It looks like maybe he has,' or 'Has the worry monster been trying to get after you?'"

Goff says that putting a fiction name to the feeling of worry helps children recognize that not everything they're worrying about is worth worrying about, she explains on the Charisma News podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network.

"And we do it playfully, so it's not a scary monster," Goff says. "... I think any of us, when we have that voice in our head, we think it's truth—and let alone kids, who haven't learned to differentiate that yet. I think that really empowers them to feel like, 'OK, this is worry, and I'm going to let go of it because it's not anything I have to worry about, necessarily.'"

For more professional advice and to listen to the entire episode, click here.

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